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May 20, 2008

Back From Kamloops

I am back from the sweltering and oh so nice heat of British Columbia's Okanagan region, trying to get back in to the swing of hockey. I missed essentially 5 days, but I feel weeks behind in trying to catch up on everything.

Not only was it a great time to be a hockey fan, but hockey history was very much in the air this weekend.

The biggest news was the world championship showdown between eternal rivals Canada and Russia, as Russia pulled off a stunning victory on Canadian soil. Canada had a great chance to write a new chapter in Canadian hockey lore, but with the loss I'm disappointed to see not a whole lot of coverage on the importance of this victory not only for Russia but for hockey. Perhaps this sets the stage for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver?

All of the Canada vs. Russia memories was great for traffic at my other site, 1972 Summit Series.com. As was all the other history stories the IIHF has been feeding interested readers.

As part of their 100th anniversary celebrations the IIHF named its centennial all star team. Wayne Gretzky was the only Canadian named to the team, and rightfully so given they only picked enough players to fill out one line. With over 100 years of great international hockey would it be too much to ask to honour 20 greats?

The IIHF inducted the class of 2008 into its Hall of Fame. For the first time, three women were enshrined.

The IIHF also concluded its countdown of the top 100 moments in international hockey history. The 1980 Miracle On Ice was named as the top story, with game 8 and game 1 of the 1972 Summit Series finishing second and third.

I think the IIHF top ten is pretty accurate, but the rest of the list is a little out of order. I suspect this was done intentionally in order to draw interest as this list took 100 days to unveil.

Oh yeah, the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins concluded their series and are getting ready to face off in an intriguing Stanley Cup final. Since the series does not start until Saturday I will have more on this later.

There are lots of other little tidbits that I suspect I will be busy catching up on, but watch for posts later on Tuesday continuing my year-by-year look back at past Stanley Cups. Now heading into the 1980s we are set to relive two more dynasties - the New York Islanders and the Edmonton Oilers.

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