June 2004 - Vol 8 - No 3
Continued from page one:
■ There is also no doubt that the eight teams, which
received an automatic entry to the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, are the best eight teams over the course of the last four years and fully deserve the berth. Again, the ranking was a fair tool in establishing this very important seeding and also the groups in Turin. (See page 5)
As we begin with the qualifying groups this coming autumn, we are definitely closing in on Turin 2006. The question, which is most frequently asked, is about the NHL-players’ participation.
This is the official IIHF position on this matter:
❑ The IIHF does not close any doors at any time to
anyone who wishes to participate in the ultimate sports event. ❑ There is no deadline for participation as far as the
IIHF is concerned. The team longlists must be submit- ted to the NOC’s on October 24, 2005 while the IIHF requires the game roster 24 hours before the first game. ❑ The IIHF supports the desire and ambition of every
national member association to be able to select the best team possible for Turin 2006.
René Fasel IIHF President
300 Europeans in the NHL
■ European content in the NHL set a new record
during the 2003-04 season, a year in which the NHL also set a record for players appearing during one sea- son. There were an incredible 1,018 men who played in at least one NHL game during the 2003-04 regular season, and a record 300 of those were recruited from Europe. It is the first time that the number of Europeans in the NHL has reached the 300-man plateau.
■ By comparison, the 2002-03 season saw 984 play-
ers appear in the NHL, of which 293 were European. The percentage translates to a marginal decline of European content, from 29.9% in '02-'03 to 29.5% in '03-'04.
■ The Czech Republic again leads all European nati-
ons with 76 players, followed by Russia with 64 and Sweden with 53. Finland (37 players) and Slovakia (35) are the other major European producers of hockey talent. The remaining Euros come from Germany, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Austria, Switzerland, Belarus, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and France.
Development from 2000: ❑ 2000-2001: 280 Europeans
❑ 2001-2002: 293 Europeans ❑ 2002-2003: 293 Europeans ❑ 2003-2004: 300 Europeans
International Ice Hockey Federation Brandschenkestrasse 50 Postfach 8039 Zürich, Switzerland Phone: +41-1-562 22 00, Fax: +41-1-562 22 29
IIHF to celebrate its centennial year in Canada in 2008
■ The historic decision was made
on May 7, 2004 as the IIHF Congress in Prague, Czech Republic officially allocated the 2008 IIHF World Championship to Canada.
It marks the first time that the men’s IIHF World Championship will be sta- ged in Canada. 2008 will also mark the 100-year anniversary of the International Ice Hockey Federation and the championship will be part of the IIHF’s centennial celebration.
■ The Canadian bid of Quebec City
and Halifax did not face any compe- tition as the German and Swedish delegations withdrew their bids for the 2008 IIHF World Championship at the calendar meeting the day before and fully acknowledged their support for Canada’s bid. Photo: JANI RAJAMÄKI, Europhoto MISSION 2008 ACCOMPLISHED: The men who brought the the 2008 IIHF World Championship to Quebec City and Halifax pose together with IIHF President René Fasel at Prague’s Hilton Hotel where the historic decision was taken on May 7. From left: Fred MacGillivray, chairmen of the Halifax OC, Bob Nicholson, President of Hockey Canada, René Fasel, Allan Matthews, Hockey Canada Chairman of the Board, Mark Sparrow, chairman of the Quebec City OC, Sheldon Lanchbery, Hockey Canada International Director. ■■ At the same session, Switzerland (Zurich and Berne) was awarded the 2009 IIHF World Championship, while Sweden was appointed as stand-by organiser for the 2006 IIHF World Championship if Latvia isn’t able to fulfil its arena obli- gations. The Congress gave Latvia until July 1, 2004 to provide guarantees for a new arena in the capital Riga. “The IIHF was founded in 1908 in Paris, France and hundred years later we will be going to Quebec City which was founded by the French in 1608”, said René Fasel. “There is great symbolism to this historic coinci- dence as we will be able to participate in the 400-year anniversary of a city which shaped the history of North America.” “Going to Canada presents us with an unique opportu- nity to showcase the international game to the most devoted hockey fans in the world”, said René Fasel. “The fans in Canada have shown great interest and passion for international hockey in recent years and I am happy for them as well. They deserve to host the IIHF World Championship.” ■■ The venues for the 72nd IIHF World Championship in 2008 will be the 15,000 seat Pepsi Colisee in Quebec City and the 10,500 seat Helifax Metro Centre, both with North American sized rinks.
Legend Hlinka Czechs back
■ Ivan Hlinka, 54, is back as head coach
of the Czech national team after four years. Hlinka, who was named the best Czech player of all time by TISSOT at a ceremony in Prague during the 2004 IIHF World Championship, led the Czech Republic to the Olympic gold medal in Nagano in 1998 and also to the gold in the 1999 IIHF World Championship in Norway.
IVAN THE GREAT: World Cup will be the first big test for Hlinka.
■ Hlinka replaced Slavomir Lener immedia-
tely following the world championship in Prague and the World Cup of Hockey 2004 (August 30 - September 14) will be his first major assignment on the job. Hlinka played
256 games for the Czechoslovak national team while capturing three IIHF World Championship gold medals: 1972, 1976 and 1977. Hlinka played in the 1972 (bronze) and 1976 (silver) Olympic Winter Games and took also part in the 1976 inaugural Canada Cup.
■ Hlinka joined the NHL Vancouver
Canucks in 1981 and he became the first European to coach in the NHL when he led the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2000- 2001 season. Hlinka, who was the General Manager of the Czech Olympic team in Salt Lake City in 2002, was inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame the same year. He also spent time coaching Avangard Omsk of the Russian League (2002-2003).
The new record: 552,097
■ Attendance for the 68th IIHF World Championship
in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic broke all pre- vious records. For the 56 games, total attendance was 552,097 at the Sazka Arena in Prague and the CEZ Arena in Ostrava. The average of nearly 10,000 specta- tors a game is a remarkable testament to the populari- ty of the tournament in this country. The top tourna- ment attendance records are as follows:
1. Czech Republic
2004 - 552,097
1997 - 526,172
2003 - 454,693
2001 - 407,000
1989 - 388,000
1995 - 325,571
2000 - 318,449
1991 - 310,627
2002 - 305,541
IIHF Association News
GERMANY: IIHF Council member, Dr. Hans Dobida (AUT), has been inducted to the German Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in the builders’ category. Former NHL-star Uwe Krupp and goaltender Klaus Merk were the player inductees while Josef Golonka was inducted into the coaches’ category. Also long-time referee Hans Böhm was honoured. The induction ceremonies will take place on July 9 in Augsburg, Germany. Dobida, who has been an IIHF council member since 1986, has for many years acted as patron of the German Ice Hockey Museum.
FRANCE: Mr. Didier Gailhaguet, President of the French Ice Sports Federation since 1998, has resigned effective 5 May 2004. Mr. Marc Faujanet, President of the Federation Council, will be Acting President for the interim until a new President has been appointed.