Saturday, July 27, 2013
The 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, and what it means to you
What is the Ivan Hlinka tournament, you say? You are not alone - it takes a certain level of hockey nerd-dom to follow it, as well has having players involved that you already follow. You are in luck.
Short story is that this is a pre-season tournament, world junior style, featuring players in their 17 year old year. This creates a buzz due to having the top draft eligible players representing their countries, even if its off the radar of your casual fan.
The 2012 Team Canada entry brought home the gold, featuring Nic Petan (as well as McKinnon & Drouin). Derrick Pouliot has a gold medal from his 2011 efforts.
The 2013 tournament runs August 5-10. Why it matters to you is that there are 3 Winterhawks playing, all for Team USA! Paul Bittner, Dominic Turgeon, and Keegan Iverson have been named to the team. One could interpret these developments as the 'Hawks have 25% of the best forwards the USA has to offer. We've been fortunate enough to watch these 3 players for a season now, and the sky's the limit with how far these guys can go. Coach Johnston recently told Yahoo! that this trio will be taking on a bigger role with the 'Hawks this year, which should be fun to watch (there's some other interesting MJ quotes in there - give it a read).
Our friends over at the Pipeline Show had a segment which touched on this USA team, as well as some other levels of USA hockey. Sounds like the enthusiasm for these kids' potential extends well beyond Oregon.
I'm not sure what kind of coverage this tournament will have. You would guess there's some sort of webstream - I'll keep an eye out for it, and will try and post via twitter. If you come up with anything, let me know.