World Cup of Hockey?

For the third installation of the „World Cup of Hockey“ in 2016, the Europe All-Stars will exclude Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden, but include countries such as Slovakia, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, Denmark, Norway, Latvia, Belarus, Estonia, Slovenia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania (among others).

Wow, that’s the most confusing Team Europe ever. I can’t wait to hear the introduction on the ice to that one! Now two groups are being lumped together:

Group A: Canada, Czech Republic, USA, Europe All-Stars

Group B: Sweden, Finland, Russia, U23-North Americans

Sure, the best teams in Europe are the Czechs, Finns and Swedes, I think the Swiss could go solo as well in terms of performance. It’s a bit akin to the NBA World Championship or MLB World Series, not quite that global, rather North American. For a truly global world cup of hockey, I would like to add the Caribbean All-Stars to Group A, which includes players from Jamaica and Barbados.

via Puck Daddy

Larger look at life

I learned to play hockey in Highland Park, Illinois as a five-year old kid. It took a while until I was able to skate, handle the puck and get dressed all by myself. It was not until 1988, the Minnesota North Stars drafted the number one pick Mike Modano, when I first discovered an idol on the ice.

That year, I played a hockey tournament in West Berlin, a year before the wall fell. We played a team from Czechoslovakia, who dominated us with coordinated attacks and smoother techniques, even with simpler hockey gear, beat us on every corner of the ice.

In between games, I visited a pro shop in the now defunct rink at Jaffestrasse, and I heard about Modano for the first time. It’s where I got my first North Stars hat. It took a while until I saw Modano play on tv, it must have been in the early nineties in New York – ever since then I wanted to be like Mike. He had the same height and weight and I tried to emulate his style of play.

When Modano retired from the NHL in 2011, I was reminded how much of the game inspires my life and how important different idols and mentors are, ones who help you take a larger look at life.