Team Canada's Olympic hockey team has decided to forgo any on-ice activities during a four day orientation in Calgary, Alberta. Instead, the team has chosen to play ball hockey. The reason for this is simple: they would be faced with a bill estimated at $1 million dollars. The bill would be for insurance of the players as it pertains to their contracts in the NHL. As valuable time on the ice is, the team didn't feel it would make or break their chances at a gold medal.
Head Coach Mike Babcock believes playing ball hockey could work to Team Canada's advantage. He actually got the idea from Michigan State basketball Head Coach Tom Izzo after the two had an encounter a few months ago. Babock thinks by slowing the game down, it will provide the players with better vision and proper spacing. So far, none of the players have been injured and they all seem to be having a lot of fun.
Team Canada is definitely one of the favorites to win it all at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. It will be interesting to see if they attribute their future success, or lack thereof, to playing ball hockey.
Forwards: Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp
Defenseman: Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook
Goaltender: Corey Crawford
They all have a great shot at making the team and winning the Stanley Cup this past season will give them an advantage over other players. We will continue to monitor Blackhawks players throughout the orientation camps and their progress towards making their respected rosters.
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