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IIHF Approves new tourny set up for Vancouver 2010


Geoff

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http://www.iihf.com/news/iihfpr9706.htm

ZURICH, March 30: Following a two-day meeting in Zurich, the IIHF council today approved the new format for the men's tournament of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. The format of the women's Olympic tournament will remain as it was in Turin 2006.

The men's tournament will remain as a 12-team event like in Turin 2006, but the teams will be seeded into three groups of four teams. The Turin Olympics featured two groups of six.

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No surprise this for the NHL. In Turin they didn't think the NHL would participate when the format was set so they had that 5 round robin games. Now that they now the NHL will be involved well in advance they are changing it to a more sensible format. Making them play 5 games in a row when most of the players had already played a good portion of a long season was tiring to the players. Especially what amounts to a secondary tournament (with the NHL season and playoffs coming first).

That said I am looking forward to Vancouver because of the smaller ice. You will see better hockey with it. It won't be the playoffs because players aren't going to go all out physically because in a lot of cases they are teammates with their opponent. They don't want to end up jeopardizing their chances at the real prize in hockey the Stanley Cup.

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No surprise this for the NHL. In Turin they didn't think the NHL would participate when the format was set so they had that 5 round robin games. Now that they now the NHL will be involved well in advance they are changing it to a more sensible format. Making them play 5 games in a row when most of the players had already played a good portion of a long season was tiring to the players. Especially what amounts to a secondary tournament (with the NHL season and playoffs coming first).

That said I am looking forward to Vancouver because of the smaller ice. You will see better hockey with it. It won't be the playoffs because players aren't going to go all out physically because in a lot of cases they are teammates with their opponent. They don't want to end up jeopardizing their chances at the real prize in hockey the Stanley Cup.

I don't think they would go all out physically anyway. Keep in mind that this may be an NHL-sized ice surface, but it's still international refereeing, and they call things much closer than NHL refs do. Also, by that time, I believe the IIHF will have instituted the two-referee system as well ? they are starting with this year's world juniors and under-18s, as well as next year's world men's championships ? so there stands to be plenty of powerplays in Vancouver.

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