What happened this week? Oh, just the Winter Classic and the Olympic roster selections. No biggie.
The Winter Classic, held in Ann Arbor, Michigan at Michigan Stadium was by all accounts a success. There were 105,491 tickets sold (beating the previous record for Michigan stadium of 104,173) and could possibly set a Guinness World Record for attendance. And those not willing to brave the 13° temperatures still tuned in at home. This year’s Winter Classic tied the 2009 ratings for the highest rated regular season NHL game.
In case you overslept after a New Year’s night out, this is all you need to see:
- Before announcing the 2014 U.S. Olympic roster, USA Hockey sent text messages to those being considered for the team. Ryan Kesler, who made the team, apparently had changed his number which led to an invitation being sent to a 67-year-old Canadian. Oops.
- Who was snubbed? From Canada. From USA.
- Jaromir Jagr was named to his fifth Olympic roster representing his home country of the Czech Republic.
- Mats Zuccarello will be the lone active NHL’er representing Norway the Olympics. Likewise, Zemgus Girgensons is the only active NHL’er for Team Latvia. That said, every team has at least one NHL player on its roster. Kinda cool.
- The St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks will be the most represented teams at the Olympics with ten players from each team selected to their respective countries.
Around the League
- Nathan Horton made his debut with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. Horton, who signed a seven-year, $37.1 million contract with the Blue Jackets over the summer, had shoulder surgery on July 17th and missed the first half of the season while recovering. In his debut Horton scored what would eventually be the game-winning goal against the Phoenix Coyotes.
- Steven Stamkos returned to practice this week. Stamkos has been out with a fractured tibia since suffering the injury in a game against the Boston Bruins on November 11th.
- Reports say that Tim Murray will be the new GM for the Buffalo Sabres.
- The Anaheim Ducks signed Andrew Cogliano to a four-year extension worth $12 million.
- Olympic-bound Jonathan Quick returned to play after nearly two months and led the Kings to a 3-1 victory over the Canucks.