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Why the IIHF is hopeful to introduce 3-on-3 Olympic hockey

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TORONTO – Connor McDavid, Mitch Marner and Nathan MacKinnon versus Auston Matthews, Jack Eichel and Patrick Kane in 3-on-3 hockey with an Olympic gold medal on the line.

Can you imagine it?

Luc Tradif can.

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The newly anointed IIHF president has a vision to grow the game worldwide and attract more young eyeballs to hockey.

One way he sees doing that is by adding a fresh, fast spin on traditional hockey to future Winter Olympics.

How is it, Tardif wonders, that hockey can make such a gigantic investment in time and resources as one of the Games’ premier events and be limited to just six medals (three for the men, three for women)?

The president has looked at the Summer Games’ success of rugby sevens, beach volleyball, and 3-on-3 basketball and wondered, why not us?

Tardif’s proposal has gained the interest of the International Olympic Committee, which is considering adding a 3-on-3 tournament to the world stage.

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The format is still a work in progress, but Tardif envisions it being played on the narrow ice pad with shorter game lengths.

“We really believe in it,” Tardif said Tuesday at the PrimeTime Sports Management Conference in downtown Toronto. “I think it’s important to bring a new format. At the moment, the kids are zapping [between channels]. They’d rather play a one-hour game twice than play two-and-a-half hours. They’re following on TV four games at a time. So, we have to try to bring a new format.”

The IIHF test-drove boys’ 3-on-3 as an exhibition at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne and will give it a formal trial at the 2024 Youth Games in Gagwon.

Installing 3-on-3 for Milano Cortina 2026 is a long shot, but Tardif says both he and the IOC are hopeful to double the hockey in 2030.

“More medals for hockey,” he smiled. “That’s not bad.”

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COVID putting 2022 Games in jeopardy for NHL?

Tardif assumed the IIHF reins from long-serving president René Fasel in late September and had his first face-to-face meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman Monday in Toronto.

“It was a warm welcome,” Tardif said. “One of my priorities is to grow hockey all over the world, like football is doing, like rugby is doing. They open their championships to wider markets.”

Tardif submitted to Bettman a first draft of the safety protocols for Beijing, using Tokyo as a blueprint. The NHL will submit revisions, and the sides will lock regulations down for February before opening discussions on a four-year plan to grow the game through international best-on-best competition.

Tardif says he and Bettman hold the shared goal of sustainably growing hockey in the untapped Asian market through rinks and coaching.

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The Ottawa Senators’ outbreak and the threat of COVID was not discussed in their initial meeting.

“I hope – cross the fingers – that we are not going to be bothered by a fifth wave or something like that, because that’s the only thing that can stop [NHL participation],” Tardif said. “I believe we’re going to have the best players in the next Olympic Games. I’m a little bit worried because there are some [positive] cases. But the protocol is there, we’ve got the experience of Tokyo over the summer, and I’m confident.”

Pittsburgh Penguins president Brian Burke says he’s “amazed” the NHL has not lost more games due to positive tests and has faith that, if need be, taxi squads should keep the schedule rolling through situations like the one in Ottawa.

“I don’t think it puts the season in jeopardy at all. It’s still one team with that many cases,” Burke said. “There’s a lot of things that would have to happen before we look at postponing the Olympics or postponing the season.”

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China’s spot is not guaranteed

Tardif has Norway on standby if the host Chinese are unable to properly dress a legitimate men’s ice hockey team in the Beijing tournament.

Despite drawing a Group A seat with Canada, U.S. and Germnay, Tardif maintains China’s participation is not a done deal.

The IIHF has five experts from various nations watching China’s two test games: a 5-4 overtime loss Monday to the KHL’s Amur Khabarovsk, and a second game on Wednesday.

Those scouts will report back to Tardif, who will make a ruling on Team China’s eligibility in conjunction with the IOC on Nov. 25, giving Norway a couple months to prepare if necessary.

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“It will be our decision. We are on board with IOC. I didn’t want to do a diplomatic earthquake alone, just coming as a new president,” said Tardif, asserting that China itself has no say in the matter.

“It will be our rules. When I say ‘our,’ that’s IOC and IIHF.”



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Steelers’ Karl Joseph and Anthony Miller both suffer season-ending injuries, per report

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USATSI

The Pittsburgh Steelers saw two players suffer season-ending injuries, as safety Karl Joseph and wide receiver Anthony Miller are both out for the year, per Steelers reporter Dale Lolley. Joseph is out with an ankle injury while Miller injured his shoulder. Both are expected to be placed on injured reserve.

Joseph’s injury came during the team’s preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. Joseph went down in the first quarter and was carted off the field with an air cast seen on his ankle. The 28-year-old was later spotted on crutches, wearing a walking boot.

Joseph joined the Steelers after last season’s training camp and this year was looking to earn the second safety spot.

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Head coach Mike Tomlin originally said his injury was day-to-day, but according to reports it will end his season.

Miller injured his shoulder in training camp ahead of Pittsburgh’s first preseason game. This is not his first shoulder injury, as he also struggled with shoulder issues while he was on the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears.

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As the regular season gets closer and the roster starts getting cut closer to what it will be for the 2022 season, it looked as if Miller would make the 53-man roster.





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Steelers Insider Clarifies The QB Battle

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(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to solidify their depth chart at quarterback after Ben Roethlisberger‘s retirement.

The 2022 campaign will be the first that “Big Ben” won’t start after being the undisputed top play-caller for the squad for 18 seasons.

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Their candidates for selection include Mason Rudolph, who has backed up Roethlisberger, and Kenny Pickett, who had a solid performance during his first preseason game.

Then there’s Mitchell Trubisky, who they signed on a two-year contract.

After all, he has playoff experience and hopefully learned a lot from Josh Allen after his one-year stint with the Buffalo Bills.

However, some fans might argue that Pickett deserves to start after a strong performance during the preseason.

To which ESPN’s Brooke Pryor reiterated that the battle for the top spot is over.

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Pryor tweeted, “Exactly. Biggest storyline in the QB room is what happens behind Trubisky — is Rudolph the No. 2? Will Pickett catch on fast enough to jump him? That’s what I’m watching through the last two preseason games.”

 

Trubisky Is Pittsburgh’s Starting Quarterback

Head coach Mike Tomlin did declare in a recent interview that Trubisky will be their starter in Week 1 based on skill level.

He said in this video, “Yeah, because that’s the premise by which we started. We’ve been really transparent with the guys and we based our starter on resumes. Mitch has won in this league. The statistics bared it out that he has more experience than the others. So, we just thought that it’s appropriate to start there.”

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Therefore, Rudolph and Pickett are basically competing to become second on the depth chart.

Pickett may have the edge for now after that strong performance.

But that order could change with each passing week.

The post Steelers Insider Clarifies The QB Battle appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Alabama tops college football preseason AP Top 25 | UNDISPUTED

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In the latest college football AP poll, University of Alabama found themselves ranked number 1. The Tide return Heisman trophy winner and projected top 10 pick Bryce Young at QB. Last year, Bama lost in the national title game to Georgia. Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe react to the AP Top 25 poll.



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