Former Capitals captain and head coach Dale Hunter is ready for the international stage. Hockey Canada has called a Wednesday news conference where the organization is expected to formally announce that brothers Dale and Mark Hunter will run Canada’s Under-18 national program this summer.
The Hunters, who became co-owners of the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights in 2000 and have led the junior club to three OHL championships, will be responsible for assembling and guiding Team Canada at this August’s Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Slovakia.
The Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament is among hockey’s most prestigious junior events with many of the participating prospects going on to play in the World Junior Hockey Championships four months later.
Dale Hunter acknowledged in a conversation with CSNWashington.com in March that he would welcome the chance to coach Canada’s World Junior team down the road, and his work this summer with the U-18 team would seem like the perfect audition.
Hunter’s work with Hockey Canada will not affect his coaching the Knights for the 2013-14 campaign as London will be seeking a third straight OHL title. Last year Hunter became the eighth coach in OHL history with 500 career wins.
PENS EARLY FAVORITES FOR 2014 STANLEY CUP:
With the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals complete, the early odds have been released for the 2014 Stanley Cup champions.
According to the Canadian website www.bodog.ca, the Pittsburgh Penguins are the early favorites to win the Stanley Cup next season (9/2 odds), with the Chicago Blackhawks (15/2) coming in second. The Boston Bruins (10/1), St. Louis Blues (12/1) and Los Angeles Kings (14/1) round out the top five.
The Washington Capitals come in with the 11th best odds (25/1) to win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
FUTURE MRS. OVECHKIN FALLS AT WIMBLEDON:
Alex Ovechkin’s fiancée, Maria Kirilenko, was upset in Round 1 at Wimbledon Tuesday with a straight sets defeat to unseeded Laura Robson.
Kirilenko was the No.10 seed in the women’s draw, but fell in the opening round at the All-England Tennis Club for the first time since 2008. It was also Kirilenko’s first Round 1 exit in her last 17 grand slam tournaments overall.
ALFREDSSON DECISION EXPECTED BY SUNDAY:
Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is expected to decide by Sunday whether he will retire from the NHL or return for an 18th season with the Ottawa Senators.
The 40-year-old is Ottawa’s all-time leader in games played (1178), goals (426) and points (1108) and he is the NHL’s longest serving captain among active players.