The Mental Challenge

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Once again the USA Hockey team lost to Team Canada in the medal round of the Winter Olympics. The Women’s team lost to Canada too, blowing a 2-0 lead. The women will take home a silver medal and the men will go home empty handed. Either way, you don’t win silver or bronze but lose gold.

Winter Olympics

Canada’s national sport is hockey. The US, not so much. Team Canada’s hockey team is a whose who of professional hockey players. From Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron to Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Marleau. You could make a medal winning team of Canadian players who weren’t on the roster.

Does that matter? Yes. Is it all that matters? No.

The US had as good of a shot as anybody at winning the gold in men’s and women’s hockey. The talent level is good enough and so is the coaching. Now it may just be a question of psychology.

The men have now lost to the Canadians in the medal round of the last two Winter Olympics. If and when they meet again, it’s going to be a mental challenge more than anything.While it may not be as challenging as beating the Russians back in 1980 it’ll still be a challenge.


Don’t Tune In Too Soon

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

‘Won’t get fooled again’ is how the song goes and it’s appropriate when it comes to NBC sports broadcasts. Why? Cause NBC Sports was up to their old tricks again with the NHL’s Stadium series.

This past Saturday the Stadium series was in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium. While the guide claimed that the puck was going to drop at 6:30pm PST in reality the puck didn’t drop until around 7:25pm.

What happened in between? The usual NBC jibber jabber. Interviews with has been celebs (Tom Arnold? Really?), beach volleyball and a KISS concert.

Yes, a KISS concert.

Cause nothing screams outdoor hockey like KISS.

We’re not sure but at some point NBC and the NHL forgot that this is a hockey game. Not only that, this is a game between two possible Stanley Cup contenders.

The Anaheim Ducks are the best team in the NHL right now (currently at 83 points) and the Los Angeles Kings are not far behind (66 points as of Tuesday morning). What about insight on the game? How the teams match up?


More NBC yapping about how awesome this venue is. That’s great guys, but can we play some hockey?

As for the game the following day in New York, it was delayed because of a glare from the sun. Minus that it was the same thing. The guide said one time and the puck wasn’t going to be dropped until later.


So for the game on Wednesday, folks the puck isn’t dropping until 4:30pm PST. DO NOT BUY INTO THE NBC SPORTS NETWORK PROMOS THAT STATE 3:30pm PST.

The Tax Savy Hockey Player Or Is He Just Homesick?

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard

Ilya Kovalchuk retired recently from the New Jersey Devils. He is leaving some $77 million on the table. That’s right, $77 million US dollars. The thing is, he may be taking a pay raise.

Kovalchuk claims that he wants to move back to Russia and be closer to the family. A legit admit claim. One cannot ignore the fact that Russia has a general flat income tax rate of 13%. According to a short article in the Wall Street Journal, Kovalchuk would have made $46 million in the next 4 years if he stayed with the Devils. He would have ended up paying $23.45 million in federal and state taxes. Moving to Russia appears to have been the right move economically speaking.

He didn’t win a Stanley Cup while with the Devils but it’s not like he can’t come back. In fact, he can come back to the NHL and ‘un-retire’ when he’s 35 and give it another shot. what do the Devils get? A big hole on their roster and they are out of pocket $300,000 a year until 2024-2025 season.

It is totally understandable if Devils fans are upset. Not only did one of the worlds best players decide to leave but his timing couldn’t have been worse. It was done late in free agency and after the draft. Leaving the Devils even further behind the 8 ball.

However you cannot ignore his reasons for leaving. He wants to be in Russia. He wants to be home. For as upset as some Devils fans may be, and teammates for that matter, there had to be a little sympathy for the man if not sheer appreciation for financial maneuvering by his accountant.