NHL: Neck injury ends Canucks forward Dorsett’s career…


Derek Dorsett

Vancouver Canucks tough guy Derek Dorsett has been advised to end his ice hockey career.

In a press release, the Canucks say that the 30-year-old forward  “will not return to the Canucks active roster due to health reasons and risks associated with playing.”

Dorsett, who had been with the Canucks since 2014 after being acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers, underwent cervical disc herniation surgery in December 2016 which left both arms numb for a time. He surprised many when he was eventually cleared to play again at the start of this season.

Dorsett had an inspired start to this season, scoring seven times in 20 games for the Canucks. However, he was sent home from his team’s eastern road trip on November 21 after complaining of stiffness in his neck and back.

It was then that the doctor who performed the initial surgery, Dr. Robert Watkins, advised him to stop playing.


Derek Dorsett (right) pictured with spine surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins at Marina Del Rey Hospital in Los Angeles.

Watkins said: “The latest evaluation of Derek’s neck revealed that he’s sustained a cervical disc herniation adjacent and separate to his previous fusion,

“Given his current condition and the long-term, significant health risks, I advised Derek not to return to play.”

His abrasive playing playing style made Dorsett a firm favourite among hockey fans, in a career which spanned 515 NHL games, during which he scored 51 goals and accumulated 1,314 penalty minutes.

It is not known how or when Dorsett reinjured his neck, although he absorbed a number of blows to his head when fighting LA Kings forward Andy Andreoff in a game on November 14.


Vancouver Canucks’ Derek Dorsett and LA Kings’ Andy Andreoff get to grips during the first period of an NHL game in Los Angeles on Nov 14

Speaking about the decision, Dorsett said: “As hard as it was to hear, Dr. Watkins’ diagnosis is definitive,

“There is no grey area, and it gives me clarity to move forward. I have a healthy young family and a long life of opportunities ahead of me.

“Hockey taught me a lot and it will help me be successful in whatever I choose to do in the future.”




NHL: Blues’ Fabbri to miss entire 2017/18 season…


The St Louis Blues have been rocked by the news that forward Robby Fabbri will miss the entire 2017/18 season after re-injuring his surgically repaired left knee.

The news was announced by Doug Armstrong, the President of Hockey Operations and General Manager of the National Hockey League franchise.

Armstrong’s press conference can be found here.

Fabbri originally suffered the injury on February 4 in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was checked into the boards by Pittsburgh’s Carter Rowney during the first period and put no pressure on his leg as he left the ice.

After surgery to repair the torn ACL and months of intense physiotherapy and rehabilitation, Fabbri was cleared to play again on July 31. He joined the team in mid-September for the start of training camp.

Last Friday (September 22) saw Fabbri play in his first pre-season game, playing 19 minutes and eight seconds when recording three shots on goal against the Washington Capitals.

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St Louis forward Robby Fabbri will miss the entire 2017/18 NHL season

Blues GM Armstrong had said after the game that Fabbri had noticed some swelling in his left knee. That led to an MRI scan on Sunday morning where doctors felt they saw a tear in the ACL. It was then confirmed after Fabbri flew to Chicago to see Dr Bernard Bach, who confirmed the injury.

Fabbri is now expected to undergo surgery to repair the injury within the first two weeks of October and is expected to make a full recovery before training camp next September. However, he has been ruled out to play any part this season or postseason.

21-year-old Fabbri has appeared in 123 regular season games in his career, recording 66 points (29 goals, 37 assists) and 52 penalty minutes.

Injuries keep racking up

The injury to Fabbri isn’t the only one that the Blues are currently dealing with. Forward Zach Sanford suffered a dislocated shoulder during his first practice session and is expected to miss five to six months, Alexander Steen sustained a hand injury that will sideline him for the rest of preseason at least, while defenceman Jay Bouwmeester left a training camp scrimmage with a fractured ankle.

The team were already without Patrik Berglund, who will remain sidelined until December while recovering from an offseason shoulder injury.

More opportunities for younger players

The injuries in the roster will certainly create more opportunities for some of the club’s top prospects that still remain on the training camp roster. These include Sam Blais, Tage Thompson, Klim Kostin and Wade Megan – all of which have impressed at training camp thus far.


KHL: Cash-strapped league cuts a team, reveals a six-month wage delay…


Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League has cut a team as it tries to fix its worsening financial problems, including debts owed to players of over US$17million.

On Wednesday, KHL president Dmitry Chernyshenko said that the league will be removing Metallurg Novokuznetsk, which had a 14-46 record and small crowds, in its bid to become more commercially successful.


Metallurg Novokuznetsk will be cut from the KHL for next season

Croatia’s Medvescak Zagreb had said in March that it would pull out of the league in order to join the Austrian-based EBEL.

Chernyshenko has said that the KHL – considered the world’s strongest ice hockey league outside the NHL – has been hit by ‘unprecedented’ salary delays to its players totalling over 1billion rubles (US$17.7million).

Also, seven of the KHL’s 29 teams are ‘regularly late’ with wages and some players have been waiting over six months to be paid.

Chernyshenko also said that the league will cut three more for the 2018/2019 season, with a statistical rating system measuring the on-ice ability of the teams, their finances and crowd appeal being used to determine who quits the league.

Other plans include lowering the salary cap and closing some loopholes which help big spenders, which could make the league more competitive and reduce the dominance of wealthy teams such as CSKA Moscow and SKA St Petersburg, both of which are funded by state-owned oil and gas companies.

IIHF World Championships: Tournament structure for 2018 announced…


The tournament structure for the 2018 World Ice Hockey Championships has been announced by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

The governing body of world ice hockey have confirmed a number of venues for the numerous tournaments under its jurisdiction.

The Danish cities of Copenhagen and Herning will play host to the flagship IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship, the top flight of international ice hockey, for the first time ever in 2018.

Buffalo, New York, will play host to the 2018 World Junior Ice hockey Championship, while the Under 18 tournament will be held in the Russian cities of Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk in the country’s Ural region.

In addition, the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia also announced that the Women’s Under 18 Championships are to take place in the city of Nizhni Novgorod.

Nizhni Novgorod is 400km east of the Russian capital Moscow and is one of the most famous centres for women’s hockey in the country as well as being the home of multiple women’s champions SKIF Nizhni Novgorod.

Along with the flagship events, many tournament have also been assigned for the lower divisions.

The best six nations outside the men’s top flight will contest Division 1, Group A of the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, with the event taking place at the 9,000-seater Laszlo Papp Sportarena.


Budapest’s Laszlo Papp Sportarena will play host to Division 1, Group A of the IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship in 2018. Great Britain will compete alongside hosts Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Italy and Kazakhstan. (Photo credit: Laszlo Mudra)

The venue has previously played host to several other hockey events, including the Division 1 Championships in 2011 and 2013 as well as pre-qualification groups for both the 2014 Sochi and 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Proposed dates for the tournament are 22-28 April 2018.

Slovenia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, Great Britain and host nation Hungary make up the teams in the tournament and the top two from the group will earn promotion to the 2019 IIHF World Ice Hockey Championships held in the Slovakian cities of Bratislava and Kosice.

Warsaw was also announced as a candidate for the 2018 Championships, however the bid was withdrawn by Poland since the country has hosted head-to-head events both 2015 and 2016. It does, however, plan to move forward with its application for another year.

Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania, will play host to Division 1, Group B which will see Ukraine, Japan, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia and Lithuania battle for promotion to Division 1, Group A.

After two successful tournaments in Vilnius during the past eight years, the event will be staged at the Zalgiris Arena, the largest indoor arena of the Baltic countries, with a capacity of 13,762 fans for ice hockey.

The venue has played host to a number of international basketball games, but will be ready for the proposed tournament dates of 22-28 April 2018.

In total, 27 tournaments have been assigned, with a number of new applicant for host cities, including Odessa in Ukraine, which will play host to Division 1, Group B of the 2017 Under 18 World Ice Hockey Championship.

The full schedule and programme for the 2018 World Championships can be found at this link: 2018 IIHF World Championship Programme

Ice Hockey: NIHL Division 1 South under review as teams withdraw…


The recently proposed structure of National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) Division 1 South is again under review.

This follows confirmation by the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) that the Solent Devils, Oxford City Stars and Chelmsford Chieftains had all withdrawn from the league within the past 24 hours.


Chelmsford, Oxford and Solent have all withdrawn from NIHL Div 1 South

As a result, the conference format agreed is now no longer viable and further clubs have requested their withdrawal from the league citing additional costs. This is due to the likely outcome being a regular league contested among the remaining sides.

Ultimately though, the result is that Solent, Oxford and Chelmsford will no longer compete in the division, leaving Basingstoke Bison, Bracknell Bees, Cardiff Fire, London Raiders, Milton Keynes Thunder, Peterborough Phantoms, Streatham IHC, Swindon Wildcats and the Invicta Dynamos as the only remaining teams in NIHL South’s top tier.

This will then lead to discussion over a new league and cup format for the new season, however this is yet to be confirmed.

A full statement from the Invicta Dynamos on the situation, along with a statement from the EIHA can be found here:


Ice Hockey: NIHL South format agreed after talks…


The format for the National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) South has finally been agreed!

After six hours of talks, the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) has announced that 12 teams will compete in Division 1 of NIHL South and these will be split into two conferences of six teams.

Applications to join the league from former English Premier League (EPL) sides Basingstoke Bison, Peterborough Phantoms, Bracknell Bees and Swindon Wildcats were also accepted during the league meeting.

As a result the two conferences will look like this, with each teams playing others in their own conference twice (home and away) and the teams out of their conference once (home and away)…
Conference A
Basingstoke Bison
Bracknell Bees
Cardiff Fire
Milton Keynes Thunder
Oxford City Stars
Solent Devils

Conference B
Chelmsford Chieftains
Invicta Dynamos
London Raiders
Peterborough Phantoms
Streatham IHC
Swindon Wildcats

2017/2018 also sees the introduction of an NIHL South 1 Cup and this will be split into two groups, with the early stages seeing one home fixture and one away fixture against the other teams in their group. The groups for this are as follows…
Group A
Chelmsford Chieftains
Invicta Dynamos
Streatham IHC
London Raiders

Group B
Basingstoke Bison
Bracknell Bees
Peterborough Phantoms
Swindon Wildcats

NIHL South Division 2 will revert to it’s original format – a single division of 13 teams, who will play once at home and once away, with discussions about a Cup competition continuing. Teams competing in NIHL South 2 are as follows…
Basingstoke Buffalo
Bristol Pitbulls
Bracknell Hornets
Cardiff Fire 2
Chelmsford Warriors
Guildford Phoenix
Invicta Mustangs
Lee Valley Lions
Oxford NIHL 2
Peterborough Phantoms 2
Slough Jets
Swindon Wildcats 2

It was also agreed that all NIHL South games ending in a draw after 60 minutes of regulation play, will go to five minutes of 3-on-3 overtime and, if required, penalty shots.

The season is schedule to begin on the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd September and end on the weekend of the 7th and 8th April, with postseason play being discussed on a wider basis following the NIHL Northern section meeting scheduled for next weekend.