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They’re playing ball hockey at Team Canada camp

Aug 26, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT

Canada ball hockey - Rosen

Thanks to insurance costs, both Team Canada and Team USA can’t participate on ice during their respective Olympic orientation camps. That’s not stopping Team Canada from trying to get some work in, however.

As Dan Rosen of shares, coach Mike Babcock coached two groups through drills via ball hockey. They covered up the ice at MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park and treated it like a day on the rink. Sort of.

The point to breaking out the ball hockey game was to help illustrate what Babcock wants to do on the larger ice surface they’ll deal with in Sochi. With international rinks sized at 200×100 there are methods to be addressed.

If they wanted to make this truly authentic ball hockey, however, they’d occasionally drive a car through to keep it lively.

(Photo: Dan Rosen via Twitter)


  1. hockey412 - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Ahhh. That’s probably why Giroux skipped it. He’s no good with balls, evidently.

    • 19to77 - Aug 26, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      They went golfing after, so you might just be on to something.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 26, 2013 at 9:43 PM

        Yep, tough life, ball hockey in the morning and then an afternoon golfing at Canyon Meadows Golf Club which is getting ready to host the Champions Tour (former Seniors tour) this weekend. They interviewed Marc O’Meara and he seemed genuinely star struck, talked about what a huge hockey fan he is.

      • 19to77 - Aug 26, 2013 at 10:29 PM

        Huh. Shame I missed that. Got to watch a bit of the ball hockey this morning, but the stands were media-only so it was just what I could see from over the seats down to the ice. Luckily still got a fairly decent view of the end Price was playing in. Claude Julien and Mike Babcock in shorts, t-shirts and hockey gloves is something I won’t soon forget. So weird seeing those guys in anything but suits.

  2. davebabychreturns - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    I’m going to take a wild guess and say this is an insurance loophole; the IOC/IIHF/Hockey Canada made it work to insure players professional contracts on the ice during games and practices in the actually tournament but won’t fit the bill for the same insurance for evaluation camps and here we are.

  3. jcmeyer10 - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    I want to play some floor hockey now. One of life’s simple pleasures.

  4. atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    In order to ensure that it would work the U of C Dinos hockey team did a walk through this weekend, and since Thornton and Giroux are missing Team Canada invited a member of the Dinos to join them so they had an even number of forwards. That has to be the greatest ball hockey game he’ll ever play in.

  5. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    So Insurance is the excuse this year why they can’t skate on some ice? There’s always something with the Olympics. Guaranteed no European countries are reduced to playing ball hockey.

    It always stinks of the European countries who run IIHF trying to give themselves an advantage. They know both North American teams are contenders for Gold, so typically they make up some of the dumbest rules to prevent them from practicing on Olympic sized ice.

    I’d love nothing more than Canada vs USA for gold. Just to watch Russian squirm.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      Apparently the insurance for the 4 days would have cost Hockey Canada over $1 million, which actually comes from the fees that are charged each season they play, HC decided they could make better use of the money, not sure I disagree with them on this one.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 26, 2013 at 4:24 PM

        Well… that tells me how dedicated Hockey Canada is at winning…. not very.

        Let’s just stick a bunch of guys together last minute and hope it works like we always do.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 26, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        … and your point is kind of what I’m talking about. Why does it cost $1M for a non-contact practice? You don’t find that remotely ridiculous?

        They’re just as likely to get injured playing ball hockey as they are ice hockey. Even more likely for knee and ankle injuries. Running is a lot rougher on the joints than skating. Plus, they’re just learning positioning, there’s no contact.

        On top of that, it’s only $1M. I’m sure 46 multimillionaire NHL players could afford the $20k it would cost… and it wouldn’t even dent their bank accounts.

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:24 AM

        The insurance premiums are different depending upon the player’s contracts. Not sure why you expect the players to cover managerial expenses

    • sunderlanding - Aug 26, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      Who cares it’s the Olympics. I hope Canada gets knocked out as quickly as possible, so we can start focusing back on the NHL. Go Leafs!

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 26, 2013 at 7:13 PM

        I still care, but I do find myself caring less and less about it. When NHLers first got to go it was exciting. It was every county’s best vs the best.

        Now it seems like hassle to even get them there, even if they do go, there’s so many rules in place to prevent them from doing their best it almost seems like they aren’t there for being the best athletes, but because the IOC can boost ticket prices. Gouging fans for their money is what the Olympics is all about now.

      • sunderlanding - Aug 26, 2013 at 7:46 PM

        I know what you’re getting at, but for me the Leafs winnning the cup would be infinately better than Canada winning gold. As a matter of fact I would trade one Leafs cup for Canada never to win gold again, and I would be perfectly happy.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 26, 2013 at 9:56 PM

        That’s probably because the Leafs haven’t won a cup in many of their fan’s lifetimes while Canada has won 2 of the last 3 gold medals. I don’t really agree with you at all but I can see where you’re coming from in that one seems like an impossible dream whereas the other seems run of the mill in comparison.

        One very overlooked aspect of this whole thing(and Kaptaanamerica can’t figure it out) is that it’s best to be a pretty good playoff team with very few of your players in the tournament, think about it, your players are on vacation enjoying a nice 17 day break (I’m sure 7-10 of those will be completely away from the rink) resting up and getting healthy for the stretch run and playoffs while other teams (Pittsburgh and Chicago being two good examples) will have a lot of their top players travelling 13 hours each way to the other side of the world, facing serious jet lag both times, to play multiple games in that same window. If I were a fan of a potential playoff team (and I’m under no illusions that the Flames will be that) I’d be cheering for none of my favorite team’s players to be selected to the Olympics.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 26, 2013 at 10:18 PM

        I want the Leafs to win a cup more than anything too, but Canada winning gold is right up there. Olympics and NHL season are two different things, you can cheer for both, Maple Leafs red or blue.

      • ishiibrad - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM

        I with you….. go leafs go. Go somewhere else and die already !

      • sunderlanding - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        Without the Leafs there would be no NHL. Every other team has to give them some thanks.

  6. atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    Comes from every kids fees I meant to say.

  7. jimw81 - Aug 26, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    im beginning to think there is friction btw crosby and giroux.

  8. multiplemiggs - Aug 26, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    of course they can get ice if they wanted, arent there jews in canada? somebody has the money to get them some ice to pkay on especially a jew

    • hockeyflow33 - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:26 AM

      I must have missed the period of time that Jewish people started buying up every hockey rink.

    • jimeejohnson - Sep 1, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      You sound like some kind of jealous prick. Luckily, evolution is weeding your kind out.

  9. joey4id - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    This team won’t be worse off during the Olympics because they didn’t skate at orientation camp. So you guys who pretend Canada is not serious about winning can put a sock in it. That being said, playing ball hockey during orientation camp is nothing less than amateurish. Even worse when you see, one of the best coaches of the game, barking instructions. This is nothing more than a paid vacation for the Canadian team. What next? Playing EA’s NHL 14 Olympic version. Those with sore fingers excluded.

  10. brainoflindros - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    The point was to illustrate what Babcock wants to do on the larger ice surface…yet the team has not been finalized…Yeah okay.

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