NHL closer to sending players to Olympics, Bergeron won’t require surgery and Ribeiro’s wife ‘pissed’ about leaving

NHL players, especially the Russians like Ilya Kovalchuk, want to head to Russia next February. (Kaiser matias/Wikimedia Commons)

NHL players, especially the Russians like Ilya Kovalchuk, want to head to Russia next February. (Kaiser matias/Wikimedia Commons)

The NHL was busy this weekend. In addition to draft festivities, a five-hour meeting was held in New York to discuss whether or not the NHL will send its players to Sochi, Russia for the Olympics next February. The issue isn’t settled yet, but, according to Jeff Z. Klein of The New York Times, several participants are “confident a deal is within reach.”

NHL players have been participating in the Olympics since 1998, but there have been reservations about sending players this time around. The Games are coming up quickly and begin in seven months

“We’re on a compact schedule, and everyone’s working very hard,” said N.H.L. Commissioner Gary Bettman, flanked by Donald Fehr, the executive director of the Players Association, and René Fasel of the International Ice Hockey Federation. “We seem to be pulling the oars in the same direction.”

“I think there are some agreements in principle, but we’re not completely in agreement on everything yet,” Bettman said. “But we’re getting closer on the open issues.”

Bettman called the meeting constructive and said he thought a solution could be found “very soon.”

While there is no word on players just yet, the United States and Canada have already selected Dan Bylsma and Lindy Ruff as their respective head coaches.

*     *     *

Despite suffering numerous injuries in Games 5 and 6 of the Stanley Cup final, Bruins center Patrice Bergeron will not require surgery according to the Bruins’ official Twitter feed. Bergeron defined Boston Strong in the playoffs as he put the team and city ahead of his own injuries which included cracked ribs, torn cartilage, a separated shoulder and collapsed lung that caused him to spend three days in the hospital.

He talked to Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston about his injuries, explaining when and how he received them and describing his collapsed lung.

After Game 6, he had problems breathing.

“I felt like my chest was closing in on me, so the doctors didn’t want to take any chances,” Bergeron said.

He had X-rays taken at TD Garden, but the results weren’t clear enough so he went to Massachusetts General Hospital.

“Luckily enough, they made the right decision because I went there right away and they found my lung had collapsed,” Bergeron explained.

A specialist was called in to perform a procedure to inflate his left lung. Bergeron explained a hole was made through his rib cage to allow a tube to go into the lung.

Bergeron, in true blue-collar style epitomizing the people of the city he plays for, asks for no special attention or recognition for what he went through, simply saying “I wasn’t the only one playing through pain.”

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The Washington Capitals rejected the five-year deal center Mike Ribeiro was seeking and allowed him to enter free agency which begins July 5. He will now get a pick as to which team he heads to as he is one of the top UFA centers, though his wife isn’t exactly welcoming the opportunity. Via The Toronto Sun, Tamara Ribeiro is “pissed beyond belief” that the Capitals won’t sign her husband after acquiring him in a trade last summer for Cody Eakin and Boston’s 2012 second-round draft choice (previously acquired, used by Dallas to select Mike Winther 54th overall).

A year ago, Mike and Tamara had to move their three children over 1,300 miles from Dallas to Washington D.C. and now they’ll have to do it all over again. She called out the Capitals on Twitter saying:

Nothing like being uprooted from your home for a year for absolutely no apparent reason. #pissedbeyondbelief

The combination of moving again without having actually accomplishing anything was too much, so hopefully Mike can make her happy with a long-term deal.


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