TURIN — Dominik Hasek is going to love playing in the Olympic Games.
Not only can the Senators goaltender wear his older, bigger equipment, Hasek — and the rest of the goalies — will be able to play the puck anywhere they want.
While the NHL has instituted a trapezoid behind the net where the goalies are allowed to handle the puck, there won’t be any of these particular lines on the ice when the men’s tournament opens Wednesday.
Therefore Hasek, who has been known to wander, can play the puck as much as he likes without worrying about getting a penalty — a big advantage for the Czech considering he’s been penalized on several occasions this season with the Senators for touching the puck outside the trapezoid.
The bigger question, for most goalies, is whether to use their older, bulkier equipment.
“I would expect, even though the goalies are allowed to use their bigger, older pads, when they arrive here they’re going to be using the equipment they’ve been using all season because they’re comfortable with it,” said IIHF technical director Dave Fitzpatrick, an Ottawa native.
In Hasek’s case, he’s bringing in the old pads to take utilize any advantage he can.
THE MEDAL PLAZA: It sounds more and more like an injured groin will keep Flyers C Peter Forsberg from playing in the Olympics. He didn’t accompany the Flyers to Ottawa last night, and won’t accept an offer from Swedish coach Bengt Gustafsson to travel to Turin anyway and hit the ice once he’s completely healthy. “That’s very nice of him to offer that, but I need to feel like it’s going to be improved enough to play,” Forsberg told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Otherwise, I won’t even go in the first place.” ... IIHF president Rene Fasel wasn’t saying much about the Wayne Gretzky gambling issue. “We will wait for more information,” Fasel said. “Wayne Gretzky will be here and hopefully, he will have some answers to your questions.” ... Francesco Capella, the coach of No. 1-ranked Juventus in the Italian Soccer League, is going to be doing a little extra work at these Olympics. Capella, who used to coach hockey in his younger days, will be working as a hockey expert on Italian television through the games.
ON THE PODIUM: The Montreal Canadiens are a classy organization. After reading last month that women’s hockey player Daniel Goyette — the Canadian flag bearer at the opening ceremonies on Friday — was a Habs fan growing up, Montreal VP of communications Donald Beauchamp decided to send her a present. Beauchamp had respected Le Journal de Montreal columnist Bertrand Raymond, who was headed to Turin to cover the Games, deliver a gift to Goyette — a Canadiens sweater with her name and the No. 1 emblazoned on the back. Goyette was emotional when she received the gift at a press conference on Friday ... Okay, we arrived at the Palasport Olympico this morning for an 11 a.m. press conference and have been without wireless since. A Turin Games organizing official just walked up and told me somebody is corrupting the whole system. Now, there’s two guys described as the “wireless police” with a machine walking around giving many suspicious looks. I am not guilty, but I hope they find the culprit soon ... Requested an interview with Ottawa’s Robin Clegg following his 36th-place finish in the men’s 20-km individual biathlon competition yesterday at Cesana San Sicario, but he refused to speak because he was in massage therapy. That’s okay, I’m sure Clegg gets so many requests to speak to the media that he has to turn the odd one down — especially from his hometown newspaper.
Have a nice Sunday.