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Pre-game reading: In wake of Olympics decision, Toews hints at another lockout

-- Up top, Alex Ovechkin addressed the Olympics issue today in Toronto. He thinks the NHL might be bluffing about not participating in 2018. Of course, he also said he’s going to South Korea, “no matter what.”

-- Jonathan Toews has likewise voiced his displeasure with the league. He even hinted that the NHL’s announcement yesterday may lead to another lockout. “It just seems like it comes down to what can they get out of us when the next CBA negotiation rolls around. It’s not about the long-term goals of our game and growing it and the bigger picture.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

-- The Toronto Star’s Bruce Arthur sums up the situation nicely: “You know who really loses? Hockey. The first edition of the World Cup wasn’t a replacement, for the players or anyone else. These Olympics will be broadcast in China. The union and league just completed a joint trip there to drum up business and announced games in China. The Olympics are the biggest global stage there is.” (Toronto Star)

-- Phil Kessel’s sister, Amanda, is back playing hockey again. And that’s great news. Because not long ago, she was still dealing with a concussion, and she wondered if her career was done. “I tried to tell myself that I would be back, but I definitely doubted it at points. When it got closer to a year and a half, two years, I wasn’t sure. I kept thinking, ‘I want to play in the next Olympics, but am I going to be there?’ As the days went on, it seemed less and less likely.” (Postmedia)

-- All-around nice guy Ryan Miller took Nikolay Goldobin aside yesterday at Canucks practice to offer the 21-year-old forward some encouragement. “I just thought he looked good today and he looked like he needed somebody to tell him he was good,” said the veteran goalie. “He’s got a lot of good things going. Like a lot of guys, he’s young. He’ll get it figured out.” Goldobin, after getting called out by head coach Willie Desjardins, will be back in Vancouver’s lineup tonight in San Jose, and he’s expected to start on a line with the Sedins. (The Province)

Enjoy the games!