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IIHF extends Oly roster deadline

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THE roster deadline for the 2014 Sochi Olympics has been pushed back to Jan. 7, the International Ice Hockey Federation announced.

Originally, national federations had until Dec. 31 to submit 25-man rosters for the tournament, which begins Feb. 12. Russia and other European countries were lobbying for a later date and got their wish.

Now teams have until noon Eastern on Jan. 7 to make their rosters official. That's a little extra time to take injuries into account, such as Canada with Steven Stamkos's broken tibia.

Through a Hockey Canada spokesman, president and CEO Bob Nicholson said the management team is working hard to be ready to name a roster and this extension gives general manager Steve Yzerman and his staff more time. Hockey Canada has not formally set a date to announce its roster.

The United States will still reveal its roster Jan. 1 in conjunction with the Winter Classic. The women's team will be announced at the second intermission, while the men's team will be unveiled after the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings in Ann Arbor, Mich.

"We look forward to celebrating the American player through the announcement of our Olympic teams as part of the NHL Winter Classic," U.S. hockey executive director Dave Ogrean said in a statement. "It will be an extraordinary stage with an Original Six matchup, a record crowd, a worldwide television audience, the great pageantry of the event itself, and of course the unveiling of both our men's and women's Olympic teams."

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email to The Canadian Press on Wednesday the league and players' association were consulted before the change was made.

The NHL and NHLPA agreed to compromise with the IIHF on the deadline after several countries pushed for it to be even later, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The IIHF said in a statement that Jan. 7 was picked so as not to conflict with the conclusion of the world junior hockey championship, which wraps up Jan. 5.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 28, 2013 D10

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