You might think hockey's over
Till some could-be lockout's through
But if football's got your number
We've got one more tourney too
And sure it's rather amateur
But can beggars hardly choose?
Yes, it's not a huge deal, but it's televised (in Canada) and it could be a sight for hockey-starved August eyes: All a hockey fan wants is you some action, so this weekend the annual Canada-Russia Challenge gets underway. It's a four-game amateur set, a theoretical tribute to the famous 1972 Summit Series (a series that's worth your watch on DVD if you're into the history and the hockey Cold War).
As luck would have it, four Islanders prospects are on the rosters. As drafts would have it, three of them are defensemen: Top 2012 pick Griffin Reinhart is joined by 2012 3rd-rounder Adam Pelech and 2011 1st-round forward Ryan Strome for Canada. Defenseman Andrey Pedan pulls duty for Russia.