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Morning Java: For sale … not much

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

SOCHI, Russia — Доброе утро, Lunatiks …

>> The Friday column is the only one I’ve filed from this side of the planet I really hope you read. It’s about the national hockey team. And the sports page you see above was beautifully designed back in Pittsburgh by our Matt Rosenberg.

The hockey notebook focuses on Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz seeking offense, Finland’s challenge today and much more.

The national women’s team took the loss of a lifetime.

The weekly chat again was all Olympics.

Here are all 12 videos for Channel 11 News so far, including yesterday’s about the national hockey team …

I’m also doing weekday reports for TribLIVE Radio, and here’s yesterday’s edition interviewing Patrick Kane and two other Team USA players.

Here’s the Trib’s Olympics page.

Here’s the official Sochi 2014 page, with all the schedules and results.

Here’s the official U.S. Olympic team page.

Here’s the official NHL Olympics page.

And here’s NBC’s Olympics page with all the highlights.

>> When these Olympics are done in a couple days, the Russians will have plenty of keepsakes and souvenirs. Mostly because they really haven’t sold many.

I’m typing this from the press tables inside Bolshoy Ice Dome, where some of the biggest hockey games in history could be played today and visitors are arriving from around the world … and there’s almost nothing to buy. The concourses are blank white walls, separated by an occasional food stand bearing Coca-Cola logos. That’s it. No Olympic hockey programs, T-shirts, pins, pucks, nothing.

The entire Games is like that, and at the risk of engaging in social commentary, you can’t help but wonder if it’s mostly to do with this part of the world still being so ingrained in the old socialist approach that making money seems an afterthought. I mean, there’s one souvenir store in the entire Olympic Park, no independent kiosks. And even inside that store, the shelves are half-empty because what arrived was snapped up quickly and never replaced.

All of which is my very long-winded way of saying, no, I’m not bringing you anything.

>> Back in that other hemisphere, the Penguins expect to elevate the roles of Olli Maatta and Matt Niskanen once play resumes. Josh Yohe reports.

Here’s the Trib’s Penguins page.

>> Jordy Mercer is excited to be the Pirates’ everyday shortstop. Rob Biertempfel reports from Bradenton. Here’s some of what Mercer and Clint Barmes had to say about the position …

Here’s the Trib’s Pirates page.

>> Salary cap relief? Could be coming, Alan Robinson reports from the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

Kevin Colbert calls the Steelers’ past two seasons ‘devastating.’

Here’s the Trib’s Steelers page.

>> In some in-house news, TribLIVE Radio announced yesterday that Chris Peak of is joining our ranks. I could give you the man’s bio, or I can just tell you that the guy knows Pitt football and the recruiting business. Lives and breathes it. Great addition.

>> Three more days.

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Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

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