Weekly Links: Reaction to Rogers’ NHL broadcast mega-deal; CWHL to be broadcast on Sportsnet; OHL launches mental health initiative; and more

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • Please check out our first of two posts on women’s hockey this week, which are using the IIHF’s Girls’ Hockey Weekend as an opportunity to discuss issues for women in hockey culture. The second piece will appear later this weekend. [Hockey in Society]
  • James Bradshaw takes an in-depth look at the 12-year mega-deal signed by Rogers for NHL broadcast rights, and how it will affect the Hockey Night in Canada programming and viewing experience. [The Globe and Mail]
  • Meanwhile, if you can get past the shameless self-promotion of Rogers, this Michael Grange piece gives some interesting insight into the company’s planned innovations for its broadcasts. [Sportsnet]
  • Katie Flynn has an excellent critique of the exclusion of many qualified women from the Rogers broadcast team – definitely a must read. [Pension Plan Puppets]
  • Clare Austen was frustrated by an interview with US hockey star Hilary Knight, who recently practiced with the Anaheim Ducks, which was posted on Puck Daddy. She critiques the substance of the interview and poses a series of questions that would provide deeper insight into issues and opportunities in women’s hockey. [Puckology]
  • Some small but important steps for the CWHL this year, as Sportsnet has signed on to broadcast the Clarkson Cup playoffs and an as-yet-to-be-named special event. [Sportsnet]
  • Unfortunately for women in NCAA hockey, there is no such TV deal for their competitions. Eric Burton explores why this is the case and argues for it change. [The Hockey Writers]

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IIHF’s “Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend”: A Chance to Reflect on Barriers and Opportunities for Women in Hockey Culture

The International Ice Hockey Federation is celebrating its fourth annual Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend this coming weekend. The event is designed to raise the profile of women’s hockey globally and to offer participation opportunities for girls, especially those who have never played. From the IIHF:

The World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend is a global opportunity for girls to try out hockey as a new sport. Thousands of participants took part in the editions in 2011, 2012 and 2013. . . . It is an opportunity for girls of all ages to try ice hockey. We are looking for hosts all around the world to bring girls from their community together on the ice.

This certainly seems like a noble initiative by the IIHF, although it is certainly debatable to what extent such efforts will close the very significant gender gap that exists between men and women when it comes to their experience as hockey players, fans, or even media members. One way in which this may prove to be a positive initiative is that it provides a prominent and public platform through which to foster dialogue about the opportunities for, barriers against, and experiences of women in hockey.

One of the fantastic consequences of the widespread adoption of new media technologies has been the democratiziation of media production – and, in the case of hockey media, this has meant the emergence of new voices that have challenged traditional narratives, entrenched members of the mainstream media, and long-held ways of understanding the sport. It has also meant that hundreds of women, who were barely represented in hockey media, have had a public platform to demonstrate their brilliant insights about the sport, celebrate their fandom, and – perhaps most importantly – to highlight the many ways in which women continue to be marginalized, excluded, and ignored in various facets of hockey culture. There are too many pieces to link, but highlights include insights into to learning to play hockey in a physically aggressive manner, commentary on the lack of opportunity for elite women players, strong critique of CBC’s disastrous “While the Men Watch” broadcast in 2012 (here, here, and here), and criticism of gimmicky attempts to market the sport to women fans. The work of these bloggers has, I believe, helped create space for male allies to criticize sexism and misogyny in hockey culture and to call on all actors – including fans, media, teams, and leagues – to do better when it comes to gender equality.

It is in this spirit that, with the IIHF’s Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend upcoming, Hockey in Society will be running two pieces this week to offer diverse perspectives on women’s hockey in Canada and around the world. This blog has made women’s hockey a major area of focus since its inception, and is currently in the process of recruiting more female writers to broaden the diversity of voices represented on the site. Later in the week, we will run a new Hockey in Society Roundtable featuring insights from female bloggers, academics, and players about women’s and girls’ hockey. Meanwhile, in this initial post I have collected together some of the many pieces about women’s hockey and the role of women in hockey culture that have been posted here since Hockey in Society launched three years ago. If you missed them the first time around, I encourage you to check out some of the past pieces on these topics.

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Weekly Links: Sexism in hockey media and fan groups; NHL expansion news and rumours; Ovechkin supports separatists in Ukraine?; and more

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • Alexander Ovechkin, who has a friendly relationship with Vladimir Putin, appears to be using social media to promote Russian propaganda and show his support the separatists in Ukraine. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
  • Jen Mac Rammos calls out hockey media for being a sexist and exclusionary boys’ club. A very important piece and a definite must-read. [Fear the Fin]
  • Two University of Ottawa hockey players have been charged with sexual assault, following an incident in February that led to the suspension of the entire team. This article situates the incident in a broader culture of sexual entitlement and rape that pervades many sporting and university environments. [The Star]
  • An interview with Mike Burse, a hockey writer who is working to bring the advanced stats movement to women’s hockey and the CWHL. [Hockey Wilderness]

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Mark Popovic, KHL player and former NHLer, on hockey culture and labour vs. passion in a pro career

This is one in a series of posts in which I will report back from The Hockey Conference that I attended in London, ON from June 18-20, 2014. As I did not digitally record any of the proceedings, any direct quotations may contain slight inaccuracies – however, I have endeavored to capture the essence of the commentary and to reproduce it as accurately as possible.

The first keynote of the conference featured Mark Popovic, a former NHL player who played 81 games over five seasons with the Anaheim Ducks and Atlanta Thrashers, and current player with Croatian club Zagreb Medvescak of the KHL. For reference, you can view his career stats here.

The keynote took a unique form, as conference organizer and Western University sport historian Dr. Don Morrow conducted a one-on-one interview in the vein of the popular Inside the Actor’s Studio television program. Popovic was gracious and forthcoming with his answers, although, as will be discussed, there was a contradiction in his views on the labour process in hockey that was not adequately resolved during the session. Nonetheless, Popovic provided great insight into the life of a professional hockey player and some of the struggles, challenges and rewards of this career. After the jump, I review three of the interesting themes that emerged from this session: hockey as labour, players as commodities, and the expression of passion and love for the sport. I conclude by briefly attempting to explore the apparent contradictions between the first two topics and the latter one. Read more of this post

Weekly Links: Debunking the value of enforcers; PK Subban polarizes Gen X and Gen Y; Blackhawks fans mobilize vs. sexism; and more

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • Good read by Mike Leonard debunking the notion that enforcers help deter violence against other players, with an analysis of Shawn Thornton’s time with the Boston Bruins. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
  • Avi Goldberg interprets PK Subban’s relationship with Montreal Canadiens’ management and fans through the frame of generational differences. A very interesting read. [The Barnstormer]
  • Chicago Blackhawks fans mobilized against the team’s sexism during its intermission activities, and the team responded by removing the offending features. [Puck Daddy]
  • Adam Proteau reports that Canadian entrepreneur Arlene Dickinson has joined the board of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, which is good news for the league. [The Hockey News]

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Weekly Links: PK Subban on the cost of playing hockey; Ex-NHLer John Rohloff suing NHL; Sabres’ owner to buy NFL’s Bills? And more

 

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

 

  • As his contract negotiations with Canadiens continue, P.K. Subban shares his insights on the state of the game, including the rising cost for parents. [National Post]
  • The Ontario Government is looking into potentially examining the working conditions of OHL players. [TSN]
  • Buffalo Sabres’ owner Terry Pegula is in the bidding to purchase the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, who’s owner Ralph Wilson passed away earlier this year. Andy Boron discusses the bid and its potential impact on the Sabres. [Die by the Blade]
  • John Rohloff, a veteran of 150 games for the Boston Bruins in the 1990s, is the latest to launch a lawsuit against the NHL for head trauma suffered during his career. [Puck Daddy]
  • The Hockey News looks back through its archives, and uncovers this quote from Bob Clarke about the arrival of Russian players in the NHL “I’ve never been in favor of the Soviets playing in the National Hockey League. . . .I have a lot of reasons in my own mind, one of which is probably prejudice.” [The Hockey News]
  • Adam Gretz looks back at the history of the Quebec Nordiques and their impact on the Colorado Avalanche, which they became in 1995. [SB Nation]
  • Speaking of Quebec, a new NHL-style arena is nearing completion even though the NHL has shown no inclination to expand to the city. [The Hockey News]
  • Greg Wyshynski on how the hiring of Kyle Dubas by the Toronto Maple Leafs represents a crack in the NHL’s Old Boy’s Club culture. [Puck Daddy]
  • Via SB Nation, Ann Frazier has put together a great video showing the location of NHL franchises from 1917 to the present:

Weekly Links: Backlash to Sharks’ “ice girl” decision; Imagining an expanded World Cup of Hockey; Thorold’s offensive First Nations logo

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • The San Jose Sharks plan to introduce “ice girls” next season, prompting many Sharks fans to express their anger at this decision – some have threatened to cancel their season tickets. [SI.com]
  • CTGray has a frustrated fans’ take on the sexism of the Sharks’ decision. [Fear the Fin]
  • Finally, Ryan Kennedy wrote an editorial about the lack of women in hockey outside of “ice girl”/cheerleader roles. [The Hockey News]
  • On the topic of sexism in hockey, if you missed Courtney Szto’s critique this week of Warrior Hockey’s marketing campaign please give it a read. [Hockey in Society]
  • Greg Wyshynski examines the offensive logo of the junior team the Thorold (ON) Blackhawks, which features a cartoon caricature of a First Nations man playing hockey. A movement is underway to have the logo changed and it appears likely to succeed. [Puck Daddy]
  • An interesting look at the history of skating rinks on Washington DC’s iconic Reflecting Pool, and an argument that it should be used as part of the Winter Classic festivities when the Capitals host the Chicago Blackhawks in January. [Puck Buddys]

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