Weekly Links: A “Hockeynomics” for predicting success in international hockey; World Juniors reaction and Sochi Olympics news; Landeskog joins You Can Play; 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!

  • Jaideep Kanungo, inspired by the book Soccernomics, has produced a “Hockeynomics” theory to predict what countries will enjoy success in international hockey. A really interesting read. [Hockeyland Canada]
  • Ben Kerr argues that Finland’ recent Gold Medal victory at the World Junior Championships demonstrates that parity is increasing between nations in international men’s hockey. [Last Word on Sports]
  • Ken Campbell questions whether the World Juniors have become so large and corporatized in Canada that it is detrimental to the athletes involved. An interesting read with some good points, but… [The Hockey News]
  • … Neate Sager critiques Campbell, while recognizing the accuracy of some of his statements: “The two developments, profits from the Canada-hosted tournament increasing by a factor of six over a decade at a time when the national junior team’s fortunes are ebbing, aren’t necessarily entwined. Correlation does not confirm causation, but, but, it’s two notable trends.” [Buzzing the Net]

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Weekly Links: Sean Monahan and the NHL-CHL relationship; Steve Moore lawsuit to go to trial; Ethical sourcing of hockey gear; New books by Ken Dryden and Dave Bidini; 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!

  • Ken Campbell has an interesting read, in light of the Calgary Flames’ decision to keep 2013 first round pick Sean Monahan in the NHL, about the agreement between the NHL and the Canadian Hockey League that forces players to return to junior (rather than the AHL) if they do not stick with their NHL team. [The Hockey News]
  • Steve Moore’s lawsuit against Todd Bertuzzi, ten years after the latter’s attack on the former, will finally be heard in front of a jury in September of next year. [CBC Sports]
  • Hockey Canada is working to ensure that all of their products are manufactured by ethical suppliers. This is perhaps in response to the revelation that factory workers who were killed in the 2013 Bangladesh building collapse were making products for Loblaws. [Globe and Mail]

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Book Review: “Fighting the Good Fight: Why On-Ice Violence is Killing Hockey” by Adam Proteau (2011)

bookBefore I left on vacation I visited my local library to pick up some ‘summer beach reads’.  Naturally, as an academic geek and hockey fan I left the library with Adam Proteau’s Fighting the Good Fight: Why on-ice violence is killing hockey and Sheema Khan’s Of Hockey and Hijab: Reflections of a Canadian Muslim Woman (I don’t know how much hockey is in this one but the hockey sticks on the cover were enough to sell me).  The review of Khan’s book will have to wait for now but for anyone wanting to learn more about the arguments for and against hockey fighting Proteau’s book is an easy read with some interesting perspectives from players, coaches and other hockey personnel.

For those of you unfamiliar with Adam Proteau’s stance on hockey fighting he refers to fighting in the book as a “dancing bear show”.  He believes that fighting takes away from the excellence of the sport and that the NHL has severely failed as far as player safety is concerned.  Throughout the book he highlights how the culture of hockey has changed from using one’s body to separate a player from the puck to separating a player’s body from their head.  He backs up his statements with solid suspension and injury facts and from testimonials from hockey insiders such as long-time NHL referee Kerry Fraser and players Mathieu Schneider and Georges Laraque.

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Weekly Links: Gender Disparities in Media Coverage of Hockey Injuries; Winter Classic Alumni Game Participants Don’t Get Paid; Are the Montreal Canadiens Still Relevant?

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.

Hockey Links

  • Detroit native E. Martin Nolan had a busy week! In addition to his post considering the Toronto Maple Leafs as a public institution, he also wrote this great piece criticizing the (likely) possibility that the 2013 Winter Classic – featuring the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs – will take place at Michigan University in Ann Arbor instead of in Detroit. [E. Martin Nolan]
  • Dr. Nicole LaVoi, a Professor at University of Minnesota and associate director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, critiques the disparity in media attention given to severe injuries suffered in separate incidents by high school hockey players Jack Jablonski (male) and Jenna Privette (female). [MPR News]
  • And Chris Peters offers a rebuttal to LaVoi’s piece. [United States of Hockey]
  • I am working my way through the many excellent posts on A Theory of Ice. The most recent that I have thoroughly enjoyed is a critical look at the World Junior Championships and the effect that it has on the teenage boys who are the tournament’s stars. [Theory of Ice]
  • Puck Buddys is running a series of interviews with “Zach” – a gay high school hockey player in the US – about his experiences in youth and high school hockey. Parts 1 & 2 have so far been posted. [Puck Buddys: Part 1; Part 2]
  • Gare Joyce wrote a lengthy piece about the decline of the Montreal Canadiens’ relevance that, despite its flaws, points out some of the complexities of the team and its social/cultural significance in Quebec. [Sportsnet]
  • Speaking of those flaws… well, Canadiens fans were quick to critique Joyce and, in the process, produced a number of excellent posts that both take down Joyce’s arguments and provide some fascinating insight into some of the nuances that he glosses over. [Habs Eyes on the Prize; A Theory of Ice]
  • The alumni game between former members of the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers that preceded the Winter Classic drew over 45,000 spectators and generated a reported $4 million in profit. Players were not paid beyond airfare and accommodation. In other words, as the always insightful Justin Bourne puts it, they “got completely and utterly hosed.” [Backhand Shelf; Puck Daddy]
  • It is easy sometimes to forget that sports injuries have serious ramifications in everyday for more than simply the injured player. Lauren Pronger, wife of Philadelphia Flyer Chris, reminds us that the effect of injury spreads far beyond the arena. [SB Nation]
  • Ken Dryden writes about headshots and concussions, and wants to see more “fight” (as in tenacity within the rules) and less “fighting” (as in pugilism and dangerous checks). [Grantland]
  • Great post by Travis Hughes about pirated internet streams of hockey games and how the NHL’s policy of blacking out local games in its online package may be driving fans to these illegal feeds. [SB Nation]
  • Justin Bourne consider what “we” means to hockey players, in terms of the team, the fans and the media. Interesting stuff about identity around professional sports teams. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Interesting infographic showing how the camera placement in sports arenas that TV networks use to get their game action shots. The representative hockey infographic is for Joe Louis Arena, the home of the Detroit Red Wings. [Puck the Media]
  • Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has won an award for his activism in support of gay rights. [The Star]
  • Crime fiction meets hockey in The Code, the debut novel of sportswriter Gare Joyce. [Globe and Mail]
  •  On the 54th anniversary of his NHL debut, a look at the career and life of Willie O’Ree, the first black player in the league. [Puck Daddy]
  • A positive review of the upcoming movie Goon, that is somewhat of a counterpoint to Courtney Szto’s post about the film. [Jerseys and Hockey Love]
  • After a hazing incident that involved teenagers getting drunk and being forced to cross-dress, a Michigan high school hockey coach is fired. Except, according to the coach, it wasn’t hazing: “”It’s not hazing,” Montrose told WDIV. “This is something like a right of passage. . . . It’s more like team building.””  [Prep Rally]

General Sport Links

  • I definitely recommend that you check out York University PhD student Nathan Kalman-Lamb’s new blog. In this post he looks at the Penn State scandal and examines where the blame should be placed. [Nathan Kalman-Lamb]
  • Why reform of the flawed NCAA system is unlikely. [Inside Higher Education]

Future Reading: “Fighting the Good Fight: Why On-Ice Violence is Killing Hockey” by Adam Proteau (2011)

Future Reading is an occasional feature that highlights new or upcoming publications on sport, and particularly hockey, that relate to Hockey in Society’s content and/or that may be of interest to its readers.

Adam Proteau’s new book, Fighting the Good Fight: Why On-Ice Violence Is Killing Hockey, is incredibly timely. In particular, one can’t help but feel that the subtitle is a conscious allusion to the off-ice death of three hockey enforcers this past summer. Hockey fighting quickly became a hot button issue following the deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien, and Wade Belak, and this debate has taken on increased intensity following the New York Times‘ series on the life and untimely death of Boogaard. It is in this climate that Proteau’s book has been released, and while Fighting the Good Fight was most likely undertaken well before the events of this past summer, it will instantly become part of the ongoing, but recently intensified, debate about the role and consequences of fighting in hockey.

Proteau is an excellent columnist for The Hockey News, a rare writer who can simultaneously be informative, analytical, and entertaining. He is noted as a prominent anti-fighting voice within the mainstream media, and brings this perspective to bear in this book. The early reviews from the hockey blogosphere suggest that Proteau’s book could be quite influential in swaying the opinions of some of those who remain in the pro-fighting crowd. A review on The Hockey Writers states:

I was skeptical at best before reading Proteau’s book. However, his factual evidence, persuasive arguments, and straight-forward ideas have forced me to rethink what hockey actually is versus what it should/could be. Fighting the Good Fight should be mandatory reading for all hockey fans. It may just make one think about what really belongs in the sport.

What gets me really excited as a sociologist is that Proteau not only appears to have used extensive interviewing to reach his conclusions, but also that he expands the discussion from the single issue of fighting to critique the broader culture of hockey. From a review on Hockey Book Reviews:

[Proteau] talks with medical experts on head injuries and concussions. He talks with players, coaches, managers and experts about head shots, aggressive bodychecking, injuries and discipline. . . . Furthermore he expands his attack to the entire established hockey culture.

This definitely looks to be valuable contribution to the popular hockey literature, and it is a book that I am excited to read. I purchase the book over the holidays, and hope to have a review of it up on this site early in the new year.

Future Reading: “Sport, Violence and Society” by Kevin Young (2011)

Future Reading is an occasional feature that highlights new or upcoming publications on sport, and particularly hockey, that relate to Hockey in Society’s content and/or that may be of interest to its readers.

Well this is exciting, at least if you’re a nerd like me: a new book on sport and violence by sociologist Kevin Young. Dr. Young is a professor working in the University of Calgary’s Department of Sociology, and he has written extensively on issues relating to criminology, violence, and sport.

The summary of Sport, Violence and Society from Routledge’s website:

In this landmark study of violence in and around contemporary sport, Kevin Young offers the first comprehensive sociological analysis of an issue of central importance within sport studies. The book explores organized and spontaneous violence, both on the field and off, and calls for a much broader definition of ‘sports-related violence’, to include issues as diverse as criminal behaviour by players, abuse within sport and exploitatory labor practices.

Offering a sophisticated new theoretical framework for understanding violence in a sporting context, and including a wide range of case-studies and empirical data – from professional soccer in Europe to ice hockey in North America – the book establishes a benchmark for the study of violence within sport and wider society. Through close examination of often contradictory trends, from anti-violence initiatives in professional sports leagues to the role of the media in encouraging hyper-aggression, the book throws new light on our understanding of the socially-embedded character of sport and its fundamental ties to history, culture, politics, social class, gender and the law.

The Table of Contents offers some intriguing chapter titles, including “A History of Violence: Definitions, Theories, and Perspectives”; “Player Violence: The Drift to Criminalization”; and “Risk, Pain, and Injury in Sport: A Cause or Effect of Violence?”. Young has produced some very interesting scholarship over the years, so his new insights into sport violence should make for a fascinating and enlightening read.

One quibble: unless Young offers specific insight into the incident pictured on the cover – that is, Zenidine Zidane’s headbutt to Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup Final – I don’t find it a particularly helpful cover image, as I think there are far more compelling and less sensational examples that better highlight the many sociological problems concerning sports violence. I suspect that the choice of cover was a decision made by the publisher rather than the author, and that Routledge may have picked an image designed to appeal to a larger market rather than to reflect the content of the book. But, lest I be accused of judging a cover by its book, I will have to wait until I read Sport, Violence and Society to pass judgement.

Overall, this looks like it should be a very insightful publication that seems particularly topical to hockey fans and scholars, given the current climate surrounding issues such as fighting, headshots, frontier justice, and concussions.