Weekly Links: Race and the treatment of Evander Kane; Hockey media news and insight; Quintal replaces Shanahan at NHL head office; 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!

  • Arctic Ice Hockey examines the role of race in the treatment in Winnipeg of the Jets’ Evander Kane. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
  • William Douglas gives a historical overview of Asians’ involvement in professional hockey. [Color of Hockey]
  • Sportsnet is seeking input from fans and developing a Fan Advisory Panel. Fans can provide input on programming and other broadcast concepts.  [Sportsnet]
  • Pat Maclean looks into some of the false narratives built by media and the negative ramifications of poor information. A fantastic piece. [Black Dog Hates Skunks]
  • With news the the Canadian government is slashing its budget by $130 million, the CBC has announced that it will no longer bid on professional sports, including, obviously, hockey broadcasts. [CBC]

Read more of this post

Weekly Links: Sochi reactions and news; Marginalization of female hockey fans; Buffalo building massive downtown hockey complex

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!

  • I just discovered the blog Puckology this week, and it’s pretty great! This article from Clare Austin gives an insightful commentary of how women hockey fans are rendered invisible in marketing. [Puckology]
  • New Englander Charles Pierce reflects on a lifetime of Montreal Canadiens fandom, including comments on Habs legends Jean Beliveau and Ken Dryden. [Grantland]
  • The Ontario Hockey League is stepping up its compensation package for its players, which is huge news. Check out Vicky Grygar’s great piece on this topic that was published on this blog last year for another take. [Sportsnet]
  • In light of Nicklas Backstrom’s failed drug test, which caused him to miss the men’s Gold Medal game between Sweden and Canada, Justin Bourne discusses prescription drug (ab)use in hockey. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin were apparently extremely frustrated with the management of Russia’s Olympic team in Sochi. Some really interesting commentary on the politics of the KHL and Russian hockey. [Pittsburgh TribLive]

Read more of this post

Weekly Links: Reactions to the NHL outdoor games at Dodger and Yankee Stadiums; Gino Odjick talks about fighting and health issues; demographic info on NHL fans

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 NHL hosted another of its Stadium Series outdoor games last weekend, but this time the game took place in the unlikely setting of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The Anaheim Ducks beat the host Kings 3-0, but the game was seen (aside from a massive revenue generator for the NHL) as a celebration of hockey in California – as the sport has grown immensely there since the early 1990s. Jen Neale, a California native, has an overview of the event from this perspective… [Puck Daddy]
  • … while Sean McIndoe offers the viewpoint of a (humorously) skeptical Canadian journalist. [Grantland]
  • Meanwhile, Travis Hughes captures the atmosphere at the Stadium Series game at Yankee Stadium, played between the New York Rangers and Islanders. [SB Nation]

Read more of this post

Weekly Links: Sexism in hockey media; the long-term impact of fighting and concussions; Markham and Edmonton arena news; 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!

  • A great read on sexism in hockey media and blogging. Puck Daddy’s Jen Neale has assembled a panel of 10 female hockey bloggers, who discuss a range of related and insightful questions. Definitely worth a read. [Puck Daddy]
  • Interesting story as two Puck Buddys writers and Washington Capitals fans use social media app Grindr in an attempt to determine if many gay men attend Capitals game. [Puck Buddys]
  • Jeff MacGregor with a persuasive argument about fighting in the NHL. Among the many great lines: “The idea that fighting in hockey somehow curbs greater, dirtier violence committed with sticks or skates has never had any empirical support. There’s no evidence that it’s a safety valve — or even that the game needs one.” [ESPN]
  • Meanwhile, Seth Wickersham has a balanced look at the Montreal Canadiens’ George Parros and his views on fighting in hockey. Another excellent piece. [ESPN]

Read more of this post

Fan Involvement in a Sports Team’s Decision Making

 Professional sports team owners and management strive to draw and retain fans by assembling a quality product in order to sell tickets and merchandise. There are numerous factors that influence how well a professional sports team draws fans: on-ice success, local economy, local sports market, demographics, to name a few. It’s crucial for teams, regardless of the external factors, to connect with fans and give them a reason to continue watching and attending events.

With the development of technology, including the rapid ascension of new interactive platforms and tools, the demand of the fans have evolved. This in turn has put the onus on sports team and leagues to adapt and accommodate to their relationship with fans. One recent study (Hyatt, C., et al, 2013) examined this new breed of fans and provided recommendations on how professional sports teams can implement new ways of drawing and retaining fans, who have evolved as a result of video games and fantasy league sports.

The authors suggest fans be given the chance to vote on managerial decisions pertaining to their hockey team. The study provides an analysis of the fan-management models employed by the Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer and Ebbsfleet United soccer club to draw out the pros and cons of fan managed teams as well as the lessons learned that could be used by other teams. The study emphasizes the importance of allowing fans to participate this way and points to how fans have evolved because of the technology available to them.

The implementation of our model is a step to engage big league sport consumers in a way that will strengthen the team-fan bond, help fill the seats, and generate more revenue in an era where maintaining attendance numbers has proven to be a challenge. (Hyatt et al, p. 201).

Having an opinion on the managerial decisions of a sports team is an important, engaging part of being a fan. There never is a dull moment for fans, as the nature of professional sports is extremely volatile. As teams win and lose, as players succeed and struggle, as management makes decisions, there is constant discussion about the game. Providing fans the opportunity to have an input on how team’s are managed would be great, but unfortunately there are a few flaws in the model suggested by the authors of this study. Read more of this post

Weekly Links: Reactions to hockey violence; Larry Kwong honoured; Tribalism and NHL fandom; KHL expansion; 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!

  • Fighting and violence have been hot topics this week, after a brawl between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres and two Vancouver Canucks players receiving suspensions from actions in a game vs. the Edmonton Oilers. Here, Dave Lozo has an interesting and entertaining take-down of fighting in the NHL. [Backhand Shelf]
  • James Mirtle weights in on the Maple Leafs’ “goon culture” and its consequences, in light of the brawl against the Sabres. [Globe and Mail]
  • Meanwhile, Tyler Dellow argues that the Canucks’ Zack Kassian, whose stick-to-the-face on Sam Gagner broke Gagner’s jaw and earned an eight game suspension (three preseason and five regular season games), should face criminal charges for the act. [mchockey79.com]

Read more of this post

Weekly Links: Stephen Harper’s New Book, Concussions in Junior Hockey, NHL Executive Salary, and More

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Source: CBC)

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Source: CBC)

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!

  • Congratulations to Team Canada for winning gold at the Four Nations sledge hockey tournament in Russia! All the best to the players as they get set for the Paralympic Winter Games in 2014! [CBC News]
  • The plans for a new arena for a new hockey arena continues to be an issue as the city of Detroit struggles. [Financial Post]
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s book A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs and the Rise of Professional Hockey is set to be released in early November. The book will delve into the history of the game with proceeds from the book going to the Canadian Forces Personnel and Family Support Services (CFPFSS). [Newswire]
  • It was announced this week that Russian legend Pavel Bure will be heading up a new KHL franchise in Sochi after the Winter Games are completed. It will be interesting to see what other long-term projects stem from the Olympics. [Ria Novosti]
  • While concussions have received a great deal of awareness and scutiny at the NHL level, Chris Peters argues that much more needs to be done at the junior and college levels in order to protect players form long term injuries to the head. [United States of Hockey]

Read more of this post

Beyond the Stats: An Interview with Rob Vollman

Rob Vollman's Hockey Abstract

Rob Vollman’s Hockey Abstract

The field of hockey analytics took a big step with the recent release of Hockey Abstract, a book which aims to provide a guide to statistical analysis in hockey. As more and more people, including fans and professional teams, seek a deeper understanding of the game, hockey analytics continues to grow and develop.

Author Rob Vollman currently provides analysis for ESPN, Hockey Prospectus, the Nation Network and Arctic Ice Hockey. He was kind enough to provide some additional insight into hockey analytics and what its role is in the game.

Read more of this post

Challenges Facing the Hockey Analytics Community

Edmonton Oilers' Bill Ranford

Hockey analytics is continuing to gain prominence, both as a tool for professional teams to make on-ice decisions and for fans who want to better understand the game. The online fan community has really been the driver of hockey analytics as they seek to answer questions and contribute to the information and knowledge that surrounds the game.

But with all the great advances there have been in hockey analytics, some challenges are surfacing that could potentially slow down the online community that drives it. I’ve tried to outline the few that I’ve noticed and that other knowledge-based communities have faced. I also reached out to a few members of the online hockey analytics community and embedded their responses.

Read more of this post

“Two Types of Fans”: Exploring the Relationship between the Edmonton Oilers and their Supporters

Source: Yahoo! Sports

Source: Yahoo! Sports

As the Oilers headed into their seventh straight off-season without a playoff appearance, the Edmonton Oilers announced the replacement of General Manager Steve Tambellini with former Oilers captain and coach, Craig MacTavish. At the press conference, John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal pointed out that the same management team that was in place before Tambellini’s dismissal was back in charge.

“How are fans going to be reassured that the group that left the mess that Tambellini couldn’t quite clean up is now going to be cleaned up by the guys who left the mess to begin with?”

Kevin Lowe, President of Hockey Operations for the Oilers, clearly irked by this question, responded with this:

Read more of this post