Weekly Links: Cost of hockey for parents; Potential NHL rule changes; Curbing fighting in junior hockey; Bettman’s comments about the season; Director of hockey analytics hired; and more

Source: Scouting the Refs

Source: Scouting the Refs

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 recent study found that the cost of hockey is roughly $1,600 per year, the most expensive compared to other activities. [CBC News]
  • USA Hockey’s board of director’s have approved rules to curtail fighting at the junior level. Also of note, the playing membership in the US is at an all time high. [United States of Hockey]
  • A look into the potential rule changes recommended by the NHL’s competition committee. Included are fines for embellishing,  an option for coaches to challenge calls and expanding video review. [Scouting the Refs]
  • The Canadian Women’s Hockey League is looking to add a second US franchise, with New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Detroit submitting bids. [ESPNW]
  • Team Canada goalie and Olympian, Charline Labonte recently spoke about being gay and experiencing the Sochi games with her partner, and Olympic speed skater Anastasia Buscis.  [Outsports]
  • A look into the some of the challenges NHL ice girls, or cheerleaders, deal with on a regular basis. [Mother Jones]

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Weekly Links: Successful Toronto youth program for disadvantaged and minority boys; the business of the NHL; Stu Grimson, Jim Thomson weigh in on fighting; 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 really interesting read from William Douglas about the Skillz Black Aces and the Black Mafia, two Toronto teams for male youth of colour that were “created to give minority and disadvantaged Canadian youth the exposure and the opportunity to play the expensive sport of hockey.” The teams have featured NHLers such as Kevin Weekes, Anson Carter, Joel Ward, Chris Stewart, and Wayne Simmonds. [Color of Hockey]
  • Eric Duhatschek conducted an in-depth interview with NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, that explored topics such as potential expansion, league revenues, Canadian TV contracts, and more. [Globe and Mail]
  • Meanwhile, Greg Wyshynski interviewed the NHL’s John Collins about the NHL Stadium Series and various media ventures, including its newly announced “NHL Revealed.” [Puck Daddy]

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Weekly Links: High cost of minor hockey hindering participation; 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame inductions; World Cup of Hockey or Olympics participation for NHL players?

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 really interesting article from James Mirtle that looks at the how the high cost of hockey participation is increasingly excluding children from middle class backgrounds from participating [Globe and Mail]
  • Three minor hockey coaches in Nova Scotia have been suspended for allegedly using bounties to encourage players to throw large hits during games, as well as for verbally abusive behaviour. [CBC News]
  • Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis weighed in on the ongoing discussion about the role of analytics (AKA advanced stats) in hockey, expressing skepticism at their value but remaining open to using them. [Globe and Mail]
  • Chris Johnston reports that, despite ongoing debates around headshots and concussions, the NHL is making strides in more cautiously treating head injuries. [Sportsnet]

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NHL ’94 and Hockey Nostalgia: An Analysis of Hockey’s Most Culturally Resonant Video Game

In the Fall of 1993, EA Sports released the third edition of its NHL video game series for the Super NES, Sega Genesis and PC computer consoles. The game, titled NHL ’94, quickly became popular amongst video gamers and hockey fans. However, at the time few could have predicted the cultural impact that NHL ’94 would have – the game is a touchstone for hockey fans in their mid-20s and 30s and has infiltrated both hockey and popular culture more broadly. The game has been referenced in films, become a defining feature of a star NHL player’s legacy, and now has been stylistically re-imagined in the latest version of EA Sports’ series, NHL 14. In NHL 14, which was released today, gamers can revisit nostalgic features of NHL ’94, including simplified controls, organ music, and blue ice.

Video gaming is a significant part of the contemporary sport economy and a major form of online and in-person social interaction for tens thousands of hockey fans. NHL ’94 is undoubtedly the most culturally resonant of the dozens of hockey titles that have been released over the past four decades. This post examines the game’s cultural resonance, contextualizes its development in the broader professional hockey economy, and discusses the ways in which it represents an outlet for and celebration of nostalgia amongst hockey fans.

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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]

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Weekly Links: NHL Expansion and Realignment, NHL Player’s Responses to Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws, Glendale’s Service Cuts, Hockey Night in Canada Negotiations and More

Seattle, Washington (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Seattle, Washington (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

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!

  • Todd Little explores the potential of expanding the NHL teams to 32, including an excellent assessment of Seattle, Quebec City and Portland as legitimate options. [Litter Box Cats]
  • A good, in-depth look at the implications of Russia’s anti-gay laws on NHL players at the Olympics and the expectations for athletes at the Games, including discussion of recent comments made by NHL stars Henrik Lundqvist and Henrik Zetterberg. [United States of Hockey]
  • Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk, when asked about gay rights, replied “I’m an orthodox, and that says it all”. The Russian Orthodox church strongly supports anti-gay legislation, which will lead to more questions about Datsyuk’s position regarding homosexuality. It’s also an interesting time in the state of Michigan, which is currently debating the issue of gay marriage. [SB Nation]

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Roundtable: The NHL and NHLPA Partner with the You Can Play Project

Roundtables are an occasional feature on Hockey in Society. Roundtables will present brief commentaries from Hockey in Society contributors on pressing or timely issues within hockey and its culture, with the aim of presenting a diverse range of critical viewpoints on the topic under discussion.

On April 11, the NHL and NHL Player’s Association announced a joint partnership with the You Can Play Project, an anti-homophobia initiative started by NHL scout Patrick Burke. The partnership will aim to create a welcoming environment for hockey players of all sexual orientations and to provide educational resources to incoming and current players. From You Can Play’s press release:

The official partnership with You Can Play includes a significant commitment to education and training for teams, players, media and fans plus the production and broadcast of more public service announcements.  The NHL becomes the first major American professional sports league to officially partner with an LGBT advocacy group on this scale. . . .

You Can Play will conduct seminars at the NHL’s rookie symposium to educate young prospects on LGBT issues. In addition, You Can Play will make its resources and personnel available to each individual team as desired. The NHLPA and NHL also will work with You Can Play to integrate the project into their Behavioral Health Program, enabling players to confidentially seek counseling or simply ask questions regarding matters of sexual orientation.

Regular readers of Hockey in Society will know that issues of homophobia in or related to hockey cultures have been a prominent feature on this blog – from the notable recent changes to hockey’s traditionally homophobic culture, to Brian Burke’s strident and public anti-homophobia stance, to the Canadian Conservative government’s downplaying of Canada’s support of gay marriage in favour of publicizing famous hockey victories, to, of course, the emergence of the You Can Play project in 2012. Given this history of critical treatment of LGBTQ issues in hockey and the significance of the newly formed partnership, Hockey in Society is proud to present its second Roundtable on this topic. After the jump, you will find commentary from three Hockey in Society contributors: Courtney Szto, Matt Ventresca, and Alvin Ma. Hopefully these differing views shed valuable light on the issue of homophobia in hockey cultures and spark important debate and discussion on this subject and related issues.

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