Weekly Links: Joshua Ho-Sang and not fitting into hockey’s culture; Ottawa Gee Gees suspended for alleged “sexual misconduct”; Hockey community support for LGBTQ equality; 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!

  • Steve Simmons talks to prospect Joshua Ho-Sang who believes his skill and talent may be overlooked because of the color of his skin. A really interesting story. [Toronto Sun]
  • And here is Neate Sager’s take on the Simmons interview with Ho-Sang. [Buzzing the Net]
  • Clare Austin examines how prior perception impacts how people understand events and relationships, with a focus on the trade of Martin St. Louis for Ryan Callahan between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers. Probably the only time you will see the NHL trade deadline linked with a discussion of how dominant racial perceptions in the early 1800s facilitated the creation of unfair and racist policies and structures in the US. So, in other words, well worth a read. [Puckology]
  • The University of Ottawa, a member of the CIS, has suspended its Gee Gees men’s hockey team for the 2014-15 season and fired its head coach. The move comes “after an internal investigation of allegations of drinking and sexual misconduct by some players during a trip to Thunder Bay in February.” [Sportsnet]

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Weekly Links: Stanley Cup Finals odds and ends; Arena discussions in Alberta cities; World Cup of Hockey set to return in 2016; 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!

  • The Stanley Cup Finals are underway between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings. Chris Johnston report that Los Angeles, not know as a hockey hotbed, appears to be embracing the Kings in a big way. [Sportsnet]
  • Meanwhile, the Rangers have captured the New York sports spotlight – but, asks Evan Sporer, for how long? [SB Nation]
  • The picture for this post is of Rangers fans watching Game 1 in Bryant Park in downtown Manhattan. You can check out the story here. [SB Nation]
  • Mike Spry has a great piece on the media narratives that tend to overtake and be overemphasized in the Stanley Cup Finals. [TSN BarDown]
  • Meanwhile, Arden Zwelling has an interesting behind-the-scenes look at media day during the Finals. [Sportsnet]
  • Finally, for Stanley Cup related news, Greg Wyshynski reports that the first game of the Finals drew large ratings in the US for NBC. [Puck Daddy]

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Roundtable: Issues and Controveries at the Sochi Olympics

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.

The Olympic Games are, despite the Olympic Movement’s laughable claims about the separation of sport and politics, highly political events. Sometimes this politicization is obvious (e.g. Berlin, 1936; Mexico City, 1968; Moscow, 1980; Los Angeles, 1984; etc.) and other times it is more subtle – but every Olympics is hosted, supported, and contested by various actors seeking diverse political aims.

This year’s Winter Olympics, currently ongoing in Sochi, Russia, is one of the more overtly politicized Games in recent memory. Among the controversial political issues surrounding these Games are Russia’s introduction of repressive anti-gay laws, the massive hosting costs of over $50 billion dollars and the related allegations of corruption, the security concerns over terrorist attacks, President Vladimir Putin’s use of the Games as an empire-building exercise, the culling of stray dogs from Sochi streets, and the exploitation of labour in the construction of venues. And this does not even touch upon the sports themselves, supposedly the raison d’être for the Olympic Games!

Given the many complex and controversial sociopolitical issues surrounding the Sochi Games – and given the prominence of hockey as a marquee event at the Winter Olympics, as well as a form of soft diplomacy by Putin’s regime – it is timely for Hockey in Society contributors to weigh in on a variety of hockey- and sport-related topics. After the jump, five contributors share their views on a diversity of topics: LGBTQ rights at the Sochi Games; the hockey-related political machinations of Putin and Canada’s Stephen Harper; Canada’s increasingly hypercompetitive emphasis on its Olympic medal haul; the Games as an opportunity for hockey to evolve; and the question of whether women’s hockey will remain on the Olympic program.

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TSN’s ReOrientation Series

reorientation_649x100_57894TSN put together an excellent three-part series looking into sexual orientation in professional sports. Hosted by Aaron Ward, a 14-year veteran in professional hockey, the series interviews players to shed light on gay athletes and how professional sports are evolving.

From TSN:

In this special TSN report, Ward talks to other athletes, both gay and straight, about that culture, the need for change and how to make it happen. Included is a close look at Canada’s national sport and its apex – the National Hockey League – with intriguing comments from league commissioner Gary Bettman and players such as Dustin Brown, a tough-as-they-come Stanley Cup champion and team captain as well as former NFLer Esera Tuaolo.

Part 1 – The Culture of Casual Homophobia

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Weekly Links: History of the USSR’s involvement in Winter Olympics; TSN documentary on sport and homophobia; Fallout from brawl between Canucks and Flames

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 pre-Olympics exhibition in Russia explores the USSR’s involvement in the Winter Olympics, including its significance to the Soviet regime and the political wrangling it entailed. One fascinating tidbit is how the Soviets shifted from playing bandy to playing ice hockey in order to be more competitive in international competition. [The Moscow News; h/t to Joe Pelletier (@HockeyLegends) for the link]
  • TSN is airing a three-part series called ReOrientation, hosted by Aaron Ward, that looks at the impact of homophobia and gay rights in sports. Adam Proteau gives a favourable review, arguing that the show is “another indication of a trip down a road we as a society aren’t turning back from.” [The Hockey News]
  • One unique public good in Toronto is its public skating/hockey rinks, which are maintained by the city and free to use for all. Marcus Gee tours 10 rinks in one day to give an insight into their environment and use by locals. [Globe and Mail]

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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]

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Weekly Links: David Dziurzynski, the “Code,” and making it in the NHL; Islanders and Red Wings arena issues; Hockey participation rising in California, Iowa; 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 in-depth read about David Dziurzynski, the Ottawa Senators rookie who was knocked out last season in a fight with Frazer McLaren of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Amongst other issues, the article discusses the “Code” in hockey and the challenges faced by young hockey players looking to prove themselves and stick on a roster at the NHL level. [The Globe and Mail]
  • After the drawn out political saga of the New York Islanders’ attempts to redevelop their arena and remain located on Long Island, which ultimately ended last October with the team agreeing to move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the 2015-16 season, Nassau County politicians are now calling for the Islanders to remain in a redeveloped Nassau Coliseum. This is just the latest twist in an extremely drawn-out political battle, and Kevin Schultz is not impressed. [Islanders Point Blank]

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