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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Hockey Research at the 2014 “Putting it on Ice” Conference

Starting tomorrow in London, ON, hockey researchers and academics will gather at Western University for the fourth Putting it on Ice Conference. This conference, which was last held in Halifax, NS in 2012, is exclusively focused on scholarship related to hockey, whether that be sociological, political, historical, media, literary or economic research. Not surprisingly, there are lots and lots of fascinating papers being presented this year that align with the interests and focus of this blog – and I am happy to say that I will be in attendance to hear them all. While I don’t have space to summarize every paper that will be on the program, after the jump I have copied and pasted the titles and abstracts of just some of the papers I am particularly interested in – but I am sure that many other papers will also catch my interest and stimulate my intellect! You can check out the full program here and the abstracts here.

Full disclosure: I am co-presenting a paper, with Tobias Stark from Linnaeus University in Sweden, which for the sake of interest I am including in the selection of abstracts below.

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Signal Boost: Barb Underhill, the woman who teaches the NHL how to skate

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Underhill working with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Photo from Tampa Bay Lightning.

** Cross posted on The Rabbit Hole.

The Pacific Standard recently wrote an article about NHL skating coach and consultant Barb Underhill.  I have been a hockey fan since I was six and I had never heard about this woman before.  After reading the article and watching a couple of YouTube clips I am inspired and want nothing more than for her to  add me to her list of pupils.  I don’t know how the world of sports has managed to keep Underhill such a well kept secret (perhaps its because NHL hockey remains a marginal sport in the US market?) but I think that proponents of women’s equality in sports should have her face plastered on every piece of marketing material possible!

Underhill, 51, is a former Canadian competitive pairs figure skater who skated in two Olympic Games and in 2009 was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.  After her competitive career ended she moved into television commentating but for the last eight years she has been back on the ice where she belongs teaching the best of the best how to be…even better!  While not a hockey player herself she has been surrounded by the game and really, it doesn’t matter whether or not she knows hockey because she knows skating.  As Underhill points out, figure skaters take private lessons for pretty much their entire skating careers but hockey is predominantly learned in a group setting and skating, oddly enough, skating is kind of learned incidentally.  So if you have done like I have and walked by the figure skaters practicing with your hockey bag on your shoulder shooting the toe picks a snide grin of superiority maybe next time it should be an inviting grin that will hopefully turn into a new friend and free skating coach! Read more of this post

Weekly Links: Terry Trafford’s death raises questions about mental health responses; Shannon Szabados debuts in men’s hockey league; Rogers unveils details about its NHL coverage for 2014-15; 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!

  • Sad news this week, as OHL player Terry Trafford took his own life after being sent home by the management of the Saginaw Spirit. Neate Sager has an excellent post calling for the league to develop a more comprehensive and effective strategy for dealing with its players mental health struggles. [Buzzing the Net]
  • In light of Rich Peverley’s scary collapse on the Dallas Stars bench during a game, Bruce Arthur weighs in on the expectations of toughness for hockey players. A good read. [National Post]
  • Melissa Geschwind has an excellent post titled ” The institutional sexism of NHL Ice Girls.” I suggest you give it a read. [Puck Daddy]
  • In more positive news for gender equity, Shannon Szabados – the goaltender for Canada’s gold medal women’s hockey team in Sochi – is now playing professionally for the Columbus Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League. Adam Proteau and Karen Crouse have excellent profiles of Szabados. [The Hockey News; New York Times]
  • Hockey in Society contributor E. Martin Nolan writes about being a Detroit Red Wings fan in the absence of retired star Nicklas Lidstrom. [The Barnstormer]
  • An excellent critique of the funding of the Red Wings’ new arena, which will bring yet another new sport stadium built largely with public funds to the bankrupt city. [Deadspin]

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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]

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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]

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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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