A Story of 15 CHL Players, Together, On One Journey

Last year I had the privilege of speaking with 15 former and current CHL players. Below are their journeys, combined into one. Each paragraph comes from a different player’s story.


 

A Story of 15 Players, Together, on One Journey

Ever since I can remember I was on the ice.

My Grandpa would take me skating,
started out on the pond.
Those times were my first memories of hockey.

I asked my parents if I could be enrolled one year.
I asked if I could play.

I still remember my first loss.

I had a yellow jersey on.

I was in grade 4 and it was the second or third game of the season in house league.

My mom said I came off the ice bawling my eyes out.

I just think that right away I was pretty much hooked though,
for the game. Read more of this post

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]

Read more of this post

Weekly Links: MLSE service workers strike, settle; Teenage boys must choose between CHL and NCAA; USA Hockey to ban fighting?

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!

  • Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the multibillion dollar corporation that owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, settled with its striking concession and service workers this week. Final details have not yet been released, but the MLSE proposals included wage rollbacks or freezes for many employees. [Rank and File; Toronto Star]
  • Big news in junior hockey, as USA Hockey is looking into banning fighting at all levels of its amateur system, including the junior league the USHL. [SB Nation]
  • Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe has an inside look at the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, which is headed by Brendan Shanahan and responsible for fining and suspending players for dangerous play. [Boston Globe]

Read more of this post

Weekly Links: Reaction to Shawn Thornton’s attack on Brooks Orpik; Big news in Canadian women’s hockey; Academic conferences on hockey research; 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 attack by the Boston Bruins’ Shawn Thornton on the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Brooks Orpik, which Courtney Szto discussed on this blog last weekend, has dominated the hockey headlines this week. Nicholas Cotsonika weighed in harshly against the act and the culture of violence in which it occurred. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Jonathan Willis discussed the incident and argued that the “grey area” around self-policing in hockey places players in untenable situations: “As long as the NHL persists in its tight-rope walk between policing the game and allowing the players to dispense . . . “frontier justice” it’s only going to be a matter of time until something like this happens again.” [Cult of Hockey]
  • Jay Rosehill of the Philadelphia Flyers came to Thornton’s defense in this lengthy interview. If you want an insight into the culture of hockey fighting and the “Code” then give this a listed. [Sportsnet]

Read more of this post

Weekly Links: Taylor Fedun’s Remarkable Comeback; Blackhawks Honored at the White House; Fallout from the Flyers-Capitals Line Brawl; Ken Dryden’s Response to Bobby Orr; and more

Source: NHL.com

Source: NHL.com

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!

  • Edmonton Oilers defenceman Taylor Fedun capped off a remarkable comeback to the NHL by scoring a goal in his first NHL game. The Princeton graduate shattered his leg almost two years on an icing play and missed an entire year due to the horrific injury. After playing a full season in the AHL, registering 27 points for the Oklahoma City Barons, Fedun returned to the NHL to resume his career. [Oil Spills]
  • The Chicago Blackhawks were honored at the White House by US President Barack Obama for their Stanley Cup championship. [Second City Hockey]
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s new book A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs & The Rise of Professional Hockey was officially released this week. Tony Keller provides an excellent book review. [The Globe and Mail]
  • Ray Emery and the Philadelphia Flyers have taken some heat for the line-brawl against Washington. Even though Emery went after Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, who really wanted no part Emery, it doesn’t appear any suspensions are looming. [Broad Street Hockey] Read more of this post

Hockey Research at the 2013 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) Conference

The annual conference for the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), a scholarly association for sport sociologists, will take place this week in Quebec City, QC. As usual, the program is packed with interesting presentations on a wide range of critical issues in sport; also as usual (e.g. the 2011 conference), there will be a number of presentations focused on or around the sport of hockey.

Many of the writers for Hockey in Society will be in attendance, and one – Vicky Grygar – will be presenting research on hockey. You can read the full program here, but after the jump I have pasted the abstracts of the hockey-related presentations that will be delivered (please note these are direct quotations of the abstracts and that the intellectual property belongs to the authors). Hopefully this gives readers a sense of some of the research being conducted by sociologists about hockey.

Read more of this post

Weekly Links: Bobby Orr’s New Book; Panthers Host LGBT Night; Research on Concussions in Hockey; Hockey Analytics; and more

Source: Sportsnet

Source: Sportsnet

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!

  • Hockey legend Bobby Orr recently spoke with Peters Mansbridge on The National  to discuss his thoughts on minor hockey and the methods of developing players. Orr also released a book entitled “Orr – My Story” this past week. A link to the full interview can be found here. [CBC News]
  • The Florida Panthers are partnering with the You Can Play Project to host LGBT hockey night this weekend. [Miami Herald]
  • Jeff Klein provides an excellent summary of the research discussed at a recent health conference regarding concussions in hockey. [New York Times] Read more of this post

Review: “Hockey: A People’s History” (2006)

In 2006, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) aired a 10-part series entitled Hockey: A People’s History (HAPH). Adopting the approach used in its popular 2000 miniseries Canada: A People’s History, the CBC focused in this series on the experience of Canadians with the sport of hockey for over a century. Beginning with early ball and stick games played in various societies over human history, the documentary quickly moves on to introducing European ball and stick games played on ice and First Nations baggataway (the forerunner to what became institutionalized as the sport of lacrosse) as the predecessors to modern hockey. After this very brief homage to hockey-like folk games, the documentary discusses the early organization of ice hockey by amateur athlete in Montreal and proceeds from there to focus entirely on the development of hockey in Canada over a roughly 125 year period.

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The Aftermath of the Canadian Hockey League Players’ Association (CHLPA)

Photo courtesy of http://www.chlpa.com

Now that the aftermath of the collapse of the Canadian Hockey League Player’s Association (CHLPA) has simmered, a period of sincere reflection is perhaps due. The CHLPA, whose mission was to represent all Canadian Hockey Players (CHL) players in a fair and equitable manner, disintegrated under pressure from the CHL. The organization vowed to provide unionized protection to over 1,400 hockey players across Canada, aged 15-20 years.

The greatest misstep of the organization was its association with Randy Gumbley, a former coach who was charged by Hockey Canada for committing fraud. Whether true or not, the allegations were enough to seize any momentum the CHLPA had gained. The Gumbley lawsuit is not black and white. After having organized a tournament in Europe during the 2004-2005 National Hockey League (NHL) lockout, things got messy and the tournament folded. Players paid substantial money to attend the tournament, and eventually a lawsuit unfolded. According to Gumbley, Hockey Canada is to blame and as you can imagine, going to war against the most powerful sport organization in Canada is not trivial. The story is interesting, yet extensive.

The CHL hired a private investigator to uncover the identities of the CHLPA founders, and once they realized it was a Gumbley project the organization hit a downwards spiral. Interestingly enough, although Randy Gumbley had little to do with the organization, and it was in fact Randy’s brother Glenn Gumbley who was the backbone, the CHL was successful in convincing media outlets all around the country that a fraudster was attempting to unionize and protect the hockey hopefuls of the CHL.

The saga of the Gumbley story is not over, and the end remains distant. The important thing though, to take from it all is that the information available to the public on the matter is not enough to make anything more than an opinion. With that said, there were many positive steps taken by the CHLPA in uncovering the realities occurring in regards to player treatment in the CHL.

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A Stipend or Restriction? Why CHL Players are Unable to Gain NCAA Eligibility

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Photo courtesy of unitedstatesofhockey.com

What changes need to occur to allow Canadian Hockey League (CHL) major junior players to be granted eligibility to play in US college system, the NCAA? The NCAA requests two alterations: 1) remove the stipend 2) remove the classification of “major” junior. The letter below received by the CHLPA from Natasha Oakes, Assistant Director of Academic and Membership Affairs of the NCAA, outlines the distinct barriers disallowing CHL players NCAA eligibility.

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I received this document from an inside source and was puzzled by the simplicity that would be involved in allowing CHL players to head down South. Then I began wondering what the ever so modest “stipend” CHL players receive is really for.

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