Happy Birthday Šatan; or, How Should a Legend Retire?

The only pet I ever had was a small water turtle. I got it in the summer of 2002, and its name was Šarky (read as Shar-ke), as it was the most popular name in Slovakia at that time. You could hear it in phrases like “Šarky is God!” or “Šarky to the castle!” (in Slovakia this latter phrase doesn’t indicate any historic sightseeing, but becoming the country’s president). Šarky is not a regular given name, but it is the official nickname of Miroslav Šatan, a retired Slovak ice hockey player, who captained the national team to one gold, two silvers and a bronze in four World Championships, won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009 and never really said a “proper” goodbye to the ice hockey scene. On October 22, Šarky celebrated his 40th birthday and all of the Slovak media celebrated with him. However, you could sense some uncertainty about the recent position Šatan is occupying in the minds of Slovak sports fans.

If the Slovak ice hockey in the era of its independence (which means since 1993) was to have a synonym in a person of a single player, then it definitely is Miroslav Šatan. He played with the senior men’s team since 1992, moreover, the very next year he was also drafted to the NHL. As just a 19 year-old lad he was part of the Slovak national team, which after the split of the former ice-hockey empire – Czechoslovakia – was demoted to the lowest ‘C’ division. However, it took just 10 years and Šatan, as the team’s captain, was raising the top divisions’ World Championship trophy above his head. Maybe he was not as iconic a player back in those times as other notable Slovaks, Žigmund Pálffy, Peter Bondra or Pavol Demitra, but he definitely was considered to be the one defining the style Slovaks played.

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Weekly Links: Reaction to Voynov’s arrest for domestic violence; Ex-players’ lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League; Szabados and Raty play in men’s pro leagues; 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!

  • After a gunman killed a Canadian reservist and attempted an attack on Parliament in Ottawa, the Pittsburgh Penguins played the Canadian anthem before their game against the Philadelphia Flyers as a show of respect. [Sportsnet]
  • The news that Slava Voynov of the Los Angeles Kings had been arrested for domestic violence has generated a huge amount of discussion and debate (currently charges are likely or will be dropped, depending on whether you listen to the DA or to his Voynov’s lawyer). Adam Proteau argues that the NHL should adopt a zero tolerance policy for domestic violence and ban players found guilty of this crime for life. [The Hockey News]
  • Meanwhile, writer stace_ofbase from Battle of California uses the Voynov case to discuss domestic violence more broadly and call for empathy for victims. [Battle of California]
  • NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is receiving kudos, and favourable comparisons to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of Ray Rice’s violent assault, for handling this situation swiftly and suspending Voynov indefinitely until a verdict is reached. I find it sad that this response even needs to be applauded rather than taken as granted, but given the pro sport world’s track record on domestic violence perhaps we need to start by pointing out when a league acts sensibly in response to a new incident. [Puck Daddy; Globe and Mail]
  • For those wondering about the moral quandary of cheering for athletes who do bad things off the ice/court/field, this scholarly roundtable discussion (written in light of the Ray Rice case) is fascinating reading. [The Allrounder]

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Weekly Links: Detroit’s new arena; Maple Leafs hire analytics expert; New rating system for helmets; Panthers no longer employ cheerleaders, and more

Source: CBC News

Source: CBC News

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 closer look into the plans for the new arena for the Detroit and the critical issues pertaining to its development and maintenance. [Kukla’s Korner]
  • Meanwhile, taxpayers in Pennsylvania are still paying a heavy price for the Penguins rink. [Broad Street Hockey]
  • The Arizona Coyotes are facing another legal hurdle as the local mayor alleges that the agreement struck between the city and the teams ownership group may have broken state laws. [Five for Howling]
  • In its attempts to improve its international ranking, and thus qualify to claim its host berth at the 2018 Olympics, South Korea’s men’s program has hired Seoul-born former NHLer Jim Paek as its head coach. [Puck Daddy]
  • Scientists at Virginia Tech are developing a new rating system to measure how effective various hockey helmets are at preventing concussions. [New York Times]

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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: Evgeni Malkin’s journey to the NHL; The impact of HockeyFights.com; Critiquing MLSE’s military appreciation night

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!

Editor’s note: Not surprisingly, most of the hockey world is focused on the Winter Olympics currently underway in Sochi, Russia. However, there is still great hockey writing being done about non-Olympics issues. This edition of the Weekly Links is thus divided into two posts: today, we post non-Olympics links and on Sunday we will publish a Weekly Links post exclusively devoted to writing about the Olympics. We hope you enjoy both posts!

  • A really interesting article by J. Brady McCollough on Evgeni Malkin’s journey from Magnitogorsk, Russia to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
  • An interesting and balanced look at HockeyFights.com, the website that catalogs and celebrates fighters in the NHL and beyond. [Grantland]
  • Is the NHL ready to announce an expansion franchise in Seattle following the Sochi Olympics? [Raw Charge]

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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]

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Weekly Links: Tribute to the Akali Lake Braves; Canadian hockey participation rates; Growth of hockey in the US; Role of fighting in preseason; and more

Source: Flames Nation

Source: Flames Nation

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!

  • Alan Maki has a good piece on Canadian minor hockey participation rates, concussions, and the impact of bodychecking bans. [Globe and Mail]
  • Chris Peters charts the large growth in hockey participation in the United States since the early 2000s, including a state-by-state breakdown of participation numbers. Overall, participation has climbed by nearly 64,000 people since 2002-03. [United States of Hockey]
  • Joseph Vito Deluca looks at the positive impact that the KHL’s growth will have on the game of hockey. Some interesting insight into following professional soccer’s model and the possibility of a Champions League. [The Hockey Writers]
  • Ryan Lambert questions the fighting in NHL preseason games, and uses the novel  Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy as a reference. [Yahoo! Puck Daddy]

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