Weekly Links: P.K. Subban targeted by racist Tweets; Larry Kwong honoured at Hall of Fame; Shifts in body-checking since the 1970s; 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!

  • Larry Kwong is considered to be the first man of colour to play in the NHL, having suited up for one shift with the New York Rangers in the 1947-48 season. He is being honoured by having a jersey from his days with the Nanaimo Clippers displayed in the Hockey Hall of Fame. [Color of Hockey]
  • Avi Goldberg on notable issues surrounding Twitter during the NHL and NBA playoffs, including  a discussion of reaction to Ron Maclean’s comments about French Canadian referees on Hockey Night in Canada and the dangerous play of the Minnesota Wild’s Matt Cooke. [The Barnstormer]
  • PK Subban of the Montreal Canadiens was the target of racist tweets by Boston Bruins fans following Game 1 of the teams’ series, and his response to them has earned him praise from fans and journalists. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]
  • Nick Cotsonika discusses the cultural significance of the Canadiens in Montreal and the passion of their fans. [Yahoo Sports!]

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Weekly Links: KHL Expansion; Habs Legend Comments on Hockey Violence; Avalanche Goalie Arrested; Research on Concussions Among Youth; New Media in Sports Journalism

Source: The Province

Source: The Province

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 KHL is expanding to Finland, absorbing Helsinki-based club Jokerit from the SM-Liiga. This is a major step in the KHL’s expansion beyond the border of the former-USSR. [Puck Daddy]
  • USA Hockey is hosting the Try Hockey for Free Day on November 2, 2013. The program is encouraging youth aged 4-9 to visit a participating rink and learn more about the game. [USA Hockey]
  • Larry Robinson discusses the state of the game today and lack of respect players have for one another. Robinson has the option of re-joining the San Jose Sharks as an associate coach, but has yet to re-commit. [Mercury News]
  • Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov has been arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. He has since been released on bail and will stay with the Avalanche for now. [Denver Post] Read more of this post

Weekly Links: Boycotting the Sochi Games?; Ratner to redevelop Islanders’ arena; Devils get new ownership; Rick Rypien’s legacy

After a one year hiatus, Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post returns! 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!

  • Given the dangerous homophobic climate in Russia and the anti-gay legislation passed by Russian lawmakers, should hockey players and other athletes boycott the Sochi Games in 2014? Pierre Martin says that male hockey players should boycott the tournament while other athletes should attend. [Toronto Star]

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The Lockout Is Over: A Love Story Returns

Louie Louie, oh no, me gotta go, yeah, yeah, yeah…
Louie Louie, oh baby, me gotta go

While I may not fully agree with Michael Moore, I’m beginning this post with the same song as the opening song in his film Capitalism: A Love Story. I’ll substitute “NHL” instead of “Capitalism,” as it’s clear that the same love of the almighty dollar has shaped the dynamics of the NHL lockout. In his latest post “The Lockout Is Over: So Now What?” Matt Ventresca explores various fan initiatives of resistance such as the Just Drop It movement and furthermore discusses the psychological cognitive dissonance of these fans. I won’t regurgitate all of the content listed in his post or the wide selection of lockout response literature, but from what I gather, the prevailing narrative is that many hockey fanatics realize and regard the NHL as a profit-driven business. Thus, many of them want to punish the millionaires and billionaires responsible for the third lengthy work stoppage in 18 years.

Before I attempt to address the questions posed in the above blog post, I will briefly supplement a December blog post which posits that the majority of fans are definitely, definitely getting back together with the NHL. (Speaking of Taylor Swift, needless to say, her song “Love Story” complements this post well.) In my December blog post, I examined the Twitter follower statistics of prominent figures in the NHL lockout and argued that due to the steady growth of followers between September and December and spiked follower increases on days of optimism, both belligerents in the dispute can rest assured that the fans are assumed due to concerned and angry interest rather than apathy. I still stand by that argument, which in hindsight probably isn’t very original.

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“The Fans Are Assumed”: Why Wouldn’t They Be? A Look at Twitter

Then you come around again and say
“Baby, I miss you and I swear I’m gonna change, trust me.”
Remember how that lasted for a day?
I say, “I hate you,” we break up, you call me, “I love you.”
Oooh we called it off again last night
But oooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you…

I hate to cut short the chart-topping Taylor Swift song or the “Official Song of the NHL Lockout” parody, but we are definitely, definitely getting back together. Or at least that’s what it seems like, judging from the piqued interests of those who had sworn off caring about professional hockey after the previous deep freezes in NHL collective bargaining negotiations. This post, by examining the Twitter buzz over the latest developments, in essence reinforces E. Martin Nolan’s post “The Fans Are Assumed.”

Of course, there’s no tool for social network comparison to the 2004/05 NHL season. It’s no surprise that with the advent of technological devices such as superphones and media platforms for user-generated tweets or status updates, media consumption has skyrocketed. Bruce Friend of Ipsos polling states (in 2010) that “more has changed in terms of media consumption behavior over the past two years than during the 30 years that preceded.” But when his article alludes to MySpace, you know the internet has changed even more. Whether or not we find them enriching, we stumble across more links to information than we have done so before.

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It’s Hockey in Society’s One-Year Anniversary!

This is just a cool picture (from: http:/cbc.ca/gfx/images/sports/photos/2009/01/16/pond-hockey-pic-306.jpg)

One year ago today, Hockey in Society launched with its inaugural post. The past 365 days have been a very exciting time on the blog, which has doubled from an initial writing crew of three to a group of six contributors and has seen 127 posts made. We hope to add to this writing crew in the coming year in order to expand our content and diversify the voices being represented on the blog.

I hope you, the reader, have found the blog to offer an insightful and original take on various social and political issues in hockey. All of us sincerely appreciate your readership and comments – please keep them coming in Year Two!

In addition to our readership, I would like to extend a big thank you to the many people on Twitter who shared our posts and to bloggers who linked to our website from their blog. The latter group includes Spector’s Hockey, Puck Buddys, Super Fan 2.0, Left Hook, Raw Charge, Lighthouse Hockey, Nucks Misconduct, Silver Sevens, and Puck Daddy. This site has grown in large part to this support and I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for this support from the hockey blogosphere.

After the jump, some stats about Year One at Hockey in Society and an overview of some of the best work from our contributors. Please check it out and enjoy!


Mark Norman

Editor, Hockey in Society

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Weekly Links: Hockey culture’s fear of personality; The impact of a Stanley Cup win in non-traditional NHL markets

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.

Hockey Links

  • In light of the Los Angeles Kings’ recent Stanley Cup win, an interesting post by Mike Chen about the impact of a championship on the fan base and grassroots hockey participation of non-traditional hockey markets. Chen looks back at the impact of the Tampa Bay Lighting (2004) and Carolina Hurricanes (2006) wins on those teams’ local success. [SB Nation]
  • Harrison Mooney has an excellent article about hockey culture’s suspicion of personality, with the examples of Ilya Bryzgalov and Tim Thomas as evidence, and how this could militate against a gay player coming out. [Puck Daddy]
  • Meanwhile, more NHLers have joined the You Can Play campaign. Check out the new PSA featuring Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks and Dustin Byfuglien and Tanner Glass of the Winnipeg Jets. [You Can Play]
  • Thomas Drance also has an excellent post about hockey personality, in this case looking at Roberto Luongo’s anonymous Twitter account and how he is able to craft an alternative image through his new media interactions. [Canucks Army]
  • Speaking of new media: check out this awesome infographic about the frequency with which NHL-related topics were mentioned on Twitter during the 2012 Playoffs. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Gary Mason reflects on the memory and legacy of the Vancouver’s Stanley Cup Riot one year after it occurred. [Globe and Mail]
  • Michigan Stadium, a dry venue given NCAA rules, has received a temporary liquor permit for the 2013 NHL Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. [Wood TV 8, via Backhand Shelf]
  • The New Jersey Devils’ playoff run brought the team a handsome profit, but it pales in comparison to the organization’s debt. [Puck Daddy]

Weekly Links: More reviews of Theoren Fleury documentary; Fallout from Ron Maclean’s 9/11 comments; New media and hockey fandom

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.

Hockey Links

  • Last weekend I reviewed Theo Fleury: Playing With Fire. This week, a few more reviews of the film have come out. [Backhand Shelf; Globe and Mail]
  • Ellen Etchingham sees a critical role for on-ice officiating in cracking down on dangerous play in hockey and argues that refereeing, not supplemental discipline, needs to be more prominent in changing the culture of the sport. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Insightful and disturbing article by Sean Gordon about the prominence of prescription drugs in NHL hockey, often seen by players as a necessary way of coping with the grueling schedule and travel required of them. [Globe and Mail]
  • Ron Maclean has drawn considerable flak for comparing Washington Capitals and New York Rangers players to the firefighters and cops who responded on 9/11. He has issued a clarifying statement, but the controversy lingers. [Puck Daddy; Backhand Shelf]
  • Very interesting fan movement that aims to track the popularity of Twitter amongst hockey users in order to refute the idea, put forward by ESPN’s Senior VP, that hockey is not part of “a national discussion” in the United States. [Queen Crash, via Not Another Hockey Blog]
  • Speaking of Twitter, Justin Bourne thinks that the tongue-in-cheek tweets from the Los Angeles Kings’ account may point the way toward NHL teams’ new media future. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Interesting news from the IIHF World Championships being co-hosted by Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland: high ticket prices have dissuaded spectators from attending games, and organizers have been forced to slash ticket prices in response. [Puck Worlds]
  • Brian Burke, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, will attend an anti-homophobia flag-raising outside Toronto City Hall. Rob Ford, Toronto’s mayor, will not. [Globe and Mail]
  • James Mirtle on the rise of shot-blocking as a defensive tactic in the NHL playoffs. [Globe and Mail]
  • Interesting post that touches on a wide variety of issues in hockey, including violence, masculinity, corporate interests, and legacy/heroism [Vintage Leaf Memories]
  • Greg Wyshynksi reports that some Philadelphia Flyers fans are suing the team over their ticket policy for the Winter Classic. It is an interesting case of fans vs. teams and access to and cost of tickets. [Puck Daddy]

General Sport Links

  • Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights, has a provocative editorial about why NCAA football should be eliminated. [Wall Street Journal]
  • Concerns about fan racism and hooliganism cloud the preparations for the 2012 Euro Cup being held in Poland and Lithuania this summer. [BBC Sport]

Once again, hockey fans take to Twitter to hurl racist abuse at Joel Ward

Sadly, this was one of the less-offensive of the many derogatory tweets about Joel Ward this evening.

Less than two weeks ago, after Joel Ward scored in overtime of Game 7 to lead the Washington Capitals past the Boston Bruins, some hockey fans (many of whom identified as Bruins fans) took to Twitter to hurl racist abuse at the black Canadian forward from Toronto. While many fans of the Bruins and hockey more generally objected vociferously, clearly a significant amount of fans felt completely comfortable deploying racist epitaphs to insult the hockey player.

Tonight, Ward took a devastating penalty for the Capitals when, with just over 20 seconds remaining and the Capitals nursing a 2-1 lead, he high-sticked the New York Rangers’ Carl Hagelin and drew blood. The Rangers scored before the buzzer to send the game to overtime and then, with Ward still serving the second half of his double-minor, won the game on a goal by defenseman Marc Staal.

And then the Twitter racists returned in full force.


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Weekly Links: Reactions to Twitter racism against Joel Ward; Examining cultures of hitting and violence in hockey; Where in the world were NHL players born?

Where NHL players were born.

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.

Editor’s Note: Apologies for the lack of Weekly Links over the past month. It has been a very busy time personally, and I have not kept up with my posting. This Weekly Links post therefore contains some of the best reading from the past three weeks. I hope to be more diligent in my posting over the next few months!

Hockey Links

  • This is very cool: A map showing where every NHL player was born. Hover over the city and it lists the players who were born there. Am I the only one who finds the globalization of hockey a fascinating, fascinating topic? [view the map; created by @theycallmemorty; via Backhand Shelf]
  • Lots of reaction to the racist insults hurled at the Washington Capitals’ Joel Ward by Twitter users, from Harrison Mooney, Chris Peters, and Brian Floyd respectively. [Puck Daddy; United States of Hockey; SB Nation]
  • Meanwhile, Greg Ezell reflects on belonging to a Boston Bruins fan-base that is now being characterized based upon the actions of a few. [Days of Y'Orr]
  • The always thoughtful Ken Dryden discusses three hits from different eras in order to illustrate changes in hockey culture and the role of the NHL in enforcing discipline. [Globe and Mail; h/t to Luke for the link]
  • Ellen Etchingham also had a great take on the culture of hitting in the NHL. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Paul Busch with an excellent historical overview of changes in the NHL, particularly in the 1970s, which he argues established the “culture of violence” in which many of today’s NHL decision-makers (coaches, GMs, etc.) were socialized. [It's Not Part of the Game]
  • Adam Proteau with an optimistic look at the likelihood of a gay hockey player coming out in the NHL and a discussion of the You Can Play project. [The Hockey News]
  • Interesting read about the Los Angeles Kings’ attempts to market the hockey team and maintain relevance in an entertainment-saturated city. [Globe and Mail]
  • After the 2012 Women’s World Hockey Championship, in which Switzerland captured the Bronze Medal, is international women’s hockey moving closer to parity? And what steps are being taken to develop the game globally? [Globe and Mail]
  • Interesting news from the KHL. A blog post by the wife Kevin Dallman, a Canadian superstar on Barys Astana in Kazakhstan, has led to the family being kicked out of the country. Apparently the Kazakh government found the post too critical of alleged corruption in Kazakhstan. [Puck Daddy]