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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Hockey Research at the 2014 North American Society for Sport History (NASSH) Conference

I attended the NASSH annual conference last year in Halifax, and was sufficiently inspired by some of the presentations and discussion to write a blog post upon my return. Later this week the 2014 edition of the conference takes place in Colorado Springs, but I will unfortunately not be in attendance. However, the program is available online and there are a handful of hockey presentations amongst the many interesting pieces of research being presented. After the jump, you can read the titles of the presentations (unfortunately abstracts are not posted) and my brief commentary on each topic.

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Weekly Links: Matt Cooke and dangerous body checking; Pro hockey culture in Denmark; AHL realignment; 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 knives are out for Matt Cooke of the Minnesota Wild. Cooke has a history of injurious play and is a highly controversial NHL figure. He has avoided on-ice violent play for some years, but delivered a dangerous knee-on-knee hit to Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche during a recent playoff game. Eric Duhatschek gives an overview of Cooke’s history and argues that the NHL would be better off without him in the league. [Globe and Mail]
  • Meanwhile, an Ottawa Senators blogger defends Cooke’s actions in light of the broader culture surrounding body-checking in hockey. [Silver Seven]
  • A radical idea to address the behaviour of players like Cooke and the Bruins’ Milan Lucic: a player’s court, in which player representatives from each team would decide the severity of suspensions for dangerous plays. [2 Minutes for Hockey]
  • Patricia Teter has a great interview with former AHL player Kirill Tulupov who recently signed with Frederikshavn White Hawks of the Danish League. Tulupov discusses his experience as a player in Denmark, the local culture and the various fan traditions. [Artful Puck]
  • A gay man’s perspective on attending the NCAA Frozen Four tournament, and his hesitancy (but ultimate ability to safely) identify as gay in a heteronormative hockey fan culture. [Puck Buddys]

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Weekly Links: Reactions to the NHL outdoor games at Dodger and Yankee Stadiums; Gino Odjick talks about fighting and health issues; demographic info on NHL fans

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 NHL hosted another of its Stadium Series outdoor games last weekend, but this time the game took place in the unlikely setting of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The Anaheim Ducks beat the host Kings 3-0, but the game was seen (aside from a massive revenue generator for the NHL) as a celebration of hockey in California – as the sport has grown immensely there since the early 1990s. Jen Neale, a California native, has an overview of the event from this perspective… [Puck Daddy]
  • … while Sean McIndoe offers the viewpoint of a (humorously) skeptical Canadian journalist. [Grantland]
  • Meanwhile, Travis Hughes captures the atmosphere at the Stadium Series game at Yankee Stadium, played between the New York Rangers and Islanders. [SB Nation]

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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: 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]

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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: Sean Monahan and the NHL-CHL relationship; Steve Moore lawsuit to go to trial; Ethical sourcing of hockey gear; New books by Ken Dryden and Dave Bidini; 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!

  • Ken Campbell has an interesting read, in light of the Calgary Flames’ decision to keep 2013 first round pick Sean Monahan in the NHL, about the agreement between the NHL and the Canadian Hockey League that forces players to return to junior (rather than the AHL) if they do not stick with their NHL team. [The Hockey News]
  • Steve Moore’s lawsuit against Todd Bertuzzi, ten years after the latter’s attack on the former, will finally be heard in front of a jury in September of next year. [CBC Sports]
  • Hockey Canada is working to ensure that all of their products are manufactured by ethical suppliers. This is perhaps in response to the revelation that factory workers who were killed in the 2013 Bangladesh building collapse were making products for Loblaws. [Globe and Mail]

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Fighting, ‘Objectivity’, and Media Advocacy

“It is one of the most disgusting, brutal parts of NHL hockey…it seems absurd, so why doesn’t it change?”

By now, many people have seen or heard of the head injury that George Parros of the Montreal Canadians sustained in a fight on the opening night of the National Hockey League season. And as expected, a gigantic debate surrounding the role of fighting in hockey ensued. Rather than using this blog entry as a platform to the reasons behind my own complicated normative viewpoint of fighting, I would rather focus on the above representation of fighting in the lens of “objectivity” and media advocacy, a theme in my Health Communication class. As seen in the clip which opens the Global National broadcast with the quotation above, Global TV news anchor Dawna Friesen uses strong and arguably subjective words to frame the issue. I do not know if Friesen read from a teleprompter or if the Global TV camera operator was complicit in zooming in on her face to spotlight her stance, but she stood by and justified her coverage in a later article despite criticism from viewers that she was “biased” and not adequately “objective.”

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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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