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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‘The Code’: A powerful mechanism of control or just plain laziness?

skoula-crosscheck

Photo from MileHighHockey.com

I just finished playing an extremely dirty recreational playoff game.  It was the kind of game that makes me dislike hockey.  The hockey I play is as recreational as recreational gets. No one is going to get a college scholarship. No one will play for the Olympics. No one is even going to make a provincial team.   Now, I get it.  Teams who don’t have speed have to hack and slash to survive.  My team on the other hand is built upon a ‘first to the puck’ mentality.  We have no one on our roster good enough to dominate a game; therefore, as it should be, we win and lose as a team.  This particular team we played tonight we also played a week ago in the final game of the regular season; we won 8-2.  We just so happened to draw them for the first two games of the playoffs.  Our team expected a hacky game but what we ended up participating in was absolute lawlessness and a perfect example of why The Code doesn’t work.

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Book Review: “Fighting the Good Fight: Why On-Ice Violence is Killing Hockey” by Adam Proteau (2011)

bookBefore I left on vacation I visited my local library to pick up some ‘summer beach reads’.  Naturally, as an academic geek and hockey fan I left the library with Adam Proteau’s Fighting the Good Fight: Why on-ice violence is killing hockey and Sheema Khan’s Of Hockey and Hijab: Reflections of a Canadian Muslim Woman (I don’t know how much hockey is in this one but the hockey sticks on the cover were enough to sell me).  The review of Khan’s book will have to wait for now but for anyone wanting to learn more about the arguments for and against hockey fighting Proteau’s book is an easy read with some interesting perspectives from players, coaches and other hockey personnel.

For those of you unfamiliar with Adam Proteau’s stance on hockey fighting he refers to fighting in the book as a “dancing bear show”.  He believes that fighting takes away from the excellence of the sport and that the NHL has severely failed as far as player safety is concerned.  Throughout the book he highlights how the culture of hockey has changed from using one’s body to separate a player from the puck to separating a player’s body from their head.  He backs up his statements with solid suspension and injury facts and from testimonials from hockey insiders such as long-time NHL referee Kerry Fraser and players Mathieu Schneider and Georges Laraque.

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Teaching a sociocultural course on hockey at the undergraduate level: Thoughts on course content and critically engaging students

Starting next week, I will be teaching a third year course to undergraduates in University of Toronto’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. The course is called “Hockey in Canadian Society” – and yes, I realize that the title is incredibly similar to the name of this blog! I am extremely excited, if a little nervous, about starting the course. I do not have nerves about public speaking or about the course preparation – I have been excited to teach this course for months and so have already spent quite a lot of time on its design – but rather whether I can successfully impart the complexities of hockey’s social construction in Canadian society to undergraduate students.

This post simply offers an overview of the course, my thoughts about engaging students critically with a sport many of them love, and presents a list of sources that students will read. I hope that it may provide a useful resource for other scholars teaching about hockey and more generally provide a useful list of some good academic and online sources about the sport. If you have any comments, feedback, or suggestions please let me know!

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