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]

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Weekly Links: Race and the treatment of Evander Kane; Hockey media news and insight; Quintal replaces Shanahan at NHL head office; 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!

  • Arctic Ice Hockey examines the role of race in the treatment in Winnipeg of the Jets’ Evander Kane. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
  • William Douglas gives a historical overview of Asians’ involvement in professional hockey. [Color of Hockey]
  • Sportsnet is seeking input from fans and developing a Fan Advisory Panel. Fans can provide input on programming and other broadcast concepts.  [Sportsnet]
  • Pat Maclean looks into some of the false narratives built by media and the negative ramifications of poor information. A fantastic piece. [Black Dog Hates Skunks]
  • With news the the Canadian government is slashing its budget by $130 million, the CBC has announced that it will no longer bid on professional sports, including, obviously, hockey broadcasts. [CBC]

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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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NHL ’94 and Hockey Nostalgia: An Analysis of Hockey’s Most Culturally Resonant Video Game

In the Fall of 1993, EA Sports released the third edition of its NHL video game series for the Super NES, Sega Genesis and PC computer consoles. The game, titled NHL ’94, quickly became popular amongst video gamers and hockey fans. However, at the time few could have predicted the cultural impact that NHL ’94 would have – the game is a touchstone for hockey fans in their mid-20s and 30s and has infiltrated both hockey and popular culture more broadly. The game has been referenced in films, become a defining feature of a star NHL player’s legacy, and now has been stylistically re-imagined in the latest version of EA Sports’ series, NHL 14. In NHL 14, which was released today, gamers can revisit nostalgic features of NHL ’94, including simplified controls, organ music, and blue ice.

Video gaming is a significant part of the contemporary sport economy and a major form of online and in-person social interaction for tens thousands of hockey fans. NHL ’94 is undoubtedly the most culturally resonant of the dozens of hockey titles that have been released over the past four decades. This post examines the game’s cultural resonance, contextualizes its development in the broader professional hockey economy, and discusses the ways in which it represents an outlet for and celebration of nostalgia amongst hockey fans.

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Promoting Grassroots Participation while Building the Brand: To What Extent are NHL Teams Community Institutions?

Yesterday’s Globe and Mail ran an interesting article by James Mirtle about the Pittsburgh Penguins’ contributions to grassroots hockey in Western Pennsylvania. For the past four years, the Penguins, and in particular captain Sidney Crosby, have been extremely active in promoting hockey amongst Pittsburgh youth by providing free equipment and on-ice instruction. The initiative, while obviously having a major commercial motivation in terms of growing the Penguins’ business in the long-term, is an interesting example of how professional sport franchises can be more than simply entertainment spectacles and commercial enterprises, and actually invest socially in their local communities.

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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 New York Islanders, the Barclays Center, and the politics of sport arenas: Winners and losers in the “Battle for Brooklyn”

The New York Islanders are moving to Brooklyn. When the Islanders faceoff in their first game of the 2014-15 2015-16 NHL season, it will mark an exciting day for the franchise as the team celebrates its move to a new arena in a new part of town. What Islanders players and fans may not know is that the opening faceoff will be taking place on the exact spot where, less than 10 years earlier, former Brooklyn residents lived before being forcibly evicted by the State of New York to allow a billionaire to construct the Barclays Center.

While fans of the Islanders may celebrate the end of constant discussions about the future of the Islanders, and while owner Charles Wang may welcome the possibility of expanding his team’s brand into the hip and gentrifying borough of Brooklyn, it is also important to consider the politics behind this move and the arena that the Islanders will now be calling home. This post examines the history of the Barclays Center, and the social movement of Brooklyn residents who tried, but failed, to save their homes and businesses from being seized to construct the arena, in light of the political significance of professional sport in the borough.

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