Weekly Links: Participation numbers in the US; New methods to reduce injuries; Tobacco use in hockey; Andrew Ference awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy; 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!

Source: LA Times

Source: LA Times

 

Congratulations to the LA Kings! Stanley Cup Champions!

  • As Hockey Night in Canada moves from CBC to Rogers, who will take control of the production, viewers can expect some major changes including more focus on players and less discussion on current events. [Eh Game]
  • A look into the San Jose Sharks’ television deal with Comcast and how it may force the club to relocate. [Inside Bay Area]
  • The story of Andew McKim, who suffered a severe concussion 14 years ago while playing overseas and continues to feel its effects. [National Post]
  • A hockey rink in Massachusetts is testing out a warning track around the perimeter to reduce the number of injuries along the boards. [CBS Boston]

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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: Lots of Winter Classic reaction; USA Hockey/Bobby Ryan controversy; Rogers deal with NHL hurts poorest fans; East Indians’ increasing prominence in hockey; 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 big hockey news of the past two weeks concerned the NHL’s annual Winter Classic, which took place between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on New Year’s Day at Michigan Stadium. The game set an attendance record for hockey, with 105,491 fans attending the game. [The Province]
  • It also recorded bumper ratings for CBC and NBC. NBC had 4.4 million viewers for its broadcast, while CBC drew 3.6 million. [SB Nation; Globe and Mail]
  • Lots of writers had rave reviews of the event, which certainly did not lack in its picturesqueness. Here are links to some of the better reactions from mainstream media, by Katie Baker, Adam Proteau, and Chris Johnston respectively. [Grantland; The Hockey News; Sportsnet]
  • And here are reactions from some Red Wings bloggers… [Winging it in Motown; The Malik Report]
  • … and some Maple Leafs bloggers. [Pension Plan Puppets; Leafs Nation]

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Weekly Links: NHLPA and owners begin CBA negotiations; Social media and hockey analytics; Plans for new arena in Markham

Proposed Markham arena (Image from: http://www.cbc.ca/)

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

  • Lots of chatter about the discussion between NHL owners the NHL Players’ Association as they begin to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. David Shoalts has a good overview of the key issues in this negotiation. [Globe and Mail]
  • Meanwhile, Kukla’s Corner has the details of the NHLPA’s 31-man negotiating committee. Lots of prominent players are involved on the committee, including Henrik Zetterberg (Red Wings), Shane Doan (Phoenix Coyotes), Shea Weber (Nashville Predators, and John Tavares (New York Islanders). [Kukla's Corner]
  • Hockey in Society contributor Sunil Agnihotri discusses information overload in the digital age, with specific discussion of the various ways in which hockey fans can consume the sport through (new) media. [Super Fan. 2.0]
  • More social media news: the Detroit Red Wings are hosting a social media meet-up at the Social Media Day Detroit conference. [Kukla's Corner]
  • Daniel Wagner reports on “the next stage in hockey analytics,” discussing an advanced stats tracking system that is becoming popular in the NBA. [Backhand Shelf]
  • The plans for the new hockey arena in Markham, ON have been released. The 20,000+ seat arena is aiming to open 2014 and hoping to host the 2015 World Junior Championships. [TSN]
  • Bruce Dowbiggen reports that the NHL is considering adding a Sunday night Canadian broadcast in addition to the traditional Saturday Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. This may mean that the CBC maintains the HNIC rights while TSN and Sportsnet have the opportunity to broadcast more games featuring Canadian teams. [Globe and Mail]
  • An interesting post by Greg Wyshinki about Sidney Crosby’s new 12-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and how the team is unable to insure it because of Crosby’s concussion history. [Puck Daddy]
  • Pete Cunningham writes about the anticipated economic impact of the 2013 Winter Classic for Ann Arbor businesses. The game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs will take place on January 1, 2013. [AnnArbor.com]
  • Patrick Hoffman with an interesting look at hockey participation and popularity in sunbelt states, including some interesting tidbits about the support NHL hockey teams have given to local hockey teams. The Nashville Predators, for example, were active in the movement to save the University of Alabama-Hunstsville Division 1 NCAA hockey program. [Kukla's Corner]
  • The KHL confirms that it will play two regular season games in 2013 in Brooklyn, New York. SKA St. Petersburg and Dynamo Moscow will face off at the new Barclays Arena. [Puck Daddy]
  • The Phoenix Coyotes sale looks set to move ahead, as a court overturns the lawsuit by the Goldwater Institute to stymie Glendale’s subsidization of the Coyotes’ arena. Lots of politics in this arena situation. [Puck Daddy]
  • I hope to write more about this on this blog, but I wrote a post at Nucks Misconduct about Pavel Bure and his legacy with the Vancouver Canucks. The post is not particularly critical, but more of a fan’s look at the player. However, there are some interesting aspects to the story. Bure, who was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame this week, had a turbulent departure from Vancouver that involved some character assassination in the media. An interesting example of the power of the media to shape popular understandings of a player and his/her legacy. [Nucks Misconduct]

General Sport Links

  • AWESOME BLOG ALERT: Tyler Shipley has started a new blog called Left Hook, which takes a critical look at different aspects of sport. You can read Tyler’s excellent post about the politics between Canada and Honduras and the role of soccer in Honduran politics. [Left Hook]
  • Also on Left Hook: Marty Clark, who co-authored a review of Goon on this blog, examines and critiques assumed “truths” in sport and discusses way of deconstructing these “common sense” understandings. A great read. [Left Hook]
  • Hockey in Society contributor Courtney Szto discusses the gender implications of nude athlete calendars, as Canada’s National Senior Women’s Rugby team releases a fundraising calendar. Are these portrayals empowering or exploitative? Should national sport teams have to resort to nude calendars to raise funds? Lots of interesting questions explored in this post. [The Rabbit Hole]
  • Saudi Arabia will, for the first time, allow women to compete at the Olympic Games. [Globe and Mail]

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]

Weekly Links: Mainstream Media and Bloggers Tackle Mental Illness; Winter Classic Details; Ralph Nader Calls for NHL Fighting Ban

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

  • February 8 was Let’s Talk Day, an event organized to raise awareness and provide support for sufferers of mental illness. Kent Basky at Nucks Misconduct had a moving and personal post about about the issue. [Nucks Misconduct]
  • And Michael Landsberg, host of TSN’s show Off the Record, also spoke about his own battles with depression. [TSN]
  • If you read Ted Nolan’s post this week, you already know that although the next Winter Classic will be held in Ann Arbor, at Michigan University’s “Big House,” Detroit will host a variety of events at Comerica Park. Puck Daddy has the breakdown of these events, which include NCAA, OHL, and high school games. [Puck Daddy]
  • Meanwhile, the NHL is aiming to break an attendance record at the Big House: at least 115,000 tickets will be available for the game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. [Puck Daddy]
  • An interesting article about the ways in which Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has used hockey as part of his political PR. [The Guardian]
  • Chris Lund discusses the fan movement to return an NHL team to Quebec City. Hard to imagine Gary Bettman being keen on reversing two 1990s-era franchise relocations. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Speaking of relocated franchises… A report suggests that Winnipeg’s love affair with the Jets will lower support for other cultural or artistic institutions in the city, including the CFL’s Blue Bombers. [Globe and Mail]
  • Boston Bruins players are not happy about it, but it appears that the NHL’s tougher stance on illegal plays has forced them to change their style of play. [SB Nation]
  • Tim Thomas continues to make public political statements – this time via his Facebook page – and then refuse to discuss them with the media. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Ken Campbell weighs in on this latest controversy, arguing that if Thomas passionately believes in his political stance then “he probably shouldn’t be afraid to discuss his views when someone puts a microphone into his face and asks for an explanation.” [The Hockey News]
  • Ralph Nader’s League of Fans, an organization that lobbies for changes in professional sport, published an open letter to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman calling for a ban on fighting. [League of Fans]
  • While I agree with Nader philosophically, Daniel Wegner raises good points about some problematic aspects of the letter – in particular, its conflation of fighting and concussions. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Minnesota, AKA The State of Hockey, is taking tough action on headshots in an effort to increase player safety at the high school level. [KARE 11]
  • 24 Women’s and 32 Men’s national teams have applied for qualification to the 2014 Winter Olympics. The list includes the usual suspects, as well as lesser-known hockey nations such as Spain, South Korea, and Hungary. [Puck Worlds]
  • I strongly believe that there is a fascinating research opportunity to trace how, as part of flows of globalization, hockey has spread to and taken root in different parts of the world. This article looks at some of the reasons behind the sport’s recent growth in the United Arab Emirates. [NHL.com]

General Sport Links

  • Hockey in Society blogger Courtney Szto looks at how sports fandom is a masculine realm, and the resultant social expectations placed upon female fans. [The Rabbit Hole]

All About the Money? Detroit Gets the Winter Classic, or At Least a Big Chunk of It

Mike Ilitch: Detroit's Biggest Fan

A month ago, when it became clear that The Winter Classic would be played in Ann Arbor and not Detroit, I argued that the NHL was wrong to deny Detroit the opportunity to host the game, all for the cash incentives offered by the use of Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. But most of the responses to that post went something like, “I see what you’re saying, but it’s not that big a deal and it’ll be awesome to see them play in front of a record crowd.” The local press said essentially the same thing. I didn’t get this. I wanted the game in the city, where I thought it belonged. But most, with the notable exception of Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch (more on this later), seemed to accept the decision with little to no resentment, even if they would rather have seen the game at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit. “It’s all about the money” they concluded, shrugging. Depressing.

This was a realistic attitude, to be sure, but given Detroit’s famously defiant pride–recently tapped into by Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad featuring Clint Eastwood–you’d think the decision to host the game outside the city would stir up more emotion. Even The Detroit Free Press–which can be such a blatant Detroit-cheerleader that it once covered Detroit 187′s first episode as if it were actually watchable–didn’t suggest the city should host the game instead. Free Press columnist Michael Rosenberg wrote that the decision was bound to upset some and, for sure, it did. He suggested a compromise might be reached by hosting a Wings/Leafs alumni, collage and/or minor league games at Comerica. But that compromise seemed a token gesture that could hardly make up for denying the city the Classic itself.

As it turns out, Rosenberg’s prediction was accurate. Soon, rumors mounted that there would be at least a few events at Comerica, including the tradition-rich Great Lakes Invitational college hockey tournament, which is hosted annually at Joe Louis Arena. Still, even with the addition of the GLI, you could argue that spotlighting some minor league games and a college tournament is something, but it doesn’t replace the Classic. But while, again, there was little public sentiment (aside from reader comments) calling out that inadequacy, there was one very important private voice making the argument behind the scenes: Mike Ilitch. Conveniently, Ilitch’s initial concerns were also my initial concerns, which means that I and those who shared my concerns had a powerful ally and spokesman. That, in turn, explains:

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the 2013 Winter Classic Plan 

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Weekly Links: Gender Disparities in Media Coverage of Hockey Injuries; Winter Classic Alumni Game Participants Don’t Get Paid; Are the Montreal Canadiens Still Relevant?

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

  • Detroit native E. Martin Nolan had a busy week! In addition to his post considering the Toronto Maple Leafs as a public institution, he also wrote this great piece criticizing the (likely) possibility that the 2013 Winter Classic – featuring the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs – will take place at Michigan University in Ann Arbor instead of in Detroit. [E. Martin Nolan]
  • Dr. Nicole LaVoi, a Professor at University of Minnesota and associate director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, critiques the disparity in media attention given to severe injuries suffered in separate incidents by high school hockey players Jack Jablonski (male) and Jenna Privette (female). [MPR News]
  • And Chris Peters offers a rebuttal to LaVoi’s piece. [United States of Hockey]
  • I am working my way through the many excellent posts on A Theory of Ice. The most recent that I have thoroughly enjoyed is a critical look at the World Junior Championships and the effect that it has on the teenage boys who are the tournament’s stars. [Theory of Ice]
  • Puck Buddys is running a series of interviews with “Zach” – a gay high school hockey player in the US – about his experiences in youth and high school hockey. Parts 1 & 2 have so far been posted. [Puck Buddys: Part 1; Part 2]
  • Gare Joyce wrote a lengthy piece about the decline of the Montreal Canadiens’ relevance that, despite its flaws, points out some of the complexities of the team and its social/cultural significance in Quebec. [Sportsnet]
  • Speaking of those flaws… well, Canadiens fans were quick to critique Joyce and, in the process, produced a number of excellent posts that both take down Joyce’s arguments and provide some fascinating insight into some of the nuances that he glosses over. [Habs Eyes on the Prize; A Theory of Ice]
  • The alumni game between former members of the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers that preceded the Winter Classic drew over 45,000 spectators and generated a reported $4 million in profit. Players were not paid beyond airfare and accommodation. In other words, as the always insightful Justin Bourne puts it, they “got completely and utterly hosed.” [Backhand Shelf; Puck Daddy]
  • It is easy sometimes to forget that sports injuries have serious ramifications in everyday for more than simply the injured player. Lauren Pronger, wife of Philadelphia Flyer Chris, reminds us that the effect of injury spreads far beyond the arena. [SB Nation]
  • Ken Dryden writes about headshots and concussions, and wants to see more “fight” (as in tenacity within the rules) and less “fighting” (as in pugilism and dangerous checks). [Grantland]
  • Great post by Travis Hughes about pirated internet streams of hockey games and how the NHL’s policy of blacking out local games in its online package may be driving fans to these illegal feeds. [SB Nation]
  • Justin Bourne consider what “we” means to hockey players, in terms of the team, the fans and the media. Interesting stuff about identity around professional sports teams. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Interesting infographic showing how the camera placement in sports arenas that TV networks use to get their game action shots. The representative hockey infographic is for Joe Louis Arena, the home of the Detroit Red Wings. [Puck the Media]
  • Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has won an award for his activism in support of gay rights. [The Star]
  • Crime fiction meets hockey in The Code, the debut novel of sportswriter Gare Joyce. [Globe and Mail]
  •  On the 54th anniversary of his NHL debut, a look at the career and life of Willie O’Ree, the first black player in the league. [Puck Daddy]
  • A positive review of the upcoming movie Goon, that is somewhat of a counterpoint to Courtney Szto’s post about the film. [Jerseys and Hockey Love]
  • After a hazing incident that involved teenagers getting drunk and being forced to cross-dress, a Michigan high school hockey coach is fired. Except, according to the coach, it wasn’t hazing: “”It’s not hazing,” Montrose told WDIV. “This is something like a right of passage. . . . It’s more like team building.””  [Prep Rally]

General Sport Links

  • I definitely recommend that you check out York University PhD student Nathan Kalman-Lamb’s new blog. In this post he looks at the Penn State scandal and examines where the blame should be placed. [Nathan Kalman-Lamb]
  • Why reform of the flawed NCAA system is unlikely. [Inside Higher Education]

Weekly Links: Overcoming Social Expectations of non-Aggression in Women’s Hockey; NCAA and KHL Look to Grow Their Global Economic Footprints; Why is NHL Fighting on the Decline?

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

  • Easily the best thing I’ve read this week: a first person (dare I say ethnographic?) account of the socially engrained expectations of femininity that female hockey players must overcome in order to play the game more aggressively, more assertively, and more pleasurably. Definitely give this a read. Hell, give the whole blog a read because everything I’ve looked at so far is fantastic. [A Theory of Ice; h/t to @dagmar27 for the link]
  • The number of NHL fights are down this season. A couple bloggers this week delved into some of the reasons behind this decline. First, Greg Wyshynski suggests that factors such as the shifting role of the enforcer, the smaller number of “dance partners” prepared to drop the gloves, the reduction of downtime between stoppages in play, Brendan Shanahan’s stricter enforcement of supplemental discipline, and the growing awareness about concussions and brain injury. [Puck Daddy]
  • Next up, Justin Bourne suggests that a rise in the quality of play and a reduction in fighting in the minor and junior hockey leagues has meant that many players coming through those systems have not had to fight their whole careers. In other words, the AHL is more like the NHL and less like Slap Shot, in that skilled players likely do not fight in the same way they were pressured to a decade or more ago. [Backhand Shelf]
  • A Globe and Mail editorial takes a very strong stance against fighting, in light of Colton Orr’s demotion from the NHL: “It is morally bankrupt to ask Colton Orr ever to fight again. After 99 NHL fights, he is at heightened risk of lifelong brain damage.” [Globe and Mail]
  • Ken Campbell with an excellent look at the “illogical pro-fighting stance” of Brian Burke. [The Hockey News; h/t to Hockey in Society reader Peter for the link]
  • It appears that the 2013 Winter Classic may be hosted at Michigan University’s 100,000+ capacity football stadium, after Yahoo! Sports broke the story that the NHL and the university have been in advanced discussions about this possibility. [Puck Daddy]
  • Speaking of unconventional hockey venues, plans are afoot to potentially host a hockey game on a US Navy aircraft carrier. That is mind-boggling in so many ways. This reminds me that I really need to get revisit to my plans to explore the relationship between hockey and militarism. These posts are still very much in the cards, they’ve just been pushed to the backburner the past few months. [SB Nation]
  • Interesting interview with the NCAA’s Executive Director of College Hockey, Paul Kelly. The NCAA is trying to increase its appeal as an alternative to junior hockey, although inter-league politics complicate the process. The NCAA is also seeking to grow its brand in Canada through increased television exposure and even the possibility of a Frozen Four (the NCAA’s championship tournament] being hosted in Toronto. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
  • If you look past some of the stereotypes about Russia and the presentation of sensational examples of how business can be conducted in the country, this article has some fascinating insight into the politics, economics, and ambition of the Kontinental Hockey League – including the fact that it envisages by 2015 itself as a 60-team league spread out across Europe and Asia. [The Star]
  • US national team superstar Angela Ruggiero has retired from hockey and will focus on her work with the International Olympic Committee Athlete’s Commission, in which role she will hopefully be able to increase the IOC’s support for women’s hockey. [Women's International Ice Hockey]
  • The New Jersey Devils are aggressively and innovatively using new media to grow the team’s popularity. Interesting look at one of the many ways in which new media is changing the landscape of professional sports. [Sports Business Journal, via Puck Daddy]
  • The NHL Player’s Association rejected the NHL’s plan for realignment. Ken Campbell explains how this is a political tactic in advance of upcoming labour negotiations between the union and the league. [The Hockey News]
  • Cam Charron, who like me is also a contributor at Nucks Misconduct, has a humorous and insightful breakdown of Don Cherry’s statements on last week’s Coach’s Corner. [Legion of Blog]
  • James Mirtle with an interesting look at the rise of Americans in the NHL, and the reasons behind this increase. [Globe and Mail]
  • Future bidders on the World Junior Championships will require “deep pockets, big arenas” as the tournament’s profit-making potential continues to rise. [CBC Sports]
  • Daniel Wegner looks at how the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks are making the controversy around Brad Marchand’s suspension worse by waging an ongoing war of words about it. [Backhand Shelf]