Weekly Links: Critiquing the World Juniors; Winter Classic Reaction; How Players Become Agitators

Image from: http://www.cbc.ca

Hockey Links

  • Two more great post from the Hockey in Society writing team this week: Matt Ventresca on the World Junior Championships and Courtney Szto on the forthcoming film “Goon.”
  • An excellent critique of selective Edmonton media coverage and how it shifts public perception of specific players, and thus takes heat off of management by suggesting that certain individual players, not the organization itself, are responsible for the team’s recent lack of success. [Copper and Blue]
  • Lots more interesting World Junior Championships reading this week. First up, a great critique of Eric Francis’ (of the Calgary Sun) criticism of Russian star Yevgeni Kuznetsov – noting that Francis deflects criticism away from Canada’s losing performance or the actions of its fans by focusing on the Russian teenager. [Buzzing the Net]
  • And from the same blog, an interesting post about the possibility of a future Toronto WJC – and whether players should share in the massive profits generated by the tournament when it is held in large Canadian cities. [Buzzing the Net]
  • Joe Pelletier criticizes TSN’s coverage of the WJC tournament, including the “over-the-top nationalism that TSN forces upon us,” for killing his love of the tournament. [Greatest Hockey Legends]
  • Similarly, Stephen Brunt finds the entire spectacle to be “overkill.” [Sportsnet]
  • The Globe and Mail looks at why the WJC has such an allure in Canada. Personally, I think Matt’s post is much closer to the mark than this article. [Globe and Mail, via Kukla’s Corner]
  • From the WJC to the Winter Classic, which took place on January 2. The event produced its lowest ratings since it started in 2008, though it is increasingly becoming a merchandise juggernaut. [Puck Daddy]
  • There were mitigating factors in the ratings, and Steve Lepore offers five reasons why he predicts a ratings bounce back next season. [Puck the Media]
  • And Puck Daddy looks at where the NHL Winter Classic is likely to be played in future years. [Puck Daddy]
  • Interesting article by former referee Kerry Fraser about trash-talking in the NHL, and how some players are forced into an agitator role if they want to progress in their hockey careers. [TSN, h/t to Hockey in Society Peter for the link]
  • Was the NHL oversensitive in its one game suspension of Krys Barch? Barch asked P.K. Subban, a Canadian of Jamaican heritage, whether he slipped on a banana peel after losing his footing during an altercation. While it was not a sensitive choice of words, apparently this is a common on-ice expression in hockey. What do you think? [Puck Daddy]
  • Former NHL superstar Pat Lafontaine speaks about concussions and athletes’ feeling of invincibility: “I should have been sent to the hospital. I should have spent the night, but I remember as an athlete that, you know, you’re gonna overcome these things.” [SB Nation]
  • Following on our post about Adam Proteau’s new book, Fighting the Good Fight, Greatest Hockey Legends had an interview with the author back in November. [Greatest Hockey Legends]
  • This is a little bit old, but Puck Daddy had an interesting post about whether the ways in which HBO represents the NHL in its documentary series 24/7 is at odds with the league’s current approach toward violence and aggressive play. [Puck Daddy]
  • The Todd Bertuzzi/Steve Moore incident is still working its way through the courts, eight years after the attack occurred. The latest wrinkle: Bertuzzi has dropped his lawsuit against ex-coach Marc Crawford, who Bertuzzi claimed ordered him to attack Moore as retribution for a borderline hit on Canucks captain Markus Naslund. [Globe and Mail]
  • Is Brian Burke’s claim that hitting is on the decline in the NHL accurate? [Pension Plan Puppets]

General Sport Links

  • Hockey in Society’s own Courtney Szto critiques the claims that sports mega-events such as the Olympics improve the economic circumstances of the host cities and countries. [The Rabbit Hole]
  • Meanwhile, Brazil’s World Cup preparations are justifying mass evictions, the razing of neighbourhoods, and other human rights abuses. [Huffington Post]
  • Interesting story about Qatar’s efforts to improve its female representation at international sporting events, particularly as it bids for the 2020 Olympic Games. Lots of  intersecting issues here, including gender norms in a conservative Muslim country and the role of sports in the crafting of a nation’s international image. [Muslim Women in Sports, via Women Talk Sports Network]
  • The National Football League is facing a series of lawsuits from former players, who claim that the league is partially responsible for the brain trauma suffered during their playing careers. [New York Times]
  • Interesting story looking at New York Times sports coverage in 1912, 1937, 1962, and 1987, in which time the types and extent of coverage obviously changed a huge amount. [The Atlantic, via @wparker]
  • Looking at the challenges facing Afghan women who are competing in boxing for their country. [Globe and Mail]
  • Finally, an interesting post about the impact of sport and popular culture website Grantland. [LA Times]