Weekly Links: Cherry’s ratings plummet; KHL takes action against goonery; Headshot debate continues to rage

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

  • Interesting piece from Bruce Dowbiggen about a significant drop in Don Cherry’s ratings and how the new measurement instrument for TV viewership may be responsible. The old line was that Cherry drew better ratings than the hockey game itself. Was this a myth supported by inaccurate measuring equipment? Or has Cherry’s popularity and influence waned over the years? [Globe and Mail]
  • Dmitri Chesnokov reports that the KHL has taken action due to the most recent antics of Vityaz Chekhov, a team whose thuggery makes the Broad Street Bullies of the 1970s look tame. Canadian Jeremy Yablonski was suspended the rest of the season, while fellow Canuck Kip Brennan was banned for 15 games. The KHL is now planning to implement a rule to limit North American players who have not played 80-120 NHL games, theoretically weeding out fighters who are not skilled enough to play at an NHL level. [Puck Daddy]
  • Good read about former referee Kerry Fraser, who believes that the NHL needs to do more about headshots, that fighting should be banned, and that Brendan Shanahan needs to remain firm on suspensions to protect players. [Regina Leader-Post]
  • Red Fisher criticizes the Pittsburgh Penguins for allowing Kris Letang to return to a game after taking a hit to the head. [The Gazette]
  • ESPN’s headline about the retirement of Mike Grier decided that his race was a defining feature of this NHL veteran: “U.S.-born black player Grier retires from NHL”. Stay classy, ESPN. [The Slanch Report; h/t to Puck Daddy]
  • Ken Campbell examines the potential legal battle between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NHL over whether the franchise could prevent a second NHL team from entering the Greater Toronto Area market. [The Hockey News]
  • Ryan Lambert pens a pro-fighting, anti-fighting-for-honour piece; an interesting editorial that is worth checking out. [Puck Daddy]
  • Interesting piece from about how Newsport Sports Management, an agency with many NHL clients, has an employee to handle various cultural and bureaucratic issues that its Russian clients and their families may face in North America. [New York Times]

General Sport Links

  • This week’s “must read”, in my opinion. Charles P. Pierce offers damning critique of the NBA lockout, asserting that it was not about economics – as the NBA spin doctors asserted – but the power of the league and its owners over the players and their union. Among the insightful quotes I could include here: “Lockouts are not devices of economic correction. That’s just a byproduct. Lockouts are attempts by management to exercise control over their workers. Period.” [Grantland]
  • The Canadian Forces and Prime Minister Stephen Harper featured prominently at the CFL’s championship game, the Grey Cup. For regular viewers of Canadian hockey this marriage of militarism and sport should not be a surprise. [Globe and Mail]
  • All-time great Paralympic athlete, Chantal Petitclerc, who won Canada’s award for outstanding athlete in 2008, leaves to coach in the UK because of lack of financial support in Canada. [Globe and Mail]
  • Great read about Basil D’Oliveira, a South African born cricketer who competed for England, and how he inadvertently sparked the international sports boycott against South Africa that helped bring down apartheid. [Game Theory]
  • Interesting article about the ways in which mass and new media have changed the prestige of athletes: “Our most famous athletes exist as ideas that we share and discuss. The most popular athletes in the world exist as memes.” [Grantland]
  • James Christie reports on the International Boxing Association’s attempts to mandate skirts as part of the uniform for female boxers. Boxing Canada is, thankfully, opposed to making skirts mandatory. [Globe and Mail]

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