Weekly Links: The Violent Life and Tragic Death of Derek Boogaard; Debating Mandatory Visors; Arena Politics

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

  • If you have not seen it, please check out the New York Times series on the life and death of former enforcer Derek Boogaard. It is a brilliant yet harrowing look inside the life of an NHL enforcer, tracing his life from early childhood through junior hockey and the NHL. It is a three-part series (not including the accompanying videos) that is getting some Pulitzer hype. Well worth reading if you care at all about fighting in hockey. I am working on a post on this topic that will hopefully go up this weekend. [New York Times]
  • There has been lots of reaction to the Times story this week, including questioning the role of fighting and the reaction of players (it is “part of the price we pay”).  [Leader-Post; Globe and Mail; Sportsnet]
  • Roy MacGregor with a harsh critique of the NHL for continuing to allow fighting in hockey. [Globe and Mail]
  • Hockey Wilderness, a blog for Boogaard’s former team the Minnesota Wild, wonders why there has been little rage amongst fans as a result of the Times‘ revelations. [Hockey Wilderness]
  • Meanwhile, the Minneapolis Post gives the background to how the Times got access to the story. [Minneapolis Post]
  • Grantland pulls up a 1989 interview conducted with Red Wings enforcer Joey Kocur. Extremely fascinating, and at times upsetting, stuff. And another story to add to the growing list of hockey fighters’ narratives. [Grantland, via Kukla’s Corner]
  • In a show of poor taste and even poorer timing, sports card company In the Game is releasing a set of hockey cards focused on fighters and featuring bloodstained cards. [Puck Daddy]
  • A month ago, Courtney Szto weighed in on mandatory visors. This week, an anonymous NHLer/blogger gave a players take on the issue. [Puck Daddy]
  • Forbes released its annual Business of Hockey feature, highlighting that franchise values are now at their all-time peak. Distribution is not so equitable though: the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, and Montreal Canadiens earn greater profits than the other 27 teams combined. [Forbes]
  • The NHL won the 2011 Sport for the Environment Award for its efforts not to waste food at arenas, this diverting waste from landfills. I do not say this often, but congratulations NHL. [NHL.com]
  • Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff with a great quote about NHL suspensions: “I understand with a phone hearing the max you’re going to get is [a five-game suspension]. In my eyes, is that a big message? . . . I look at the NFL and I look at the Detroit Lion [Ndamukong Suh] that got two games for a 6-inch kick. He got kicked out of the game, and then that amounted to one-eighth of our season. That’s a 10-game suspension. I think they do it right. The message there is we’re not putting up with this stuff. I think we need a strong message. Is five strong enough? I don’t know.” [Sabres Edge]
  • Interesting post about the politics of arena construction in the Ontario Hockey League. [Buzzing the Net]

Other Sport Links

  • Whenever you hear assertions about the benefits of publicly subsidizing sports arenas, take them with a grain of salt. [Boing Boing]
  • Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan has raised some hackles by suggesting that he wishes he could skate for China, the country of his parents’ birth, because Canada does not support its amateur athletes well enough. [Winnipeg Free Press]
  • The UFC is promoting anti-bullying initiatives to schoolchildren. The Globe offers an editorial rebuttal to this somewhat surprising partnership. [Globe and Mail]
  • Chuck Klosterman with a very interesting article about the polarizing love/hate reaction to Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. [Grantland; h/t to Graham for the link]

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