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]

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