Weekly Links: Boycotting the Sochi Games?; Ratner to redevelop Islanders’ arena; Devils get new ownership; Rick Rypien’s legacy

After a one year hiatus, Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post returns! 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!

  • Given the dangerous homophobic climate in Russia and the anti-gay legislation passed by Russian lawmakers, should hockey players and other athletes boycott the Sochi Games in 2014? Pierre Martin says that male hockey players should boycott the tournament while other athletes should attend. [Toronto Star]

  • The New Jersey Devils ownership situation has been resolved, as Josh Harris, owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, has agreed to purchase the franchise. [In Lou We Trust]
  • James “Whitey” Bulger,  the ex-mobster on trial for extortion and murder, has asked that he be able to keep a Stanley Cup ring, which was given to him as a gift. Reports surfaced that the ring may have belonged to Montreal Canadiens’ enforcer, Chris Nilan, who has since refuted the allegations. [Hockey Inside Out]
  • Former Vancouver Canucks player Rick Rypien passed away two years ago yesterday, after a long struggle with mental illness. His legacy includes a heightened awareness of mental illness and a charity in his honour, MindCheck.ca, to help teens who struggle with depression. A number of hockey bloggers reflected on Rypien, his impact, and his legacy. [Canucks Army; The Hockey Writers]
  • Tragic news in junior hockey as 16-year old Jordan Boyd of the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titans died after collapsing on the ice during training camp. [CBC]
  • Avi Goldberg examines the impact of social media, in particular Twitter, on the public discourse around sport from fans, media, and athletes. [The Barnstormer]
  • Given the recent doping controversies in baseball and track and field, it is not surprising the topic of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) is once again being discussed in the NHL. Chicago Blackhawks’ captain Jonathan Toews recently stated that “it would be naive to say that there’s no one in the NHL that is trying to get the edge [by using PEDs].” [The Score]
  • Chris Peters examines how Wayne Gretzky’s trade to the Los Angeles Kings impacted the popularity of hockey in the United States. [United States of Hockey]
  • Shawn Reznik makes a similar argument about the impact of Sidney Crosby on hockey participation in Western Pennsylvania and nearby areas. [The Hockey Writers]
  • Hockey in Society contributor E. Martin Nolan examines how sport teams, including the Red Wings, contribute to the social and cultural identity of Detroit. [The Barnstormer]
  • Finally, a reflection on Ken Dryden’s classic hockey book, The Game. [Left Hook]
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