Weekly Links: Sochi Olympics news; NHL stars on Russia’s anti-gay laws; Leetch and Burke join NHL’s Department of Player Safety

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!

  • Interesting read about kids’ hockey and skill development, as the Edmonton Minor Hockey Association is expanding access to ice time for children’s teams by mandating half-rink practices for teams. [Oilers Nation]
  • While problematic, the film Goon was a popular success amongst many hockey fans. Jay Baruchel is now working on writing a sequel and hopes to have it in production within a year. [Montreal Gazette]
  • Blogger Travis Yost, who has provided detailed reporting on the finances of the Ottawa Senators under the ownership of Eugene Melnyk, had his posts removed from the website Hockeybuzz – apparently as the result of the site being hacked. No responsibility has been proven, but Melynk is bizarrely and tangentially connected to the hack. [SB Nation]
  • The NHL has added two members to its Department of Player Safety: former NHL star Brian Leetch and former Philadelphia Flyers scout and You Can Play founder Patrick Burke. [Puck Daddy]

  • Looking at the local impact of the Phoenix Coyotes on hockey participation in Arizona. [The Hockey Writers]
  • Puck Buddys has a very insightful interview with Russian hockey journalist Slava Malamud on Russia’s anti-gay laws and the Sochi Olympics. A must read on this topic. [Puck Buddys]
  • With men’s national teams holding Olympic orientation camps, a number of hockey stars were asked about their views on Russia’s anti-gay legislation. KHLer Ilya Kovalchuk is supportive of the laws. Braden Holtby (Washington Capitals), Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Dan Boyle (San Jose Sharks) are, to various degrees of outspokenness, opposed. Said Boyle: “I don’t agree with it. I just don’t agree. I think, gay or not, that shouldn’t change anything. Not a big fan of [the laws].” [SI.com; Sportsnet]
  • With the Sochi Olympics fast approaching, there has been a great deal of discussion concerning the differences between NHL sized rinks (200 X 85 feet) and the international sized rinks (200 X 100 feet) that are used in international competition. Joe Pelletier has an interesting historical examination of this disparity in rink size, including a discussion of differences in arena construction in North America and Europe at the time the sport spread overseas. [Greatest Hockey Legends]
  • Japan’s women’s hockey team has qualified for Sochi. While this has made the players famous at a national level, and brought increased sponsorship to the team, this has not translated into increased earnings for the cash-strapped amateur players. [Japan Times]
  • Could an international “Champions League” ever work in hockey? This post advocates for such a tournament, which would feature teams from the NHL, KHL, AHL, the Swedish Hockey League, Finland’s SM-Liiga, Switzerland’s National League A, the Czech Republic’s Extraliga, the Slovakian Extraliga and Germany’s Deutsche Eishockey Liga. An interesting idea, even if there are many obstacles to its realization. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
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