Weekly Links: Successful Toronto youth program for disadvantaged and minority boys; the business of the NHL; Stu Grimson, Jim Thomson weigh in on fighting; and more

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. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • A really interesting read from William Douglas about the Skillz Black Aces and the Black Mafia, two Toronto teams for male youth of colour that were “created to give minority and disadvantaged Canadian youth the exposure and the opportunity to play the expensive sport of hockey.” The teams have featured NHLers such as Kevin Weekes, Anson Carter, Joel Ward, Chris Stewart, and Wayne Simmonds. [Color of Hockey]
  • Eric Duhatschek conducted an in-depth interview with NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, that explored topics such as potential expansion, league revenues, Canadian TV contracts, and more. [Globe and Mail]
  • Meanwhile, Greg Wyshynski interviewed the NHL’s John Collins about the NHL Stadium Series and various media ventures, including its newly announced “NHL Revealed.” [Puck Daddy]

  • Brian Cazeneuve has an insightful interview with former NHL fighter Stu Grimson. Not surprisingly, Grimson is pro-fighting, but his answers are insightful and articulate. [SI.com]
  • And Cazeneuve with a counterpoint from ex-NHLer and anti-fighting advocate Jim Thomson (whose views on fighting we have discussed a few times, here and here). [SI.com]
  • With the Buffalo Sabres’ hiring of former coach Ted Nolan to replace the fired Ron Rolston, the NHL now has two First Nation head coaches (Nolan and Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube) – a historic first for the league. [Color of Hockey]
  • Embattled Sabres’ enforcer John Scott took issue with a penalty he received for a hit on Dion Phaneuf, and labelled the Maple Leafs’ captain “Princess Phaneuf” after the game. Gendered insults are clearly alive and well in the NHL. [Kukla’s Korner]
  • Wyshynksi on the Sidney Crosby vs. Alexander Ovechkin rivalry, and how the NHL’s marketing and fan interest has expanded beyond its focus on these two superstars. [Puck Daddy]
  • With HBO getting ready for its latest 24/7 series, featuring the Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings, Sportsnet wonders what side of Todd Bertuzzi viewers will see and if the show will address his infamous 2004 attack on Steve Moore. [Sportsnet]
  • Attendance in two strong NHL markets, Ottawa and St. Louis, is lagging this season despite strong(ish) performances by the Senators and Blues. Should the league be worried? [The Hockey News]
  • Finally, a pregame ceremony for KHL club Dinamo Riga appeared to feature a swastika; however, it appears that it was in fact a traditional Latvian symbol. Needless to say, this was a controversial incident about a sensitive topic. [BBC News]
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