Weekly Links: Lots of Winter Classic reaction; USA Hockey/Bobby Ryan controversy; Rogers deal with NHL hurts poorest fans; East Indians’ increasing prominence in hockey; 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!

  • The big hockey news of the past two weeks concerned the NHL’s annual Winter Classic, which took place between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on New Year’s Day at Michigan Stadium. The game set an attendance record for hockey, with 105,491 fans attending the game. [The Province]
  • It also recorded bumper ratings for CBC and NBC. NBC had 4.4 million viewers for its broadcast, while CBC drew 3.6 million. [SB Nation; Globe and Mail]
  • Lots of writers had rave reviews of the event, which certainly did not lack in its picturesqueness. Here are links to some of the better reactions from mainstream media, by Katie Baker, Adam Proteau, and Chris Johnston respectively. [Grantland; The Hockey News; Sportsnet]
  • And here are reactions from some Red Wings bloggers… [Winging it in Motown; The Malik Report]
  • … and some Maple Leafs bloggers. [Pension Plan Puppets; Leafs Nation]

  • Sportsnet reports that the Maple Leafs are looking to host the 2017 Winter Classic at a renovated BMO Field – assuming that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment can get three levels of government to kick in for upgrades to the home field of its MLS club. [Sportsnet]
  • Meanwhile, Greg Wyshynski looks ahead to future Winter Classics. The 2015 edition will be hosted by the Washington Capitals against a yet-to-be-named opponent. Wyshynski predicts the Minnesota Wild, Maple Leafs, and Philadelphia Flyers as hosts for the following three editions. [Puck Daddy]
  • Wyshynski also notes that, despite the financial success of the Winter Classic, the NHL is having trouble selling out its Stadium Series games in Los Angeles and New York. [Puck Daddy]
  • On to the non-Winter Classic links! First up, Tyler Shipley explains how the recent deal struck between media giant Rogers and the NHL, which gives Rogers exclusive Canadian broadcast rights starting in 2015, will punish working class fans of hockey. [Left Hook]
  • USA Hockey has egg on its face after allowing two journalists behind-the-scenes access to the selection process for its 2014 men’s Olympic team. Scott Burnside of ESPN, one of the journalists, produced a thorough piece on the process that, amongst other revelations, quoted damning comments from management about Bobby Ryan of the Ottawa Senators, who was left off the team. The controversy raises a lot of interesting issues around sport media and the drive for greater access to out-of-game stories (e.g. HBO’s popular 24-7 series). Here is the link to Burnside’s story. [ESPN]
  • In the wake of this controversy, Team USA GM David Poile issued an apology to Ryan and offered his comments on the behind-the-scenes access that was given to media. Allan Muir has a good overview of the apology and the implications for hockey media. [SI.com]
  • Interesting article that looks at East Indians’ presence in Canadian hockey, increasingly at elite levels. [Hockeyland Canada]
  • Finally, Kristina Rutherford has an interesting article about the iconic hockey arena at St. Michael’s College high school in Toronto. [Sportsnet]

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