Weekly Links: Russia’s U-18 doping scandal; First-person reflections on perils and rewards of pursuing a hockey career; NHL concussion lawsuit news; and more

The Weekly Links post highlights important or interesting writing from the hockey blogosphere and media. Enjoy!

  • A major scandal in international hockey has broken, as the Russian U-18 men’s team was completely replaced by the U-17 team ahead of the U-18 World Championships, likely due to failed drug tests. [Deadspin; Puck Daddy]
  • William Douglas gives a great overview of hockey’s growth in various non-traditional hockey areas around the world, including Mexico, South Korea, China, and India. [Color of Hockey]
  • Former pro player Stefan Legein has an honest and compelling take on the challenges of mental illness, depression, and injurt that can make the pressure of pursuing an NHL career extremely difficult for young men. [The Hockey News]
  • Ryan and Casey Fitzgerald, along with their father Tom, give an interview on hockey families. Some interesting nuggets about gender and hockey as labour in here. [The Player’s Tribune]
  • Speaking of hockey families, a feature on Team Canada goalie Emerance Maschmeyer and her family’s hockey background. Maschmeyer recently led Team Canada in its silver medal performance at the Women’s World Championships. [Hockey Canada]
  • Team USA gave an insider perspective on the “grind” of going for gold at the Women’s World Championships. [The Player’s Tribune]
  • Many star women’s players agree that a merger of the CWHL and NWHL is the best thing for the sport moving forward. [National Post]
  • Sadly, it appears tired sexist insults are still acceptable among hockey media and fans. The New York Islanders’ public address announcer is the latest example, after he tweeted out a derogatory picture of Sidney Crosby and encouraged fans to chant “Cindy Crosby” during a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. [Puck Daddy]
  • Sunil Agnihotri undermines the critical (and lazy) narratives lobbed at Nail Yakupov of the Edmonton Oilers: “The key thing to remember is it’s going to be the same group of Edmonton based writers [criticizing Yakupov] who chase page clicks and rely on sensationalistic journalism to draw readers.” [Super Fan 2.0]
  • Bruce Arthur’s take on the unsealed NHL concussion emails: old-school hockey decision-makers have slowed the NHL’s willingness to adapt to the realities of head trauma caused by the sport. [The Star]
  • Star ex-NHLers, such as Paul Kariya and Alexander Mogilny, are among a group of nearly 400 former players who have received workers’ compensation from California for injuries (mostly head trauma) received during their careers. [TSN]
  • Much ink has been spilled about the woeful performance of Canada’s seven NHL franchises this season, as all will miss the playoffs. Dave Lozo has an insightful and humorous take on where it went wrong for these teams. [VICE Sports]
  • After an extremely tumultuous season, the owner of the OHL’s Flint Firebirds has been suspended by the league for five years and fined a $250,000. [Puck Daddy]
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