Weekly Links: Ukrainian club HC Donbass’ struggles since 2014 invasion; Russian doping scandal implicates women’s national team; NHL playoffs commentary; and more

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

  • Rick Westhead has an excellent long form piece on hockey in Ukraine following the invasion by Russia in 2014. It focuses on HC Donbasss, a then-KHL team whose arena was torched following the invasion. The team has sat out of the KHL the last two seasons and currently competes in the Ukranian Hockey Extra League. [TSN]
  • The New York Times‘ revelations about Russian doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics included some bad news for Russian hockey: apparently, the entire women’s team may have participated in the doping scheme. [The Hockey News]
  • Jenny Scrivens, who played last season for the NWHL’s New York Riveters, explains why she is retiring from the league. A great piece by Jen Neale about the struggles for women athletes of balancing a poorly paid career with family and personal responsibilities. [Puck Daddy]
  • An examination by Kate Cimini on why the CWHL and NWHL struggle to increase the percentage of international athletes in their leagues. [Excelle Sports]
  • Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi has grown hugely in popularity over the past few years, and it has been earning more kudos for its entertaining commentary during these 2016 playoffs. [The Score]
  • A sad and disturbing story impacting Vancouver Canucks’ player Linden Vey. Vey’s father is on trial for conspiring to murder his mother in a complex plot with another woman. [Vancity Buzz]
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals playoff series demonstrated why distilling hockey down to star players (e.g. Sidney Crosby vs. Alexander Ovechkin) is a poor representation of the team sport. [VICE Sports]
  • Mike Holden argues that the NHL’s new playoff system, which uses brackets a la the NCAA’s March Madness, is deeply flawed, as it allows weaker teams to advance further than they deserve while superior teams are eliminated early. [The Cauldron]
  • Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, who purchased the team in 2010, has brought financial stability to the team, and invested hugely in local infrastructure, real estate, and community building. [Raw Charge]
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