Links Round-Up: Hayley Wickenheiser hired by Maple Leafs; Anders Nilsson tackles homophobia; Mental illness and hockey labour; and more

Formerly known as “Weekly Links,” our round-up of important and interesting pieces from the hockey blogosphere and media now appears every 2-4 weeks.

  • The Toronto Maple Leafs made a number of front office hires, which included some notable positions for women: Hayley Wickenheiser becomes Assistant Director of Player Development and Noelle Needham as an amateur scout (the first female NHL scout since the early 1990s). [Pension Plan Puppets; The Leafs Nation]
  • The Ontario Hockey Federation has mandated that minor hockey teams deliver a preseason talk about gender diversity and inclusion. The move is a response to a Human Rights Tribunal case of a transgender teen who was outed and criticized by parents of his teammates. [CBC Sports]
  • Anders Nilsson of the Vancouver Canucks gave an interview to Swedish press in which he heavily critiqued the homophobic culture of hockey. Nilsson has been a passionate advocate for LGBTQ rights. [Out Sports]
  • R.I.P. Stan Mikita, the Chicago Blackhawks star who passed away earlier this month. [ESPN]
  • Goaltender Ben Meisner penned a heartfelt piece on the his mental health struggles and the pressures of precarious employment for hockey players at the lower levels of the minor league system. A difficult and important read. [The Player’s Tribune]
  • Former 1st overall draft pick Bryan Berard is suing the NHL for the concussion-related health issues he has suffered after his playing career. Berard is attempting to hold the league accountable for “their patent glorification of, and profiting from, fist-fighting and violence in the league.” [TMZ Sports]
  • Carey Price, a member of the Ulkatcho First Nation and star goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, will be featured prominently in an Indigenous athletes display at the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame. [Montreal Canadiens]
  • Former NHLer Georges Laraque won a Montreal Pride drag competition and donated his prize money to LGBTQ organizations:

  • With a focus on the Coquitlam Express of the BCHL, a look at the role that billet families play in the development of teenage boys who must leave home to pursue their junior hockey careers. [Tri-City News]
  • Joe Pack shares some history on women’s hockey legend Angela James:

  • Recognizing that Newfoundland women rarely have the opportunity to play hockey past aged 20, the province’s hockey body is looking to create a new junior women’s league to provide further opportunity to play competitively. [The Telegram]
  • The CWHL has struck a deal with Gongshow hockey to sell teams hats:

  • There is a new hockey memoir on shelves, called Home Ice: Reflections of a Reluctant Hockey Mom by Abdou Angie. [Amazon]
  • Wayne Gretzky has been named ambassador the KHL’s Kunlun Red Star team, part of hockey’s significant growth and investment in China. [TSN]
  • Christian Holmes imagines the economic, personnel, and game play implications if the NHL were to retract to its “Original 6” structure. [Grandstand Central]
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