Hockey at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival

This year at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), amidst the star-laden Hollywood premieres and films from 74 countries, two (unsurprisingly Canadian) films debuted that use hockey as a lens to examine larger social issues. Indian Horse (directed by Stephen Campanelli): The powerful story from wonderful novel (reviewed by Mark Norman here) reaches the screen largely…

Danis Zaripov and the Politics of Doping

At 36 years old, Danis Zaripov hopes to become the NHL’s 4th oldest “rookie” ever. This goal is new to the KHL’s 3rd all -time leading scorer who has represented Russia at seven World Championships and one Olympic Games. In July, he received a two year ban from playing in the KHL or internationally after…

Soul on Ice: Racism and an Opportunity Missed

*Co-authored by Brett Pardy & Courtney Szto As part of Hockey is for Everyone Month (HIFE), the NHL promoted screenings of Soul on Ice: Past, Present & Future in franchise cities. We attended a free screening (sponsored by the Vancouver Canucks) as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival (no Canucks seemed to be in…

Talking About Hockey Talks: The NHL and Mental Health

Every February since 2013, the seven Canadian NHL teams host Hockey Talks, a NHLPA led program aimed at “destigmatizing” mental illness. The effort was initiated by former Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa after teammate Rick Rypien’s suicide in 2011. In addition to media spots, public service announcements, and the hashtag #hockeytalks, the team’s websites link…