For a country that’s known for quiet pride, politeness, and generally being unassuming on a global scale, when it comes to hockey, we can crank up the hyperbole machine with the best of them.
Don’t be surprised by a rise in carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of all the national hand-wringing brought about by the combination of the National Hockey League’s lock-out and a fourth-place finish by our under-20 squad at the World Junior Hockey Championship. Continue reading →
Hockey is a part of our national identity; Hockey Night in Canada is a part of our national history. That distinction alone is why the ongoing debate about the CBC’s involvement in NHL broadcasts should come down to nothing more than finances.
Like clockwork, every year someone somewhere questions the CBC’s involvement in Hockey Night in Canada. This year, it was an article published in the Toronto Star that opined about a potential bidding war between the Bell and Rogers-owned media giants and our national, publicly funded broadcaster. Continue reading →
I have a confession to make – I like the film Bloodsport. I know it’s cheesy, campy, and poorly acted, but it also takes me back to a time when I was 15 and still heavily involved in karate. I thoroughly enjoyed the file despite its violence, gore, and cracking bones, because I was strongly aware of the fact that it was fantasy.
But there appears to be another sequel on the market – the NHL – and while Jean Claude Van Damme could head back to his trailer after the director said cut, wipe off the stage blood, and get on with his life, the actors in this modern production have no such luxury. Continue reading →
With its new realignment plans, the NHL has passed its geography test. But while the A-B-C-Ds of the conference format may satisfy the grammarians out there, if the NHL makes the smart move to embrace its history, not only will they pass the exercise with flying colours, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman would come out of this with honours. Continue reading →
Guy Boucher’s 1-3-1 system isn’t just putting the freeze on opposition offense – it’s blazing through a copy-cat league and making some general managers’ blood boil. But instead of taking a torch to the rulebook, the NHL must ensure that cooler heads prevail because – like all defensive innovations – it’s just a matter of time until the pendulum swings the other way.
The system, which sees one forward enter into a mild forecheck, backed up by three players across the neutral zone, and one defenseman playing a deep-centre-field/safety style of defense, is gaining popularity because it works. Continue reading →
As nauseating as Don Cherry’s “puke” comments were, all the calls to fire him for his statements are misguided. And for those who have tired of the flamboyant former coach’s bombast, the best way to deal with it is to put him on ice.
You don’t like what Cherry has to say, or how he chooses to say it, don’t tune in on Saturday nights. Turn off the TV during intermission, or change the channel altogether and, perhaps, find a game on TSN.
If enough people do this, then the tall foreheads at the CBC will get the point. Instead, thousands will play right into Cherry’s hands, tune in specifically to watch what he says, and everyone goes home happy – except the viewer. Continue reading →
The question isn’t whether fighting in hockey has outlived its usefulness; rather, we have to start looking at whether it ever had a point in the first place.
I consider myself a hockey fan. I have been since my youth, I played the game growing up, and I continue to follow it both as a fan and as a writer, covering junior hockey for Hockey’s Future. I say this to establish my bonafides in light of the inevitable backlash I’ll receive from a certain sub-section of fans.