Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Ives of the New York Times,
Taking the ice here on a recent weekday evening, Barry Beck issued an unsubtle warning to a fellow skater who had come to play hockey without neck protection.
“If you don’t have a neck guard, this is what you get,” he said, miming an attack. “A judo chop.”
In the 1980s, Beck, 59, was known throughout the N.H.L. as an enforcer with a crushing slap shot and a penchant for scrappy fights and bone-crushing body checks.
But here in a Hong Kong shopping mall, Beck, a former Rangers captain, was goading a 10-year-old about a quarter of his size — and the boy did not flinch. They both laughed.
Players and coaches say Beck, a 6-foot-3 defenseman who moved to Hong Kong in 2007, has played a key role in developing the city’s youth hockey culture. He is primarily known not as an ex-enforcer, they said, but as a hockey oracle who dishes wisdom with tough love and a side of Canadian wit.
from Jamie Strashin ov CBC,
As thousands of children across Ontario prepare for another hockey season, their parents will be receiving some mandatory off-ice training. Before any player steps onto the ice this season, their parents are required to complete an online Respect in Sport course.
The program has already been rolled out in other provinces across Canada as organizations rally to combat bad parental behaviour. This is the first season for it in Ontario.
"Parents are a key component of the sports experience," said Wayne McNeil, co-founder of the Respect Group, the company providing the course. "They are the reason why referees and officials quit. In a lot of cases, they are the reason their own kid either quits or has a bad experience in sports."
The course costs $12 and lasts about an hour. It covers topics such as using guilt on your child, making "the bigs," losing perspective, achieving balance and avoiding burnout. Each section is supplemented with vignettes illustrating bad behaviour.
The Rink Rats program, run through the Herb Brooks Foundation in Minnesota, share an emotional moment with the Stanley Cup after practice
Hometown Hockey takes you through the lower mainland of British Columbia to the communities of new Canadians who are just being introduced to Canada’s game.
from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports,
During the Coyotes’ inaugural season in the Valley, the state featured 2,349 USA Hockey registered players.
That number rose to 7,329 for the 2014-15 campaign – a jump of 212 percent – and the most significant boost among youth players has been for those 8 years old and under (331 to 1,101).
“When the Coyotes moved in to Arizona, a hockey market grew up with the team,” Pat Kelleher, assistant executive director for development at USA Hockey, wrote in an email. “Now, with an ownership group and team staff focused on growing the game, we are seeing unprecedented hockey participation numbers in the state. It’s a credit to the NHL, the Coyotes, USA Hockey and most importantly the local volunteers who are creating great hockey experiences for thousands of families in Arizona.”
Not only did the Coyotes’ arrival seem to stir an interest in playing hockey, but it also opened up more opportunity to actually get on the ice.
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
Absorbed by Postmedia colleague Michael Traikos’s series on the new epidemic of hockey academies for children of the very rich or soon-to-be poor, here was my take-away from the revelations it contained:
Hockey, if it isn’t already, is in danger of becoming an illness in Canada, possibly untreatable.
We mock Americans for their obsessive love of football’s ingrained brutality and the cavalier way fans and parents and league administrators shrug off all of that sport’s accompanying detritus, but do we ever look in the mirror?
Our national winter sport has become terrifyingly expensive, dangerously elitist, and is slowly but surely hacking away at the roots of what made the possibility of greatness accessible, albeit at greater or lesser odds, to any kid with talent and a dream.
Now it also takes money, and plenty of it.
If you missed the four part feature from Traikos, here is part four with links to the previous articles too...
I've been making videos of Iguchi Aito for over a year now.
Iguchi is from Saitama Japan, and his work off the ice helps him be that much better than everyone else. It's always exciting talking to him about ways we can improve his game - he is excelling at an alarmingly fast rate. Very proud of his progress.
Looks like the kid has been watching some NHL hockey, I see some Datsyuk, Ovechkin and others in his moves.
from Bryan Weismiller of MetroNews,
Like many youngsters who outgrow their youth-sized lumber, Jack was equipped with a mid-priced junior stick that had seven inches lobbed off the top of it.
Modifying the stick made the shaft too firm for even some NHL stars.
“His 55 flex turned into an 85 flex,” Reily said. “Alex Ovechkin is 225 pounds, built like a Neanderthal, and he had a more flexible stick than my son at seven years old.
“That was the problem.”
After developing some more bendable prototypes, Reily and a neighbour teamed up with sports researchers at the University of Calgary. It lead to what’s billed as a first-of-its-kind research project using players aged five to eight years old.
That’s also where the duo discovered a third partner for their venture.
The group eventually came up with a 20-flex junior stick, which falls in line with the general rule that hockey stick flex should be roughly half of the skater’s body weight.
Reily stressed the importance of buying proper equipment, saying the stiff sticks of today are encouraging kids to develop bad habits.
“They’re putting their sticks on the puck and twisting their body to flick it,” he said.
from William Douglas of The Color Of Hockey,
Anthony Benavides never knew what to expect on most mornings when he’d go to crank up the 40-year-old, hand-me-down Zamboni at Detroit’s Clark Park ice rink.
Sometimes it would fire up. Sometimes it would catch fire. Sometimes it would work fine. Sometimes it would work, then suddenly break down in the middle of resurfacing the only regulation-size outdoor hockey rink within Detroit’s city limits.
“It’s had a lot of maintenance issues,” Benavides, the Clark Park Coalition Recreation Center director told me recently. ”It’s like an old, old car. It’s on it’s last legs. That puts a hamper on our hockey program when we don’t have a properly running Zamboni. We don’t have a back up.”
Benavides’ mornings of mystery are now over, thanks to the National Hockey League and the Detroit Red Wings Foundation. The league and foundation Monday unveiled a new, sparkling Red Wings red Zamboni to replace the rusting ancient wonder and showcased a host of other enhancements and upgrades they donated to Clark Park as part of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Legacy Initiative.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org