Trailblazer: Kaliya Johnson


The Arizona-raised, California-born Johnson was one of the more fascinating hockey stories of the 2014-15 hockey season. Before the season, she learned that she had a Chiari malformation, a rare structural condition of the spinal cord and brain that contributes to a tinier than normal space for the brain, pushing it downward.

Mainly, her brain was sitting under the base of her skull. It was something she was born with. She had symptoms all her life, small things such as migraines and pressure headaches. She thought they were a normal part of her life. 

Johnson had surgery in September 2015 that she stated opened up some space and eliminated the first vertebrae in her neck so there was more room to breathe.


As hyped as Johnson was about joining the NWHL, Blake Bolden, a Black defenseman for the league champion Boston Pride and a former teammate of Johnson’s at BC, was hyped about the possibility of the two being reunited in Boston.

Johnson said it was great having her by her side and Bolden teaching her all she knows. She felt that it would have been an added bonus for her playing in the NWHL with Bolden. Sadly, it didn’t work out that way.  But Bolden is a solid competitor, and she’s excited about playing against her because she’s a good player.

Kaliya Johnson ended up signing as a free agent with the Connecticut Whale of the NWHL.

The NWHL has four teams – the Whale, the Pride, the New York Riveters, and the Buffalo Beauts. Players are paid and the teams stick to a salary cap that was somewhere around $270,000 in its original season.

The salaries aren’t anything to live on. Therefore, players have to get regular employment to supplement their incomes. Still, most, like Kaliya Johnson, are proud to be called a professional hockey player.

Unusual Terms Used in Hockey Matches

Part of what makes professional sports so much fun is the lingo that is used amongst fans. Even veteran hockey fans don’t know all the unusual terms that apply in the game.

Today, we’re writing about five common phrases, as well as what they mean. By the next game, you’ll make quite the save after having a breakaway conversation.

While many other unusual terms exist, these get thrown around a lot. When in doubt, visit us to decipher all your sports-related lingo.

Yard Sale: Everything Must Go

Do you remember getting injured in Sonic the Hedgehog and watching his rings spill out? The Blue Blur isn’t the only one to experience a yard sale while competing.

When a hockey player gets hit hard enough, they end up dropping everything. Sticks, pads, their helmet, even jerseys can be left behind on the ice. After a while, it starts looking like a yard sale is being held. 

Deke: A Very Canadian Slang Word

Canada also gifted us the term “hosers,” so of course, there are other lingo entries from them. The Great White North abbreviated the word “decoy” to give these unusual terms their life.

It’s a fairly common phrase, and one used to describe a fake-out. During football matches, it would represent when a quarterback attempts a false pass to trick others.

Usually, a successful deke gets an opposing player away from their position. When that happens, it makes it easier to score the next goal.

Cheese: More Than a Snack

The term cheese in hockey is not referring to a quick snack. It refers to a skillful play.

The upper corners of a goal are the most challenging shots to block. Because of this, it’s a desirable spot to focus your skill as a player.

Because it’s where the good stuff gets held, sometimes it’s called the Top Shelf, also. Whatever you call it, it’s as desirable as a nice plate of cheese.

Gong Show: Don’t Get Gonged

Since the 1970s, American TV has brought, canceled, and rebooted the Gong Show. This unique talent show brought on many contestants, from stay-at-home moms to bail bondsmen.

A Gong Show in hockey is a different talent spotlight, one that sees tons of action. Once a team starts racking up points, we’ve entered the Gong Show.

Sometimes, it means that several fights are happening. When that happens, some fans change to use different unusual terms, as the term Meat Show.

Power Play

No one likes getting penalized, especially when it costs players. The other team can’t wait to enjoy a Power Play at your expense.

Unlike other sports, you can see your side dwindle due to penalties. Once they go into the penalty box, you’re short a man or two.

That means that the other team has a steep advantage. While it may sound silly, it’s one of the more important unusual terms we listed.


Asian Hockey Players in the NHL (Part V)

These Asian players went down in history on the ice.

Martin Kariya

Martin Tetsuya Kariya is an ice hockey right-winger. Former NHL left-winger Paul Kariya is his older brother.

Hiroyuki Miura

Miura became the 1st Japanese player to be drafted to the NHL, as the Montreal Canadiens chose him in the 11th round of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. Miura came to North America and played in the ECHL with the Wheeling Thunderbirds, for only six games before going back home and playing with the Kokudo Keikaku HC.

Zachary Yuen

Zachary Yuen is a Canadian Chinese professional ice hockey defenseman. He is presently playing for Kunlun Red Star of the Kontinental Hockey League. Yuen was the 1st player of Asian descent to be drafted in the NHL Entry Draft. 

Jomar Cruz

Jomar Cruz played in four leagues over the course of his hockey career. 

Ryan Kuwabara

Ryan Kuwabara is a Japanese ice hockey player. He competed in the ‘98 Winter Olympics. 

Matt Oikawa

Matt Oikawa played in three leagues over the course of his career. 

Shim Kyuin

Kyuin Shim played in five leagues over the course of his career. 

Steve Tsujiura

Steven Ken Tsujiura is a Canadian former professional ice hockey center who played in the Swiss National League A, the American Hockey League, and the Japan Ice Hockey League. He played in the ‘98 Winter Olympics for Japan.

Matt Dumba

Mathew Dumba is a Canadian ice hockey defenseman who is presently playing for the Red Deer Rebels in the Western Hockey League (WHL).


Spencer Foo

Spencer Foo is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward presently playing for HC Kunlun Red Star of the Kontinental Hockey League. In 2017, Foo turned professional by signing an entry-level contract with the Calgary Flames of the NHL as an undrafted college free agent.

Asian Hockey Players in the NHL (Part IV)

These hockey players represented their Asian Heritage.

Larry Kwong

Kwong, the 1st athlete of Asian heritage to play in an NHL game, battled discrimination and racism as he made a name for himself on the ice. He paved the way for future ice hockey players of Asian descent.

Larry Kwong’s time as a player for the NHL lasted less than 60 seconds but was a crucial moment in hockey history. In 1948, Kwong became the 1st athlete of Asian heritage to skate for the NHL when he played a really short time for the New York Rangers in a game against the Montreal Canadiens. Kwong died in 2018 at the age of 94. It was only a couple of days after the 70th anniversary of his one and only NHL game.

Jim Paek

Paek became the NHL’s 1st Korean-born player when he joined the Penguins in the 1990-1991 season. He helped Pittsburgh’s defense during the team’s back-to-back Stanley Cup run in 1990-91 and 1991-92.

David Tanabe

David Michael Tanabe is an American former professional ice hockey defenseman. Tanabe was drafted in the 1st round by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. After being made to retire early because of an injury, he went to work for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.

Mike Wong

Michael Anthony Wong is a retired ice hockey who played forward in 22 games for the Detroit Red Wings. Additionally, he was a former Minnesota Golden Gloves boxing champion. He went 7th in the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft. Wong is of Chinese descent.

Torrie Jung

Torrie Jung is a goaltender for the Laredo Bucks of the Central Hockey League. He was drafted 183rd by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. However, he didn’t sign with them. Jung decided to just become a free agent.

Asian Hockey Players in the NHL (Part III)

These Asian hockey players made a name for themselves in the NHL.

Yutaka Fukufuji

Fukufuji is a Japanese ice hockey player in the Asia League Ice Hockey with the Nikko Ice Bucks.  Fukufuji was the 1st Japanese player to be in an NHL game. The 1st Japanese draft pick, Hiroyuki Miura, was picked by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1992 NHL Draft, however, he never appeared in an NHL game. Fukufuji is the 1st Japanese citizen to be drafted as a goaltender in the NHL and the 2nd Japanese national to be drafted.

Peter Ing

Born in Toronto in 1969, Ing played minor hockey for the Toronto Marlboros and Markham Waxers before being drafted by the Windsor Spitfires in the second round of the 1986 OHL Draft. 

Ing spent most of the OHL seasons in Windsor, where he backstopped the Spitfires to the J. Ross Robertson Cup as the OHL champions in the 1987-88 season. Later, he was traded to the London Knights in 1989, before beginning his pro career.

Paul Kariya

Paul Tetsuhiko Kariya is a Canadian former professional ice hockey winger who spent 15 seasons in the NHL. Known as a fast-skating, skilled offensive player, he played in the NHL for Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, Mighty Ducks, and St. Louis Blues. After two years with the Penticton Panthers (he was named Canadian Junior A Player of the Year) 

Kariya joined the college ranks with the U Maine Black Bears. When he was a freshman, he got the Hobey Baker Award while guiding his team to the 1993 NCAA title. Picked 4th overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Mighty Ducks, he joined the team in 1994.

Stuart Percy

Stuart Percy is a Canadian ice hockey defenseman who is playing for the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors in the Ontario Hockey League. He was chosen 25th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.


Asian Hockey Players in the NHL (Part II)

These Asians rocked out on the ice.

Jon Matsumoto

An offensive center, Matsumoto plays with loads of enthusiasm. He’s an excellent playmaker who, regardless of his size, is hard to knock off the puck. He doesn’t shy from traffic or contact. 

Richard Park

Richard Park is a Korean-born American former professional ice hockey player who spent 14 seasons with the NHL with six different teams. Presently, he is a Player Development Coach for the Minnesota Wild. 

Raymond Sawada

Raymond Masao Sawada is a former ice hockey winger with the Canadian league. 

Devin Setoguchi

Devin Charlie Kenichi Setoguchi is a Canadian professional ice hockey right winger who presently plays with the Adirondack Flames of the AHL. Setoguchi is Half-Yonsei. He was drafted by the Sharks in the first round in the 2005 NHL Draft. Also, he played with the Minnesota Wild, Calgary Flames, and Winnipeg Jets.  

Brandon Yip

Brandon Michael Harry Yip is a Canadian professional ice hockey right wing for Adler Mannheim of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. Previously, he played in the NHL for the Nashville Predators, Colorado Avalanche, and the Phoenix Coyotes. He is of Irish and Asian descent.  

Robin Bawa 

Robin N. Bawa is a Canadian retired former professional ice hockey player who spent four seasons in the NHL between 1989 and 1994.

Bawa spent five seasons of junior hockey in the WHL with the Kamloops Blazers but wasn’t selected in the NHL Entry Draft. Lastly, after a 57-goal performance in the 1986–87 season, Bawa got a pro contract from the Washington Capitals.

Even though Bawa had been basically a skilled player in junior, he started to fight more frequently in pro hockey and became an enforcer, as that was his best ticket to the NHL. He averaged more than 200 penalty minutes in his first three years with the Capitals. 

Asian Hockey Players in the NHL (Part I)

These Asian Hockey Players are in the NHL.

Believe it or not, there are a good number of Asian-American hockey players in the NHL as well as many Canadian hockey players of Asian descent. The top Asian players in the NHL, over the course of its existence, have a place on this list of the top Asian hockey players in the NHL. 

Players of Asian descent in the NHL go back to the mid-20th century. Who was the 1st Asian NHL player? In 1948, Canadian Chinese hockey player Larry Kowng was the first Asian hockey player to play in the NHL. He played with the New York Rangers in the Montreal Forum. In 1990, Korean hockey player Jim Paek was the 1st Asian-born player to win the Stanley Cup, playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Chris Beckford-Tseu

Chris Beckford-Tseu is a former Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who played in one NHL game with the St. Louis Blues in the 2007–08 season. He was drafted by the Blues in the 2003 NHL draft.

Manny Malhotra

Emmanuel “Manny” Noveen Malhotra is a Canadian professional ice hockey center who presently plays for the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL. Frequently renowned as the 1st East India. Previously, he played in the NHL for the San Jose Sharks, Carolina Hurricanes, Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, Dallas Stars, and Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Malhotra is famously for being a two-way forward and for his faceoff proficiency. Malhotra was selected in the 1st round as the 7th overall pick of the 1998 NHL draft by the New York Rangers. He became a player in the NHL after a two-year career in the Ontario Hockey.

Victor Bartley

Victor Bartley is a Canadian professional ice hockey player. He is presently playing with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League.

What is Gym Ringette?

This type of game is played on a gym floor.

Gym Ringette is a type of gym floor sport that has been played since the 1950s, maybe even earlier. It’s a fundamental form of hockey and was first created as an alternative ice sport. Ringette presented new rules and team-play ideas that transferred very well to the gymnasium floor.

Gym Ringette can be played as an activity on its own, or as a “dry land” supplement to enhance Ice Ringette skills. It’s ideal for teaching indoors or practicing all year round.

Gym Ringette is created to concentrate on cooperative team play, with stress on speed, agility, and strategy instead of aggression and strength. The rules of Gym Ringette, correctly enforced, encourage safe play, making it an all-encompassing sport.

Benefits of Gym Ringette

  • A good co-ed activity, that necessitates both strategy and finesse 
  • Suitable for all age groups
  • A great form of exercise as players must depend on endurance, agility, and speed
  • Helps create core physical literacy skills including balance, strength, agility, flexibility, agility muscular co-ordination
  • Creates co-operation with teammates, socializing and encourages healthy competition

Gym ringette offers a low cost, highly active, participatory, structured activity and it’s an excellent co-ed activity to enjoy, regardless of size, age, or strength.

As the ringette has been changed from its origins as an ice surface sport to a dry land sport, accessibility has increased exponentially. The numerous varied skills and activities which result from ringette participation are precisely related to the objectives of a physically active lifestyle.

Gym Ringette gives participants new challenges, enriches their physical literacy and encourages a sense of accomplishment. Participants are given the chance to try challenging tasks while they develop capacities and abilities. Ringette encourages cooperation with teammates and delivers the chance for healthy competition.

Gym Ringette is a true sports program and is a way to increase the positive influence sport can have on young people by focusing on the values of inclusion, fairness, fun, and excellence. 

Floorball Explained

Floorball is similar to hockey.

Floorball is a sort of indoor hockey that doesn’t need any bulky equipment. All that’s required is a stick and a ball.

Known as “unihockey” in other parts of Europe, “innebandy” in Sweden, and “salibandy” in Finland, floorball is the official IFF term that is used around the globe. Common misspellings are florbol, floor ball, and florbal.

In approved floorball competition, teams play 5 v 5 with goalies similar to ice hockey. The games consist of three 20-minute periods. Though, floorball is very versatile. On a recreational level, games can be played on any size court (indoors or outside), with any number of players, for any length of time.

A standard floorball court is 65 feet x 130 feet. The boards around the court are typically made of high- density foam, heavy-duty plastic, or composites that measure around 20 inches. While floorball is somewhat like floor hockey, it is safer and quicker due to the distinct rules and the lightweight equipment. The emphasis is on skill and speed instead of strength.

Enjoy Sport!

Floorball is such an excellent activity because it is so much fun. You can play floorball with your friends, at home by yourself, or with your family. Young people will put down the cell phone or video game and become active again. Shooting, Passing, and stickhandling…once you get started, you don’t want to stop. Floorball is played with lightweight sticks that are simple to handle at any age.  Basic rules are:

  • No high sticking. The blade has to remain under the player’s knees
  • Do not play the ball with your hand or head.
  • No slashing (hitting your opponent’s stick).
  • No lifting, pushing or kicking the opponent’s stick.
  • You cannot reach between your opponent’s legs with your stick.
  • You can foot pass the ball to your own teammate, but you can’t kick the ball two times in a row.
  • You can’t jump to get the ball.

Indoor Field Hockey vs. Outdoor Field Hockey-What’s the Difference? (Part II)

Hockey is a sport that can be played both indoors and out.

The Rules

Fouls are similar between the two games. The ball cannot hit your feet. Third-party is a foul. You can’t lift at someone’s body unless they’re in front of the goal. The ball has to move a specific distance before going into the circle. No hacking.  

The largest change is that there is no lifting indoor except on goal.  In outdoor, you can “pop” the ball or lift it above someone’s stick to go around them, but not indoor.  Penalty corners are also played somewhat differently. 

In both outdoor and indoor corners, no one can enter the circle until the ball is inserted and the ball has to come out of the circle and brought back in for a goal to count. In outdoor, the defense can only have four players back while the rest of the team is at the 50-yard line. 

The offense can have as many players on the circle as they’d like. With corners for the indoor game, the defense is allowed to have as many players back as they’d like. The offense can have as many lined around the circle as they’d like.


The goal cages are similar sizes. Several of the fouls are the same. The protective equipment is alike. Though the most important thing is it is all fun. Basically, indoor hockey is the same as outdoor field hockey, but on a smaller field. The game is quicker, much smaller, and more controlled due to the limited space and the chance to rebound the ball off the sideboards. 

The game is known to enhance a player’s vision on the field and stick handling skills. If you’ve been playing outdoor field hockey, your skills can simply transfer over to indoor hockey. All you have to do is practice the basics skills.