Reasons NHL is Passing On the 2018 Olympics

The positives don’t outweigh the negatives and that’s the bottom line why the NHL is passing on the 2018 Olympics.

The NHL knows the arguments for being a part of the Olympics: endorsing the League, increasing the sport, giving players and fans an incredible experience. It knows why its players want to go to the 2018 Olympics. They are similar reasons the NHL went to the 1998 Olympics for the first time. Ironically, Gary Bettman was Commissioner then as well.

The NHL has been to the Olympics five times and has never seen any real evidence of a real impact on the business or sport. To tell the truth, it has seen a negative impact.

Negative attitude built among the Board of Governors over the years. The NHL wasn’t going to the 2014 Olympics but went anyway. Negative sentiment had reached the tipping point.

The NHL knew the players wanted to go to PyeongChang. The League held a meeting to the International Ice Hockey Federation, the NHL Players’ Association, and the International Olympic Committee. But no one gave anything to sway the Board that going to PyeongChang would be in the best interest of the League and with the Stanley Cup Playoffs coming up, it’s was time to move on.

“A number of months have gone by and no pertinent dialogue has materialized,” the NHL said in a statement. “Instead, the IOC has now communicated that the NHL’s participation in 2022 is conditioned on its participation in 2018. The NHLPA has verified that it has no interest in having a discussion that might make the Olympics more appealing.

To create clarity among conflicting reports and speculation, this will confirm our plan to proceed with finalizing our 2017-18 regular season schedule without any breaks for the 2018 Olympics. This matter is now officially closed.”

Is Hockey Underrated?

Hockey season is typically overshadowed by NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl, and the NCAA men’s basketball tourney. Most folks don’t know how thrilling the sport of hockey is, so if you don’t already follow it, here are a few reasons why you ought to be.

Players are fantastic athletes

Hockey players have the speed and strength of other pro athletes, but what makes it even more remarkable is that it all happens on a half inch metal blade of their skate. And if you ice skate, you know how hard it is.

Their individuality

Hockey players are similar to fingerprints. No two are the same. If you’ve been a hockey fan for a long time, you don’t need your glasses to tell which player is which. Every player shoots, skates, and celebrates a goal in his own way.

They’re tough

Hockey players are famous for having some real gnarly teeth. Regardless of how hard he is slashed, bruised, or hit, he is always back out on the ice in position.

The rivalries

Now you may back one team over another. Like football, baseball, and basketball, hockey rivalries aren’t any different. Well-known ones are the Canadiens vs. Bruins, Red Wings vs. Blackhawks, and the Penguins vs. Flyers. And let’s not get started with the two team out of New York. When the Rangers and the Islanders come together, there’s always some incredible goals, hard hitting, and plenty of trash talking.

The fights

You may see some pushing and shoving in other sports, but none of it amounts to the hockey fights. It’s a fast-paced sport, so it’s no surprise that the players can be a little aggressive on the ice when they don’t agree on a call. It’s an all-out fight and will always bring a little bit of flavor to the game.

To Every Annoying Hockey Player Parent

You know who you are. You’re the one who knows everything, yet adds nothing.  You are the one who finds something wrong with everything, the coach, the players, the team as a whole. I am embarrassed that you wear the same logo as my son because your actions aren’t what I want being part of a sports team to teach him.

You probably don’t know this, but I stand off to the side for a reason. When the season is in full swing, the coach, who happens to be my husband, has to make decisions to give the team an advantage. It makes you mad when your son isn’t the center of attention. You need to ask yourself: are you here so your son can be a team member or you want personal glory?

I just want to know because we (parents and players) are here to play on a sports team. If personal glory is your goal, you might want to play tennis or golf?

The coach is the individual who makes decisions about this group, creating the best combinations of players. He isn’t here to put you and your son on display. Yes, your son is talented, but so is ever other child on the team, in one way or another.

My husband, the coach, spends his night coming up with exercises to help the weakest link on the team build up the self-confidence needed to contribute to the team. If I were a guessing woman, I would say that it’s the same child you bad mouth on your way home in your car.

And oh by the way, that child can hear what you are yelling out about him from the stands. With every negative, condescending thing you say, the coach (my husband) has to work a little harder to build back up the child’s confidence so he can play the game.

It’s sad that I need to remind you that these are children we are talking about.

Raising A Girl Hockey Player

My son was playing hockey at 5. Sometimes, he has a girl on his team.  In one instance during a game, he got hit by a girl hockey player so hard he grew a whole new perspective on what playing like a girl signifies. Now with a daughter who plays hockey, I feel like I am floating in muddy waters.

My daughter, who is 4, eagerly straps on her skates so she can begin playing. I don’t worry one bit.

However, every since she began hockey, it is clear that having a daughter who plays hockey is quite different than a son. But over the past two years, I’ve noticed that having a girl who plays hockey is a lot different than having a boy.

What is a Jill? I believed a jock strap had a specific job.  I didn’t know a girl needed a Jill.  And, that’s just for starters. Trying to get a pony tail in a helmet accurately is a work of art. The more my daughter’s love for hockey grows, the more I’m confused. I needed some guidance and got some from a fellow daughter hockey playing mother. I had a talk with her daughter and this is what she told me:

The biggest thing about playing hockey that made me who I am today is that hockey made me be physically and mentally tough. The difference between girls’ and guys’ hockey is when you watch a guys’ game, it seems like you’re watching boxing. Girl hockey games are more skillful. It’s about commanding the puck instead of fighting. But don’t be fooled. Just because girls aren’t supposed to check, doesn’t mean they won’t. They just make it difficult caught. One of the best things about hockey is to let your anger go while getting a good workout in. Girls can be just as physical as boys.

How to Begin Playing Hockey

Cheers! You’re about to start playing the most exciting sport on earth. This will be a hard, demanding and fulfilling path for you. This article is to make your passage to hockey as straightforward and simple as possible. This article will be a guide for you to go from naive rookie to proper novice. I will have tips for parents beginning their children in hockey and adults learning hockey for the first time. Let’s get going on how to begin playing hockey

How to Begin a Child in Hockey

Beginning a child in hockey is really easy. Most areas have a minor hockey association that splits children first by age level and next by skill level. A kid at any skill level and approximately any age can play house league hockey. They have to own the right equipment and pay their registration fee on time.

Look up your town name and then put “minor hockey” in the search box. You should see your city’s minor hockey association.

Is Your Child Ready For Hockey?

House league hockey is very accepting. They allow any skill level of player. The more skilled players usually play rep/travel hockey. If you would like to get your child some exposure before beginning them in hockey, you can sign them up for a number of various programs.

Learn to skate – Programs started by local skating associations and hockey arenas

Power Skating – Typically set up via minor hockey groups

Stick and Puck sessions – Typically set up through the local various arenas

Mom and Tots – Started by local hockey arenas

Public Skating – Allows anybody who wants to show up and skate

Outdoor rinks – If you live in an area where it gets cold enough outside to have one

Road Hockey – Buy some sticks and a net so your children can play hockey in the driveway

The Best Hockey Skates

When it comes to picking a pair of hockey skates, there is no “best hockey skate.” It all comes down to what’s the best skate for YOU. The best skate hinge on your playing style, your skill level, your ability and weight, and your foot size.

In this article, we are going to go into detail on how you can decide which skate will be best suited contingent on your playing ability and personal preferences.

If you’re going to play hockey, you should be ready to spend at least $200 on a pair of skates. Nearly every pair of skates that costs under $200 isn’t appropriate for an adult playing hockey. If you get a good sale price, that’s a different story. Take a look at some of the online websites for some great places to check out top name brand clearance skates.

If you just need a recreational pair of skates to go to the public skating rink and skate laps then the cheapest skates will be okay, but for the demands that hockey puts on skates (stops, starts, crossovers, sticks, sharp turns, pucks, etc.) you want a high-quality skate.

If you just want to learn how to skate at the moment, but your intention is to start playing hockey at some point and time, I still suggest getting the more expensive skates. This way you don’t have to purchase new skates down the road. Some stores will have sales on last year’s styles. This is a good way to get the higher end skates for a lower price. If you get this chance and the skates fit you correctly, then go for it.

When you are at the store, be sure you get a good fitting for your hockey skates. Try on different styles and brands to find the one that works for you.

Hispanics in Pro Hockey

I see that I haven’t fully done my work today at the Color of Hockey when a co-worker of mine praised me about an article, appreciated the number of black players in pro hockey and the influence they’re having, and wondered if there are any Hispanic players in the NHL.

Not only are there Hispanic players in the NHL, many are flourishing. Some have their names on the Stanley Cup. Some have played for their countries in the Winter Olympics. Some have had bumpy careers.

Like the increasing number of black pro hockey players, more Hispanic players are going to pro hockey which is a testimony to hockey’s attractiveness and to minority-oriented youth hockey programs across North America.

And hockey isn’t abnormal to Spanish-speaking nations. Spain is in at 31 in the world in men’s hockey and 26th in women’s hockey. The European nation has over 500 junior players, over 195 male players, over 200 female players and over 15 indoor ice skating rinks.

Mexico’s men’s team is 32nd in IIHF’s rankings and its female’s squad comes in at 35th in the world. The US’s neighbor to the south claims to have over 2,000 players, over 1,400 juniors, over 200 men, and over 300 girls and women. The country possesses more than 20 indoor ice skating rinks. That’s more than some American cities.

For example, Scott Gomez, Ottawa Senators center, brings a double dose of honor. He’s proud of his Mexican-Colombian heritage and just as proud of being an Alaskan native.

Defenseman Alec Martinez of the Los Angeles Kings has his name on the Stanley Cup. He received the honor when the Kings won the Cup after the 2011-12 season. A Spanish background, Martinez was born in Michigan but spent most of his childhood playing hockey in Northern California.


Jayna Hefford

Jayna Hefford

Jayna Hefford’s international hockey career is over. The Hockey Hall of Fame will be contacting her soon.

The Kingston, Ontario native had been with the Canadian National Women’s Team since the 1997 World Championships. She retires as 2nd all-time in Team Canada history in games played, goals, and points.

Hefford is an Olympic gold medalist (2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014). She earned a silver medal in 1998. In 2002, Hefford famously scored the game-winning goal with two seconds remaining in Canada’s victory over the US in Salt Lake City.

Hefford is a world champion (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2012) and a world champion silver medalist (2005, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013).

There’s more. She is a 12-time gold medalist at the 3 Nations/4 Nations Cup and she also won five silver medals there too.

“Jayna’s accomplishments on the ice speak for themselves. However, it’s her off-ice contributions to the game and leadership that I admire,” said Melody Davidson, a general manager at Hockey Canada. “I want to thank Jayna for the leadership she has displayed as a mentor and veteran to our younger players and to the hockey community in Canada and around the globe.”

She was always an incredible skater, both in terms of balance and speed. But it was her wish to be better that made her a star.

“Sometime before Vancouver, I was questioning if I was going to stick to it into my 30s. I saw I had to get better,” said Hefford, only one of five athletes in the world to win gold at four consecutive Olympics. “It wasn’t good enough to just be there just because I had gotten that far already. I perhaps had some of my most prosperous years in the last part of my career which is something I’m proud of. I saw the outcomes of that hard work.”

Women in the NHL

There are several famous female ice hockey players. There are lists that name the most well-known and top females recognized for being ice hockey players. There are thousands of women working as ice hockey players in the world, but the information below focuses only the most prominent ones. Ice hockey players have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you’re a female seeking to be an ice hockey player, then the women listed should bring you encouragement.

People include everyone from Anqi Tan to Stefanie Marty.

While this isn’t a full list of all women ice hockey players, it does answer the question “Who are the most well-known female ice hockey players?” and “Who are the top women ice hockey players?”

Manon Rheaume broke the ice for females playing hockey at the NHL level.

In 1992, Rheaume was the first woman to play in an NHL game when she played goalie for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the St. Louis Blues in an exhibition game. She permitted two goals on nine shots. She was in one more exhibition game against the Boston Bruins in 1993.

Since that time, no female has played in an NHL game, exhibition or otherwise.

Hayley Wickenheiser, the first female to score a goal while playing for a men’s

Hayley Wickenheiser

professional hockey team, doesn’t think it will happen again.

“No, I don’t think it’s realistic,” Wickenheiser said. “To be in an 82-game season at the NHL level, with the size of the male players and the speed, it would be very, very hard for a female to do so. Being on the European hockey rink, the larger ice surface, made it a slight easier. It was less physical. It would be pretty hard for a female to play at the NHL level.”


Legends of Team Canada: Gord Hynes

 Defenseman Gord Hynes was born in Verdun and raised in Pierrefonds, playing his minor hockey in the North Shore hockey league. He moved to Calgary when his father, a bank manager, was reassigned.

Hynes played junior in Medicine Hat and was Boston’s 5th choice in 1985. But it took the 6-foot-1, 170 pounder another 7 years to make it to the NHL. In between, he spent two seasons in the minors. He even shared a home with Brett Hull. He spent one in Italy and three full years with the Canadian national team coached by Dave King. Hynes said this is where he learned to play the game.

“When I was drafted I had huge eyes. My goal was set on the NHL,” he said. “But I wasn’t huge enough or good enough. I wasn’t that great. I didn’t know how to play and I wasn’t that smart and I didn’t know how to play. I matured.”

He scored 12 goals and 30 assists in 57 games with the national team, bringing another 12 goals and 22 assists in over 48 pre-Olympic games. In seven games at Albertville, Hynes made three goals and three assists.

After the Olympics and a free agent, Hynes went home to think about his future. He was contemplating returning to Europe, and even going to school and retiring from hockey. That’s when Bruins assistant general manager Mike Milbury got in touch with him.

I thought I had the talent and knew I’d get better,” he said. “And I made it to the Stanley Cup playoffs.”

He scored his first NHL goal at the Montreal Forum.

“It was very exciting scoring there,” he said. “I was born there. I was and am a Montreal fan. I dreamed of scoring a goal as part of the Montreal Canadiens. To get a goal in the Forum is the best thing.”