Mid-Week Link Round Up: Still mostly people being upset about women’s hockey.

I know, I know, very surprising.

  • The Pink Puck did an article about what Noora Räty’s retirement from women’s hockey means for the sport. Now, either you’ve already read this, because it’s been linked from hell and back again, or you skipped it because you went “oh, another annoying article that will either enrage me or make me otherwise upset.If you’re in the later category like I was, I’d encourage you to give it a shot and read it. It’s probably not going to have anything new per se in it, but it does have an attitude I find generally lacking around discussions like this, and that is that women’s hockey is not men’s hockey and shouldn’t ever have to be.Look, I’ve done it too, I’ve joked about how the Wild should get Räty a try-out, because after all we have A Goalie Situation and we love our Gophers– but that doesn’t solve the actual issue, which is that women shouldn’t have to play in men’s leagues to be respected as good players.
  • The Globe and Mail did a profile piece about Shannon Szabados and Carey Price, the starting goaltenders for the Canadian women’s team and the Canadian men’s team respectively, and how they both started out as teenagers trying out for the WHL’s Tri-City Americans. It’s not a rare story, but it had some background I hadn’t heard before, including the following from Bob Tory, the Tri-City GM who was responsible for her WHL tryout.

“I’ve had players on my team, boys, named Shannon, so I didn’t know I was watching a girl – and she was outstanding,” Tory recalled. “It was only after the game, when she got selected game star, I knew it was a girl.

  • You’ve probably seen this, because it EXPLODED across Twitter, but the IIHF President Rene Fesel has said women’s hockey will never be removed from the Olympics. Probably won’t shut people up from arguing it should or shouldn’t be, but yanno, that’s the joy of the internet.
  • Clare over at the Puckologist talked about women as invisible sports fans. That’s not just an issue in men’s sports, like the NHL, but is, as Clare points out, generally the first stumbling block to discussing seriously how to market women’s sports.
  • I haven’t seen this anywhere else that’s not sourcing off this, which could be a language barrier thing, or could be something else, but apparently the Finnish National team’s head coach, Mika Pieniniemi, is retiring after just one year in the position. The rest of the recap of the Finland/Russia game is interesting on its own, but what I found interesting was the quote from the Russian head coach, Mikhail Chekhanov, who said:

    “I’m not sure whether it was a back forward or backward, but at least we managed to reshape the team so it can play offensively. We did a step for the future, and we managed to close the gap against teams like Finland and Sweden.”

    I found this interesting because Russia has been the team that, so far, has had the best Corsi besides Canada and the US. We’ve got some plans to run the numbers after the Olympics, see what pops out with more data and analysis and ideally having run some numbers from Worlds, but that in itself is interesting. (How many more times can I say “interesting”, WHO KNOWS)

Mid-Week Link Roundup: All Sochi, all the time.

Most of this week’s links are focused on Sochi, with the Games starting in just days now.

  • First Line Hockey has a great article about some of the more overlooked players on some of the Olympics teams. Loved seeing former Gopher Mira Jalusuo on that list. First Line Hockey is, in general, a quality read, and a good twitter follow, too. Find them on Twitter @FirstLineHockey.

  • CBC’s Olympics-focused website has an article on Kevin Dineen’s adaptation to coaching the Canadian women. He’s quoted as saying the women on the team ask a lot more about the whys of his decisions than the men he’s coached in the AHL and NHL, which I found interesting.

  • Joy Johnson, one of the UK’s top refs, is going to Sochi, and has been blogging about her Sochi experience! It’s a really interesting look behind the curtain of reffing women’s hockey, especially at such a high level.

  • The Washington Times had an article about the changes made to the women’s Olympic hockey tournament in order to encourage less US and Canadian dominance at the games. I know I’ve fielded some questions already on why the women’s tournament is so different from the men’s this year, so if you’re curious, take a look at this article.

  • ESPN-W has a profile piece on Amanda Kessel and her preparation for her first Olympics.  (Yes, I know, we’re a bit all Amanda Kessel all the time lately, but what can I say? She’s been electrifying to watch on the Gophers, and I’ve been following her with a great deal of interest.)
  • The New York Times, as part of their Olympic coverage, has a really interesting article about the Russian Women’s Championship, the Russian women’s pro league.

Weekly News for Dec. 31, 2013

Women’s National Teams: