Amanda Kessel’s College Career is Over

Per the Grand Forks Herald, Amanda Kessel’s college career is over. She has been sidelined since the Olympics with concussion issues. We here at Watch This are, of course, saddened to hear she won’t be playing, but glad she’s taking care of herself.

Kessel’s health is the most important thing and I don’t want to detract from that, but I’d feel like a bit of a liar if I didn’t admit this news makes me angry. She is a phenomenal player who will never get the chance to show the world what she can do her senior NCAA season. Female athletes are too often sidelined by the combination of a drastically shortened career – which makes playing in the Olympics, even while unhealthy, all the more important – and a lack of funding/support. They have to train virtually constantly without a hope of the eight-figure payoff the best men in the world get regularly. Pardon my French, but it’s bullshit.

Anyway, screw this, let’s all watch Amanda Kessel highlights:

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: