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:
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.
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.
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 USA Women’s Olympic Hockey roster will be announced tomorrow, Wednesday January 1st, 2014, at the NHL Winter Classic. (The US men’s Olympic roster will also be announced at this time.) The Olympic roster will have only 21 spots, meaning the current national team roster will need to be trimmed by two. (Canada has already announced their women’s Olympic roster.)