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Posts Tagged ‘injury’

NHLPA survey – Edmonton sucks but the ice is good (really?!?)

January 31, 2011 2 comments

To help fill the void left in the NHL news cycle by the All-star weekend, the NHLPA and CBC released the results of a poll of 318 members of the NHLPA yesterday. This poll covers the same ground that every player poll like this covers. Where would you least like to play? Where would you most like to play? Who is the most underrated? Who is the toughest to play against? It’s the same old, same old. The questions never change and neither do the answers.

So it should come as no surprise that Edmonton was the answer a significant number of the player provided to the question “What team would you least like to play on?“. The Islanders lead the way with 27% of the vote, the Oilers followed with 20%. The Thrashers, Leafs, and Panthers rounded out the top five with 7%, 5%, and 2% respectively. Does this surprise anyone? Should Oiler fans care?

The short answer is and no and no. It’s well established that Edmonton isn’t a desirable place to play. It’s remote. It’s cold. There is a lot of travel. And the team isn’t very good. All things being equal (in other words money) if I had the choice to ply my trade in Edmonton or another NHL city I’d probably go somewhere else and I grew up here and I think Edmonton is a pretty great place to live. Read more…

Concussions and head shots, should we care?

January 20, 2011 2 comments

In 2005 I went to Florida on vacation for the first time. Having been out of university for less than a year this normally wouldn’t have been something I could have afforded but my girlfriend at the time (my wife now) was going there for a conference anyway and since her flight was covered that made the trip affordable. From that trip two things still standout in my mind: a sunburn and a magazine.

Because my girlfriend was attending a conference there was no point in me being there until the conference was over. My flight landed early in the morning, around 9am as I recall, but she wouldn’t be ready until the middle of the afternoon. Since I had a few hours to kill I went to a spring training baseball game. The game was at the spring home of the Expos Nationals and it was a great day for baseball. Certainly better than freezing my ass off in Edmonton. As it turns out though it was actually a little too nice that day and I got a brutal sunburn. Less than six hours in the state and I was burnt to a crisp. The rest of the trip the burn hurt whenever I was in the sun and as it turns out Florida is a sunny place.

Then there was the magazine I brought with me on the trip, a special edition from The Hockey News called Great Debates. It was a fantastic read. Wish I knew where it ended up to be honest. Some of the debates I remember included: the best dynasty (1980s Oilers), was Hull’s foot in the crease (hell yes it was), who is the best passer (Gretzky), contraction (yes as long as you don’t contract Edmonton),  the instigator rule (get rid of it), and of course mandatory visors (absolutely). Thanks to the Google I was able to track down a site that lists all the debates. I’m not sure I’ve ever looked more Canadian that I did on that vacation, sitting by the pool reading a hockey magazine while at the same time trying to avoid the sun to keep from burning more.

From that magazine an argument in the visor debate has always stuck with me. The gist of the argument was that it’s not whether or not visors should be mandatory but whether or not we should even care. To me that argument still gets right to the heart of the issue. If I was a player I’d do anything I could to extend my career and keep earning millions of dollars a year for as long as possible. But even though it seems like common sense to me should I really care if a player doesn’t want to wear visor? They are the ones assuming the risk after all, if they don’t care about about their safety why should I?

And you could say the exact same thing about head shots and concussions. Read more…