Hockey is often a refuge for distraction during these uncertain times. The sport we love brings a lot of positive to our lives but, like anything, hockey has its fair share of issues that have become systemic, ingrained within the culture of the sport.
Those issues came to light once again this past week, when (now former) Washington Capitals forward Brendan Leipsic was revealed to be part of a Instagram group chat, wherein the participants engaged in some pretty vile discourse about various women, including the wives and girlfriends of current NHLers.
We’ll get to that, and a lot more in the Monday instalment of LNN.
- Let’s lead with the biggest story of the week, and talk about the Caps waiving Leipsic after the screenshots of said group chat were leaked.
He wasn’t the only one called to account over the screenshots - which I won’t share here, those women have been through enough - as his younger brother, Jeremy, was cut from the University of Manitoba Bisons hockey team for his involvement. Former Senators prospect Jack Rodewald was also a member of the group.
In a statement issued by the team, Washington called the comments “unacceptable and offensive”, which is putting lightly. While there’s still a long way to go in course-correcting hockey’s current climate, it’s a positive step when people who do things like this are held accountable.
- If you’re in the market for a junior hockey team, the Portland Winterhawks are currently in the process of seeking new ownership.
A joint statement from the team, and the WHL outlines that one of the league’s most storied franchises is, in the words of Daniel Alfredsson; “hoping to get a new owner”, though perhaps under different circumstances.
Here’s to hoping they find one soon, and that this isn’t COVID-19 putting a team on the ropes.
- Further on the topic of this damned virus, Sportsnet’s Mike Shulman has a great story about how a hockey analyst is fighting back against the disease.
“I’m really trying to just make it easier for the people that are on the frontlines."— Mike Shulman (@ByMikeShulman) May 8, 2020
Hockey analyst @yuorme has created a tool that has helped experts find flaws in the model widely used in the U.S. to make crucial decisions about the COVID-19 pandemic.https://t.co/2yMgOtSJR8
Shulman writes about David Yu, the team leader of hockey analytics company Sportslogiq, and the work they’re doing to help frontline workers push back against the virus. As the story goes:
..the soon-to-be 33-year-old hockey analyst has created a powerful tool, the COVID Projections Tracker, which has provided those in the field a way to find flaws in the model widely used by U.S. health care providers, media outlets and government bodies — including the White House — to make crucial decisions related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The website tracks the daily changes in projections of cases and deaths, among other metrics, produced by the aforementioned University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model, as well as that of the Los Alamos National Lab.
It’s a great piece, and really worth your time. Yu seems like a great guy, who’s doing some seriously important work.
Worth mentioning that @CT_Bergstrom and his colleagues are working 14+ hour days sorting through mountains of information to distill out the key takeaways that inform public policy surrounding COVID-19. They are the real heros, I'm just doing a very small part to help.— David Yu @ (@yuorme) May 9, 2020
- Sticking with Sportsnet, here’s another great piece from David Singh.
Big Read: Pressured to never show weakness, athletes struggling with mental health issues have long suffered in silence or risked stigmatization for speaking out.— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 10, 2020
Meet the Canadian group working to change all that. (@ByDavidSingh)https://t.co/SLSQSLqBJf
I really can’t do it justice. It’s a sobering read, that you should take on yourself, but it’s on a vital topic, that doesn’t get nearly enough attention.
One in five Canadians experience a mental health challenge each year, according to a 2019 study published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. It would be perfectly average, then, for four athletes on a roster of 20 to find themselves struggling to perform in their sport or with daily tasks.
- Finally, I figured it’d be best to end on a happy note. You need to listen to this Mother’s Day testimonial from the incomparable Doc Emrick. That’s all I’m going to say about it, you need to listen for yourself.