It’s taken ten months to get them collected, but here are some more random things on my mind…
»»» Akim Aliu’s commentary on The Players Tribune is a must read for anyone who is involved with or loves the sport of hockey. It’s a bit of a tough read, but it’s a necessary one. The recent events involving Brandon Lipsig are just yet another example of how toxic hockey culture is and it makes me happy that Mr. Aliu pointed out that change has to happen not just at the pro level, but well before that:
First, I believe change will have to start at the grassroots level. The kids I met in Windsor had already been molded into abusive people long before they ever saw me — made that way by youth coaches. The changes start right there, period. Hockey Canada and USA Hockey and local programs must do a better job vetting coaches, listening to players and parents when complaints are made, and teaching coaches how to treat players.
Make sure to read his writing in it’s entirety. It’s from a man who clearly doesn’t want to tear hockey down, but build it up into something even better than it is now.
»»» Personally, I fall into the “rather not see hockey back this season” side of things which is a shock to my wife who has joked that she worries I’ll head to the airport just so I can watch the jets. Not that I’ll be unhappy to see it when it returns – something the NHL is bound and determined to do – but I’d rather the NHL just decide to take the massive hit now, get into the off-season, and start working towards hitting the ground running with a new season in October.
I’m still not exactly sure why it’s so critical for them to finish the season in the first place. TV contracts? Sponsorship deals? Neither of those things seemed to matter when the NHL saw a work stoppage in 2012.
Or in 2004-05.
Or in 1994-95.
TV contracts and increased sponsorships apparently weren’t enough for the NHL to decide to go to the Olympics in 2018.
But the middle of a pandemic is when the NHL decides it *has* to play games? What a funny league.
»»» Why are fans in potential NHL “hub cities” getting excited over the prospect of their city being a hub city? Is it a civic pride thing? Do they just miss seeing the ice and boards of their home rink? I don’t know if I get it. Fans aren’t going to attend the games. Fans also aren’t going to be allowed to visit the players at the hotels. Players aren’t going to be let out to explore the cities their in to find out if it would be a good future free agency destination.
It has to be the civic pride thing. People flip out when their city makes a bigger stage or even gets mentioned by someone famous who doesn’t live there. The Rock summed it up well years ago:
»»» One thing I’d love to see once we get hockey back without the fans, is for the NHL to go the route that the NFL went with their draft and that you’re seeing with the Korean Baseball Orginization and that is to cut to a Brady Bunch style mosaic of webcams featuring fans of both teams. Heck, take it one step further and make sure the sound is turned up on those webcams so you can hear the fans throughout the game.
I know this is kind of dangerous to do – especially the live mic part – but if they’re already talking about using canned crowd noise (from what I understand, the Nashville Predators are experts on that) then why not just use REAL noise provided by a handful of fans.
»»» Kudos to the Winnipeg Jets trio of Anthony Bitetto, Jack Roslovic and Connor Hellebuyck for placing third in the NHLPA Fortnite Open tournament that took place on Monday. I have some random thoughts about that inside of these random thoughts. (It’s random-ception)
- It makes me happy that so many Jets are good at Fortnite, but I also feel like that’s a huge indictment on just how boring Winnipeg is on off-days.
- A lot of people asked “where’s Laine” because, well, you know. For what it’s worth he was supposed to be taking part but backed out late.
- The whole thing was won by a trio of St. Louis Blues with the Pittsburgh Penguins placing second. Maybe this means that good players on good teams can enjoy video games without it completely ruining their careers. Don’t tell anyone in Vancouver that though.
- Roslovic’s username “Lord1Pump” is hilarious as a double entendre.
- If you haven’t watched Bitetto play games on his Twitch, you should. It’s easy to see why he’s so well liked in the dressing room.
- The women’s team didn’t pick up any points… OOF.
»»» Does the world need another hockey podcast? The answer is no. But we here at JetsNation may have a new one soon anyway.
»»» When I made that airport joke I made to lead this thing off, you may have thought to yourself: “How could he? Winnipeg doesn’t have an airport.” For those who don’t know, I actually live in Edmonton and there is an airport nearby that I could go to… In Nisku. About 30 minutes south of Edmonton.
Because Edmonton literally doesn’t have an airport.