Ronnie Shuker

Ronnie Shuker is an associate editor with The Hockey News. He brought his philosophy and journalism graduate degrees to THN in 2011 and has been living the dream since. By day he mans his desk, crushing copy and weaving yarns for the magazine. By night he’s either at home or in the press box watching dump-truck loads of hockey.

Why Rick Nash is regular season rich but post-season poor

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHL)

There’s a curious coincidence when it comes to cash and Rick Nash. When the money stops flowing, so does his production.

Come playoff time, when players play for glory instead of green (aside from the occasional, obscure post-season bonus), the New York Rangers’ most expensive regular season asset of $7.8 million scores at the pace of a minimum wage NHLer.

Read more

Which players are hitting the gym to prepare for 2014-15

Ronnie Shuker
(Photo by Francois/Getty Images Sport)

As the calendar rolled into May, only 180 or so NHLers on eight teams were left standing after Round 1 concluded last night. The rest? They’re either on the links perfecting their golf game, or on the beach soaking up some sun, right?

Not quite.

Sure, the guys who were eliminated Wednesday will likely jet off soon for some well-earned R ’n’ R. But for those whose season ended mid-April, May means the start of off-season workouts to prepare for training camp.

Yeah, you read that right. The 2013-14 season isn’t even over, and players are already preparing for 2014-15.

Read more

What the San Jose Sharks can learn from the Boston Bruins

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images Sport)

After using up their three mulligans, the San Jose Sharks completed their collapse on the back nine of their first-round series against Los Angeles. All that’s left for them now is to book tee times following their 5-1 loss to the Kings in Game 7.

Cue the cries for immediate change, which will quickly come externally from fans and media. That outside pressure will be matched, if not surpassed, internally as the franchise is forced to consider everything from selecting a scapegoat to making wholesale changes.

After becoming just the fourth team in NHL history to be eliminated after holding a 3-0 series lead, it’ll be hard for the Sharks to stick with anything resembling the status quo. Unpopular as that would surely be, however, it could be the best thing for the franchise to do.

Read more

Why Marc Bergevin is the court jester of NHL GMs

Ronnie Shuker
(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/GEtty Images Sport)

Montreal Canadiens fans take note: your GM is anything but a bore.

Marc Bergevin, a veteran of 1,191 NHL games before retiring in 2004 and joining Chicago management, was an inveterate prankster. And everyone was fair game, including his then-St. Louis Blues GM Larry Pleau.

According to a story from THN’s 2004 Yearbook, Pleau got Bergevin good with a gag, leading to this gem by Bergevin in return:

Read more

The powder power of protein supplements

Ronnie Shuker

The options can be overwhelming and the information endless when trying to pick a protein powder. What look like giant vitamin bottles populate the supplement shelves, each putting a claim on the consumer to deliver peak results.

When it comes to pure performance, however, there is a sure-fire No. 1.

“Whey protein is the gold standard in terms of the most bang for your buck, getting the most essential amino acids per serving per gram – there’s no question about that,” said Matt Nichol, a strength and conditioning coach and creator of BioSteel Sport Supplements. “It’s not just how many grams of protein you take, but how many grams of amino acids your body is able to extract from the protein you take.”

Read more

How Michael Jordan can help the Tampa Bay Lightning

Ronnie Shuker
(Photo by Scott Audette/NHL)

What did Michael Jordan once say? “To learn to succeed, you must first learn to fail.”

There’s not much basketball and hockey have in common, other than the fact they both have nets. But that statement from basketball’s greatest player ever is just the right balm for the battered and bruised pride of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who would do well to memorize that advice verbatim, because their future has success written all over it.

Read more

Study: Referees prone to making even-up calls in the playoffs

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHL)

Playoff pressure. Players feel it. Coaches try to control it. Fans freak out over it. And according to a recent study, referees can crack under it.

Michael Lopez, a doctoral student in biostatistics at Brown University, and Kevin Snyder, an assistant professor of sport management at Southern New Hampshire University, assessed the frequency of even-up calls in their paper, “Biased Impartiality among National Hockey League Referees,” published in the International Journal of Sport Finance. Lopez and Snyder found that referees exhibit what they call “biased impartiality.” Meaning, referees subconsciously try to make games as balanced as possible to achieve a perception of fairness.

Nothing nefarious there. The problem is referees may make even-up calls that unfairly balance the number of penalties between teams, and this can actually affect who wins. So despite their best attempts otherwise, refs often have a huge impact on playoff games.

Read more

Why injuries should factor far more into suspensions

Ronnie Shuker
(Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images Sport)

According to at least one report, Paul Byron may avoid suspension after ending the NHL regular season on an ugly note.

There have been worse hits, for sure, but that shouldn’t lessen any disciplinary action he receives for his hit on Daniel Sedin Sunday evening.

That’s because an injury caused by a penalty should be the primary factor when determining a suspension.

Read more