Ottawa rec hockey player sentenced to 18 months probation for on-ice collision

Rory Boylen
sticks-492280919

Hockey violence in the news again, this time because of a rec league incident in Ottawa.

Gordon MacIsaac, a 31-year-old PhD student, was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months probation for what was ruled a “deliberate blindside hit” on 31-year-old Drew Casterton in a game on March 12, 2012. MacIsaac was convicted of aggravated assault and, on top of the probation, Ontario Court Justice Diane Lahaie ordered him to pay $5,000 to Casterton and forbade MacIsaac from playing or coaching competitive sports during those 18 months.

On Feb. 27 Casterton, a business owner, also filed a $600,000 lawsuit against MacIsaac and the Ottawa Senior Men’s Hockey League. Among the injuries Casterton alleged to have suffered was a concussion, two broken teeth, cuts to his face, and tissue injury to his neck and spine. The allegations in that lawsuit have not yet been tested in court.

As always, there are two very different sides to this story and they’ll be familiar to any NHL fan who has ever argued the legality of a bodycheck or watched one of the league’s supplementary discipline videos. Read more

Moose Jaw Warriors mourn the loss of Ethan Williams, 16

Ryan Kennedy
Ethan-Williams

The Western League’s Moose Jaw Warriors are dealing with tragedy right now, as one of the team’s prospects passed away this week. Ethan Williams, 16, was a Winnipeg native who played one game for the Warriors in 2012-13, spending last season in midget with the Winnipeg Thrashers. The following statement comes from GM Alan Millar on the Moose Jaw website, dated July 30:

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Vin Scully to return for 66th season with Dodgers – listen to his story about skating against Jackie Robinson

Rory Boylen
Vin Scully

Vin Scully is a Major League Baseball icon and Hall of Famer who never played the game as a professional. For 65 years, dating all the way back to the days when the National League’s Dodgers played out of Brooklyn, he has been the play-by-play voice of the team. He’s literally a one-man show – Scully calls the game and does the color commentary all by himself. He’s as good a story teller as he is a caller of baseball games.

And last night the gods smiled: Scully announced he would return to the Dodgers in 2015 for his 66th season.

What does his announcement have to do with hockey? Well, nothing really. But it does give us an opportunity to recall a story Scully told in May of 2012 during a Dodgers-Giants game. In it, Scully remembers the time he went skating with the legendary Jackie Robinson and his wife – and that Robinson wanted to race Scully.

The problem was, Robinson had never skated before. Scully, on the other hand, was an East Coast guy who was familiar with the sport. But I’ll stop now. Let’s hear Scully tell the story: Read more

Three of the top 10 picks in the OHL draft haven’t signed yet

Ryan Kennedy
Victor-Mete

Minor ripples were made the other day when a Michigan news outlet reported that center Tye Felhaber was unlikely to report to the Saginaw Spirit, the Ontario League team that drafted the talented youngster 10th overall in the spring.

As I found out in talking to insiders, Felhaber didn’t just decide this; the team had quietly known for some time. But since it’s officially out there now, Felhaber becomes the third top-10 pick from the 2014 OHL draft to express reticence in joining the franchise that selected him.

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Tom Renney faces huge challenges at Hockey Canada

Tom Renney

When Bob Nicholson took over as president and CEO of Hockey Canada in 1998, few people outside the hockey industry knew who he was. Over the next 16 years, Nicholson went on to create a corporate monolith that generated millions of dollars in revenues and won countless gold medals on the international stage.

That will be an enormously difficult act to follow. That the board of Hockey Canada has reportedly handpicked Tom Renney to do it is, well, a little curious. Renney is a man of enormous integrity and has a coaching resume – particularly in the international game – that would rival that of anyone in the world. But this is the thing. Hockey Canada is not a hockey team. For the purposes of the president and CEO, Hockey Canada is far more a business than it is a hockey organization. Read more

Hockey player speaks out after armed robbery at rink – and gets banned for life

Matt Larkin
TimO'Shea

Pass the Advil, please. File this story under things that hurt the brain, like watching Inception hung over.

Last week, three hockey players were robbed in the garage of the Chicago Blackhawks’ practice facility, Johnny’s Ice House. Three men approached the players, two carrying guns, and one of the players was pistol-whipped before the players turned over their wallets and keys. A nasty, unfortunate thing to happen at any arena, right? Right.

Enter another regular player at the Hawks’ facility, Tim O’Shea. He wasn’t a victim of the robbery but, seeing he is a living, breathing human and has conscious thought, he found it disquieting that players were attacked at his arena. He expressed concern to the facility’s GM, Kevin Rosenquist, about safety going forward. Rosenquist responded with an email saying Johnny’s Ice House was taking the matter seriously and working with police to apprehend the robbers. He also told O’Shea:

“As far as your concerns with safety it is the city of Chicago and these things happen all over the place. It is unfortunate but true. If you or your friends are questioning your association with the league due to safety concerns then I would suggest that perhaps the city is not for you and you should look into playing in the suburbs.”

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Hockey on a Canadian warship? Five Hole For Food plays pickup on the HMCS Preserver

Rory Boylen
HMCS Preserver

Earlier this month, the Five Hole for Food cross-country tour set out from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Between July 2 and July 19, the non-profit organization that raises food, money and awareness for food banks will make 13 stops through Canada, playing a game of pick-up ball hockey at each destination.

Here’s a description of the organization from its website:

“Five Hole for Food (FHFF) is a national, volunteer-driven, non-profit organization with a bold, enterprising and entrepreneurial approach aimed at raising food and awareness for Canadians across the country.

Over the past three years, FHFF has raised in excess of 500,000 pounds of food in support of local food banks across Canada. Armed with national partners, the unwavering support of over 40 volunteers, and an identity borne from social media, FHFF is bringing together communities across Canada by using hockey as a vehicle for social change, and reaching a new generation of social entrepreneurs.”

On July 4, the group stopped in Halifax and took over the HMCS Preserver  – Canada’s longest-serving warship – for some hockey. Now, you may look at these pictures and watch the video below and wonder, “how many balls did they lose?”

Thirty-five. They lost 35 balls overboard in an hour.

Ever wondered what hockey on a Canadian warship would look like? Check out these pics and the video at the bottom.
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