How brave are hockey players in Australia? And how hairy are they?

Jason Kay
Aussie

I can’t vouch for the state of hockey in Australia. Its men’s program is, after all, ranked 34th by the International Ice Hockey Federation, tucked just behind powerhouses Mexico and Israel.

But there are signs of shinny positivity emanating from the land down under.

A couple weeks ago, an Aussie-bred player was drafted by an NHL team for the first time ever when the Capitals spent the 98th overall selection on Nathan Walker. The 5-foot-10, 20-year-old left winger was actually born in Wales, but grew up in Sydney.

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Jordan Subban sounds like an incredibly fun teammate

Ryan Kennedy
Jordan-Subban

When the Vancouver Canucks tabbed defenseman Jordan Subban with the 115th overall pick in the 2013 draft, they knew they were getting a bundle of skill with great bloodlines. After all, older brothers Malcolm and P.K. were both in the game and P.K. had just won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top blueliner.

But along with sharing a position, Jordan also seems to have P.K.’s gift of gab, as evidenced by this recent video of the Belleville Bulls blueliner going through the paces at Canucks development camp with a hot mic on:

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Watch the latest NHL 15 trailer, get a taste of the amazing visuals

Rory Boylen
Jarome Iginla

With only two months to go until the release of NHL 15 – the first NHL game launched on the next-gen video game consoles – we get another taste of what sort of visual upgrades we can expect.

Last month, EA released a trailer that showed off some of the visuals during game play. Wednesday, the video game company released another trailer that talks about the “Next Generation Hockey Player.” This video details the new layered makeup of the players, the jersey flow and facial reactions to scoring the big goal or taking the huge hit.

Like last month’s video, this one still doesn’t give us an idea of what the actual game play changes are (the most important part of the release), but again gets us excited for the new-age graphics.

Check it out and see Jarome Iginla in a Colorado Avalanche jersey for the first time. 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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Getting to know 2014 NHL draft prospect and Arizona Coyotes pick Brendan Perlini (video)

Ryan Kennedy
Brendan Perlini

Why did the Arizona Coyotes take Brendan Perlini No. 12 overall ? THN senior writer and prospect guru Ryan Kennedy takes a closer look at the talented winger in this scouting report, part of a series of videos we did in conjunction with Bleacher Report spotlighting the best players available in the 2014 draft. Read more