Sign supporting P.K. Subban showcases disconnect between NBC, NHL, fans

Leave it to the uber creative fans in Nashville and a pregame sign to turn a really stupid comment by a talking head on TV into a way to support their player.

During pregame warmups in Nashville, the Predators fan above held the sign against the glass for Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban and the rest of his teammates to see.

The sign is in reference to an asinine comment made on Friday about Subban by NBC hockey “analyst” Mike Milbury.

As many players on any given team are want to do, Subban was shaking his groove thang during warmups. To Milbury, that is inexcusable. He went on to call Subban a ‘clown.’  As the topic continued, both Milbury and panelist Keith Jones agreed Subban’s behavior was ‘a concern’ for the Predators.

To which the collective hockey universe rolled their eyes backwards so hard everyone fell over.

Frankly, outside of washed up crusty old NHL’ers who haven’t played in twenty years, Subban’s personality is refreshing. As that sign shows, Predators fans have embraced Subban and welcome his non-cookie cutter mold.

Milbury’s comments was met with anger from fans, but at the same time, increasing frustration.

Continue reading

Philly columnist illustrates culture change needed at USA Hockey

Wages, marketing, and program development are all part of the National Team’s demands of USA Hockey. However, their decision to boycott and demand equitable treatment goes far beyond the tangible.

The fight is about a culture change not only in USA Hockey, but in the way women’s sports are viewed as a whole.

It’s difficult to understand a situation when you’re not directly impacted by it. Lucky for us, John Smallwood of, has two articles giving his take on the situation with the US Women’s National Team and USA Hockey.

These woefully under-researched, alternative facts-filled columns provides unique insight into what the Women’s Team is facing from an ideological perspective.

It would be too easy to rip Mr. Smallwood a new one by dissecting each post, line by line. (And I don’t feel like having an aneurysm tonight.)

It’s also counterproductive.

Continue reading

USA Hockey’s ignorant, misguided response to USWNT boycott

The United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) sent a wake-up call to the ‘old boys club’ that runs USA Hockey at a crucial point in American politics.

More now than ever the issues of women’s inequality are taking precedent in the United States.

It isn’t limited to corporate offices, schools, government, health care, etc. As the US women’s soccer team showed when they filed a wage discrimination suit against the US Soccer Federation, being the best doesn’t translate to being equal in the eyes of those that control the money.

Early Wednesday, the USWNT announced the team’s decision to boycott the Women’s World Championships starting on March 31 in Michigan unless ‘significant progress has been made on the year-long negotiations with USA Hockey over fair wages and equitable support.’

To which USA Hockey responded with the following statement:

Let’s not mince words here: USA Hockey views the men’s and women’s programs under the same lens.

To take this point of view is not only arrogant, it reveals how little respect USA Hockey has for not just the women’s national team but the little girls who aspire to follow in the footsteps of those players.

Continue reading

NWHL vs. players: An avoidable situation turned ugly

On Friday, the National Women’s Hockey League confirmed reports that the league was cutting player salaries in order to keep the league afloat for this season.

With few exceptions, a majority of the players in the league stayed relatively silent following the official announcement. Saturday a group of players released a list of demands from the NWHL.

Mostly legitimate questions raised by the players, especially the insurance one. The only slightly eyebrow raising demand is the audit of the books. Who is going to pay for that? Accountants don’t like to do comprehensive business audits for free.

Continue reading

Six questions surrounding NWHL after salary cut announcement

It has been a rough 24 hours for women’s professional hockey.

Late Thursday night, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period broke the news that the National Women’s Hockey League – the first paid professional women’s league – would be cutting players salaries in half.

NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan held a conference call with reporters on Friday to discuss the announcement. We wrote a quick recap of what was covered; however, there is so much more to unpack.

Here are six questions surrounding the NWHL as we try to make sense of what happened.

1. How did this catch everyone off-guard a month and a half into the new season?

According to Rylan the league ‘fell short on some projections’ and ‘had to pivot and make a business decision.’ The decision appeared to come down to folding the league entirely or cut the salaries of the players in order to stay viable; the NWHL chose the latter.

General managers were informed first of the change, followed by player representatives from each team, and finally the group as a whole.

Continue reading

As Voynov leaves, LA Kings remain tone deaf on domestic violence

The Los Angeles Kings are tone deaf.

On Wednesday, while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Slava Voynov announced he would voluntarily return to Russia; thus avoiding the deportation process that was likely to play out in conjunction with his domestic violence case.

Voynov lobbed the Kings a softball they could have hit out of the park, in order to right an earlier wrong they themselves created, and they didn’t even pick up the bat.

As the domestic violence investigation began against the defenseman, the NHL took action before the team, and suspended Voynov from participating in team activities. The organization did nothing except to issue the standard public relations statement about ‘looking into’ the issues. It wasn’t until Voynov injured his Achilles in a non-hockey related activity did the team act by suspending his contract.

It was a B.S. reason, but at least the guy was finally suspended. Because a player must be punished when he puts his body at risk with something as reckless as tennis or volleyball, but when it comes to a domestic violence arrest, well, it’s someone else’s problem.

Continue reading