Growing the Game is Ian Kennedy’s weekly feature examining the global game, how social issues impact the sport, and how hockey’s important cultural shift continues to evolve.
Carcillo’s Fight Continues
Former NHL player Daniel Carcillo is in court this week as part of a proposed class action lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League. The case has moved to a certification hearing, running from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18, which will decide if the court sees the lawsuit suitable for being deemed a class action.
I spoke to Carcillo this week, who said he’s continuing to pursue the case, which alleges “widespread and ritualized hazing, racism, homophobia, sexual and physical abuse in the Canadian major junior hockey leagues” to make hockey a safer sport for all, and to ensure the voices of victims are heard.
“I think it’s important to ensure that there’s an avenue for victims to be able to come forward and share their stories, and to create a safer environment moving forward for minors to come up in a positive culture,” Carcillo said.
While a class action lawsuit is the route, Carcillo’s desired destination and wish for the sport is simple: “Hopefully, it gets better.”
'Let's Up Our Game' to Feature Diverse Hockey Stars
It’s long been a tradition in Canada to grab a Tim Hortons coffee and head to the arena. Now the restaurant chain is hoping to highlight diverse faces in the sport through its “Let’s Up Our Game” campaign.
“Given the conversations that Canadians have been having in recent months about the future of hockey and how to improve the game's culture, we believe there's no time like the present to help promote a positive change in the game across Canada that is reflective of the diversity that belongs in hockey," Hope Bagozzi, Tim Hortons’ CMO said in a press release.
Among the names participating in the campaign are women’s hockey stars Marie-Philip Poulin, Sarah Nurse, and Bridgette Lacquette, Blind Hockey player Mark DeMontis, Para hockey players Tyler McGregor and James Dunn, and former NHLer Georges Laraque.
"Hockey has always been a passion of mine and it is the same for so many Canadians as well,” Sarah Nurse said of the program. “I believe that anyone with the same passion that I have for the game, should have access to equal opportunities in the sport."
The campaign will feature web, television, and social media spots featuring the seven hockey players telling of their diverse experiences within hockey.
SDHL Continues to Showcase Elite Women’s Hockey
Last season when Lulea captured the SDHL championship in front of a sellout 7,765-person crowd, it was a sign that in Europe, women’s hockey has already grown a significant fanbase.
Lulea is on top of the SDHL standings this season with Brynas, last year’s regular season champion and playoff runner-up right behind them.
The league is filled with past and present national team members from across the globe. Sitting amongst the top 10 in SDHL scoring include Olympic gold medallist Jennifer Wakefield (Canada), Petra Nieminen (Finland), Noora Tulus (Finland), Lara Stalder (Switzerland), and Maja Nylen Persson (Sweden).
The SDHL is one of the best women’s leagues in the world with players from eleven nations competing.
World Para Ice Hockey 'C' Division Prepares to Compete in Thailand
World Para Ice Hockey continues to grow with four new nations set to compete for the first time in the 2022 World Para Ice Hockey Championships C-Pool to be held from Dec. 6 to 11 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Host Thailand is one of those nations that will compete for the chance to move up to the B-Pool. It’s the first time in more than two years the World Para Ice Hockey’s C-Pool has competed.
“We are thrilled to bring back the World Championships C-Pool after the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and even more excited to have four new teams joining us on the international stage,” said World Para Ice Hockey manager, Michelle Laflamme.
The other new nations competing include France, Armenia, and Kazakhstan, who will join Great Britain and Austria to round out the pool.
“This tournament will be a strong showcase of the growth of our sport and the many new nations who have built programmes over the last decade,” Laflamme added.