Archive for the ‘NHL’ Tag

NHL Forward Thinking Forward


Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins faced an interesting choice after receiving a tweet with a homophobic slur in it. Pete Blackburn explains what the Bruins’ left winger did.usatsi_9743954-vadapt-767-high-0

Towards the beginning of his NHL career, Brad Marchand quickly developed a reputation as being a nuisance on the ice. He established himself as an effective pest and agitator, but also was labeled as “dirty” after a few controversial hits and incidents.

In his arsenal of tactics, Marchand has been known to low-bridge, sucker punch and slew foot opponents. His trash talk game is also tremendous and relentless.

While those aspects of his game haven’t completely been eradicated, in the past few years the Bruins winger has become more recognized for his elite two-way skill. He has developed into a leader for the Boston club and, this past fall, scored the clinching goal at the World Cup of Hockey while playing on Canada’s top line alongside Sidney Crosby.

Marchand, 28, credits that growth to being older and more mature, saying his “priorities have changed” over the years. But it’s not just his on-ice play that has become more admirable.

Recently, Marchand has become somewhat of a champion for people in the LGBT community. In December, the winger was attacked on a Twitter with a homophobic slur. In a since-deleted tweet, Marchand responded to the hate by publicly shaming the person who sent the vitriolic remarks his way, saying “this derogatory statement is offensive to so many people around the world, [you’re] the kind of kid parents are ashamed of.” The response prompted the user to delete his account.

Marchand was applauded for standing up for the gay community and taking a proactive approach to silencing the hate, and ESPN’s Joe McDonald recently spoke to Marchand about the exchange.

“I want to stand up for what I believe in, and I don’t think it’s right when people say things or bash people because of their sexual orientation,” said Marchand, via ESPN. “I have friends who are in gay relationships, and I don’t think it’s right for people to be against that. Everyone is allowed to find love whatever way that is, so I felt like that was a time to say something, especially nowadays. We’re in 2017, and things are a lot different than they were 100 years ago. We’re all evolving to be equal, and that’s the way things should be.”

When asked whether or not an openly gay player would be accepted in an NHL locker room, Marchand delivered a strong vote of confidence in favor of equality.

“Guys would accept that, no question,” Marchand assured. “We’re a team in the [dressing] room and a family. It doesn’t matter what different beliefs guys have, or where they come from, or whatever the case may be. Guys would accept it. Again, in the room we’re a family. That’s the way it is on a hockey team, and that’s the way it will always be.”

There has yet to be an openly gay player in the league, though Marchand says it’s “bound to happen at some point, and when it does, it will be accepted.” The NHL has had a large number of players endorse the You Can Play campaign, which is dedicated to eradicating homophobia from sports, so it certainly appears that Marchand isn’t the only star who feels this way.



I recently completed my first article on the blog of Sports in American History, a group blog with other academics who are interested in Sports History. I’m researching right now on fans in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Detroit and Chicago. This article comes out of a discussion with the people who conduct the Harris Poll.

Chicago Blackhawk Stars Dance Off

One more reason for me to love the Chicago Blackhawks!

Money, Power or Both

NBA lockout. Money: Owners claim that 22 franchises of 30 teams are losing money.

Players say only half that many teams are losing money.

Power: owners want to pick who plays on their teams.

Players: like LeBron, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh all decide to go to Miami Heat.

Top 100 teams with largest average salaries per player:

Los Angeles Lakers are fourth with an average annual salary per player of $.65 million, only two Spanish soccer teams and the NY Yankees are higher. Here’s the kick: NBA teams paid players an average of $4.6 million a year, the highest of any league. They had all teams on the list with the Minnesota Timberwolves the lowest average salary of $2.6 million.

Major League Baseball had 18 of 31 teams ranked ahead of the lowest paying NBA team (Timberwolves– 40% paid players less than any NBA team)

National Football League had 7 out of  32 teams ranked ahead of the Timberwolves (only 20% of the NFL teams paid more in salary than the lowest NBA team)

National Hockey League had 5 out of 30 teams ranked ahead of the Timberwolves (only 16% of the NHL teams paid more in salary than the lowest NBA team).

Any wonder they are fighting over money and power is what gives the side ability to win the splitting up of the money duel.