Around the Arena: Ice Rink Design

Joe Louis Ice Rink

While watching the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. the Colorado avalanche game the other day, I began to think about many interesting aspects of the design of the modern day ice rink that were affecting the game. Much of this stemmed from the crazy happenings of overtime. As long as I can remember, I have never seen that much 3 vs. 3 playing time in a single game. It was exciting to say the least and even Matt Duchene said as such during his post-game interview. I would have to agree with his comments about the potential to end games before going to the shootout with 3 vs. 3 playing time instead of the current 4 vs. 4 and hopefully the league looks more closely at the excitement that was the 3 vs. 3 overtime of this game. Looking beyond the fact that overtime in this game was exciting because of 3 vs. 3 playing time, the modern day ice rink design has made overtime and the game in general more exciting. Or more correctly, overtime and the entirety of the game has taken advantage of some current  ice rink design and changed other aspects to make the game more exciting. This can be attributed to ice rink size, bench location, less deep nets, farther apart faceoff hashmarks, and a wider trapezoid of play for the goalies.

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Hockey, The Ultimate Family Heirloom

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Like many people around the world, I am, always have been, and always will be a hockey fan. For many, this is not choice but rather a fate sealed long before they existed.  Their parents, and parents’ parents, and parents’ parents’ parents would ensure that the culture of being a hockey fan was instilled upon their child from the moment they entered the world. I know that this was the case for me, and will also be the case for my children one day. I cannot speak for cultures around the world, but right here in Canada there is something special about not only being a hockey fan, but passing down the love of the game from generation to generation.  As a fourth generation Montreal Canadiens fan myself, I had no other choice but to love the game, and for me, it has truly been recognized as our family’s ultimate heirloom.

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Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Every year in late December, the Lavallée family assembles through the snowy weather from throughout Southern Ontario for a Christmas party. At one of these gatherings there are three things guaranteed. One, at some point hockey will be on the television. Two, several Montreal Canadiens items will be placed under the tree to be opened after dinner. Three, beer. I’m sure that many of you reading this now can tell a very similar story; hockey is not just a sport, it is a culture shared among all of us fans.

There are many ideals of the game which are passed down from parents to their son or daughter; a favourite team, a memory of a great hockey moment, an experience of meeting a player, the list goes on. As an example, one of my favourite hockey stories to tell is the time I found out that I might have been a bruins fan…stay with me here:

My French-Canadian grandfather was a very passionate Habs fan, so it’s no surprise to hear that my father and his siblings in turn, are also Habs Fans. There was however a brief period of time where my father was negatively influenced by a neighbour to cheer for the hated Boston Bruins; a period of time which could have shaped my entire outlook on the game of hockey. I cannot really blame him for this though. Growing up in St. Catharines, Ontario in the 70’s was a lot different than it is now. Back then, many professional hockey players dwelled in the Garden city, and it just so happened that Gerry Cheevers was one of them. This two-time Stanley Cup winning, Hall of Fame goalie was the neighbour of my father.  I couldn’t imagine the influence a neighbourhood professional would have on my hockey ideals, so I cannot blame my father whatsoever for turning to the dark side for a short period of time. Luckily my grandfather was eventually able bring my dad back to reality, or I could very well be a Bruins fan today. Yikes.

Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images

This story is just one of many stories which has made me realize the true importance of passing down hockey ideals from one generation to another. Hockey has an unmeasurable importance to my family. It is something we talk about together, it is something we get upset about together, and it is something that we love together. Hockey unites us as a family, but the best part is… it doesn’t stop there. Hockey unites countless other families watching their team from the living room. Hockey unites thousands of people cheering for their team at an NHL arena. Hockey unites an entire nation as their hearts simultaneously skip a beat when their countrymen step on the ice during the Olympics. Hockey unites every single one of us hockey fans, wherever we are in the world. That is something special. This passion, this culture, and these ideals were all passed down from generation to generation, and for that reason I truly believe that the love of the game is the ultimate family heirloom.


2014-15 NHL Weekly Summary: Week 4


NHL Week 4

Here is this week’s top NHL news as chosen by me. This post is just meant to be a convenient way for some people out there who are busy during the week and need a nice condensed list of what has happened in the NHL each week. All headlines are linked to articles with further detail. Please let me know if there is any errors/anything that you think I should add to this list and I will fix it/deem if it is worthy!

Sunday October 26th 2014:

Monday October 27th 2014:

Tuesday October 28th 2014:

Wednesday October 29th 2014:

Thursday October 30th 2014:

Friday October 31th 2014:

Saturday November 1st 2014:

Sunday November 2nd 2014:

Connor McDavid watch: 42 points in 14 games played.

Injury Repory


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Hockey Life: Becoming a Hockey Dad


Cover Photo by: istockphoto

My son is 3 years old.  For the last couple of years, my wife and I have been hands off when it comes to really pushing any sports or activities onto my son.  Not really for any reason, more or less because we were interested to see where his interests took him on his own.  When he was an infant, I noticed that he seemed to be more into football on Sunday afternoons than watching a hockey game with me.  (Now that I look back on it though, I’m much more relaxed during football games, so there’s that.)  When he turned 1, one of his uncles brought home a mini-stick set from a trip.  The thing that surprised me was the fact that he didn’t skip a beat.  He knew exactly what to do with a hockey stick.  Talk about setting up a discussion based around Nature or Nurture.

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Four Fantasy Hockey Footnotes: Bi-weekly Fantasy Hockey Thoughts

Photo by:

Cover Photo by:

Admittedly, I am addicted to fantasy hockey. This is possibly due to my competitive nature but more likely due to the fact I was never able to skate good enough to play hockey so it was the only way to compete in the sport I loved to watch. Anyway, beyond fantasy hockey I also enjoy rambling so I figured I might as well combine the two. After all my other article series on this site, Around the Arena, tends to be more informative, so it only made sense to have a less formal series to alternate that with. So without further ado here are my 4 biggest thoughts related to fantasy hockey in the last 2 1/2 weeks.

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Why I want to see a Modern Day Dynasty NHL Team


Cover Photo by: USATSI

WOAH WOAH WOAH, put down the pitchforks and torches! I know I may have struck a nerve (I’m looking at you, San Jose Sharks fans), but hear me out. In the 97 years that the NHL has been around, there have been many legendary teams. However only few get the elusive status of “Dynasty Team”.

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The Cook Rating now uses Real-Time Stats!

cr article

There have been two changes implemented to the Cook Rating:

  • Users now have the choice between 2013-14 player stats and 2014-15 (real-time) player stats.
  • Users now have the ability to set custom weights to the stats categories.

Check out the Cook Rating by clicking here.

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NHL Goalies: The Anaheim Ducks


Cover Photo by: Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club

Where has the time gone? The start of the NHL season has already passed, and the competition is just starting to heat up amongst teams. That being said, with the season at an early stage, there is even more competition between players bidding for longer ice time and starting positions. Some of the largest competition will likely be between the starting and backup goalies. Many times the beginning of the season is a clean slate and any goalie can get the number one spot. At this point in time many teams are flip-flopping between their probable starter, backup, and bringing up call-ups from the minors. This is either for an early rest for the starter, or to see what the future holds for the team. With all this confusion going on between the pipes, I thought it would be a great time of the year to do a weekly “review” or spotlight for a team to shed some light on their goalie situations in the past, present, and future.

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Hockey, A Most Dangerous Game


Photo by: Harry How/Getty Images

During today’s matchup in between the LA Kings and the Columbus Blue Jackets, there was a scary moment involving Nick Foligno and the linesman:

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2014-15 NHL Weekly Summary: Week 3


NHL Week 3 Summary

Here is this week’s top NHL news summary as chosen by me. Lots of “firsts” this week, but also a lot of controversies. Also this week, we learned that hockey isn’t just a past time that we all enjoy together, it’s also a bond that unites us in times of need.

All headlines are linked to articles with further detail, so enjoy! Please let me know if there is any errors/anything that you think I should add to this list and I will fix it/deem if it is worthy.

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