Dear Blackhawks

The following is a letter I also mailed to the Blackhawks head office. I’m sick and tired of the league’s non reaction to violence against women and I had to do something at least. I plan to tweak it and also mail a more generalized version to the NHL’s head office. Maybe this will do nothing, but maybe it will start something. 

Dear Mr. McDonough,

I am writing to you after the Blackhawks announced Patrick Kane would be attending training camp. As a female fan of your league, I find your team’s decision in this matter to be greatly disappointing and upsetting.

The NHL’s female fans are increasing in numbers. Last count we were approximately 37% of the population. As you are probably aware, your team has an even higher percentage than the league average. In fact, you were quoted in a Bloomberg article from October 2014 saying “Female fans are a “very, very important demographic to us,” If this statement was not an empty sound bite, I urge you to reconsider your decision and suspend Patrick Kane until his investigation is resolved.

1 in 4 North American women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Statistically, several of your fans are survivors of sexual violence. I imagine it was heartbreaking for these women to hear the Blackhawks would not be disciplining Patrick Kane in any fashion.

I realize that I cannot judge Patrick Kane’s guilt or innocence myself, however, considering the grand jury is moving ahead, I believe there are certainly serious questions to be answered.

Regardless, the NHL has a clause in their CBA that allows teams to take action if a player is harming the reputation of the league.

If this information on your female fans is not enough to change your mind, consider the young male Blackhawks fans in Chicago and around the world. The Blackhawks players are marketed to them as heroes and role models. If one of these players is being publicly investigated for rape and is being completely supported instead of punished, what kind of message does this send? By not suspending Patrick Kane, your team is saying winning hockey games matters more than the health and safety of other human beings.

The Chicago Blackhawks are the most visible team in the NHL. By suspending Patrick Kane, you have an opportunity to start to change how professional sports treats violence against women. And that would be an amazing legacy to go along with two recent Stanley Cups. Thank you for your time in reading this.


Alix Wright


Grandpa Wright

This is a departure from my usual sports blogging, I hope you won’t mind.

My grandpa died early this morning after a long battle with cancer. He was a top notch man, and one of my very favourite people on this planet.

Grandpa was a role model of mine. He taught me about the big things in life, like leaving a legacy with your family and city. In 1976, he was elected mayor of Saskatoon, the first ever mayor born in the city. He spent his entire life there. I always thought grandpa had two great loves in his life, my grandma, and Saskatoon.

Grandma obviously came first though. On one of my recent visits out to Saskatoon, he said he and grandma started going steady in February 1945, and that was that. They were best friends and constant companions for close to 70 years. Grandma and grandpa looked at each other like they were the luckiest people in the world, no matter what year it was.

If my marriage ends up half as great as that, I’ll be very happy.

One of the best parts of visiting Saskatoon was going on drives around the city with him, where he’d share all sorts of stories about what projects his construction company was working on, or the landmarks he and his family helped create. Grandpa’s first job was straightening nails on a construction project, and he ended his career president and owner of Wright Construction. His son now runs it, and his grandson is climbing the ranks as well.

Along with the big things in life, like legacy, and life companions, grandpa was good at enjoying life’s smaller pleasures. He was the best person at naps I’ve ever seen. He’d come home from work for lunch every day, and have a nap on the couch before going back to work. If the TV was blaring, all the lights were on, people were sitting on the opposite couch talking, it didn’t matter. There he’d be, napping away. One time in the summer I was visiting, I think I was about 8 or 9. I was reading on the couch in the living room (I was a very nerdy kid) and Grandpa good-naturedly scolded me for being too quiet.

He was a life long Riders fan, and completely the reason why I follow them now. When I was in Saskatoon going to school for a couple of years, I loved watching the Riders with him. He could analyze things in the game better than anyone I know. When hockey hooked me later in life, grandpa loved sharing it with me. We talked about Gordie Howe (From Floral, Saskatchewan which was right next door to Saskatoon!), Bobby Orr, and how the Canucks were doing.

If you were good at a back rub, he adored you for life.

There was a grocery store chain in BC that grandpa enjoyed immensely. They didn’t have this chain in Saskatchewan, so when he flew out to BC to visit us, he would drive all the grandkids that were at our house to Thrifty’s as soon as he got in from the airport. There were these wrapped chocolates that he loved, and he would absolutely stuff this plastic bag full of them. I mean this bag would be practically splitting at the seams by the time he was done. The dollar total for this giant bag of chocolates was always something obscene, but he never cared. He liked what he liked.

I could go on for pages about all his community accomplishments for Saskatoon, but I know the local news outlets will do a stand up job of that.

He meant a very great deal to me, and my family. We will miss him dearly. Rest in peace, Toonpa.

Hockey Fights Domestic Violence

Inspired by my lovely friends @wraparoundcurl and @nonmodernist, I’m taking part in the fundraising project Hockey Fights Domestic Violence.

If you wanted more information about how it started, you can read @nonmodernist’s post about it here.

Domestic violence has been a hot issue in the NFL and NHL recently, with players being arrested for incidents in both leagues. But domestic violence is also a terrible reality for so many people around the world, not just connected to sports.

So, to do a little bit to help, I will be donating money this season to Battered Women’s Support Services(BWSS) in Vancouver. They have numerous services and programs that help and empower women and children who have lived through domestic violence.

– For every goal or assist Henrik Sedin scores this season, I will donate $1.00

– In addition, for every Eddie Lack shutout or Dan Hamhuis hipcheck I will donate $3.00

If you want to join in with your own player and charity please do! You can always comment here, email, or tweet me if you need help or have any questions or just need a virtual high five.

People are using the #hockeyfightsdv on twitter and there is a tumblr Hockey Fights Domestic Violence for cheerleading and camaraderie and all that good stuff.

Thanks for reading about something that’s important to me! Go Canucks Go.

The Great Blogger Ego Boost

Today, Mike Gillis said the swirling rumours about Torts’ imminent firing were started by bloggers. I know, right? The Canucks have been spiralling down the standings since the beginning of January. Their head coach tried to fight another team’s head coach, on camera no less. Ryan Kesler is allegedly dying to be traded. And even though the team had one of the most mind numbing, embarrassing losses in recent memory the other night that people all across the NHL were talking about, it’s obviously bloggers that are responsible for these scandalous firing rumours.

Now, we could all be offended at these allegations. But I prefer the more glass full approach of being incredibly flattered! I mean, Mike Gillis thinks we’re talented enough to start rumours about a head coach being fired apparently out of thin air. It sounds like he admires our pluck and gumption.

Gillis has made several mistakes recently, most notably turning his embarrassment of riches in goal into two Swedish rookies who aren’t sure if they want to be Batman. Or almost guaranteeing no free agents of any consequence will want to sign here in the off season. But rest assured, Mike Gillis is not afraid to voice how highly he thinks of us bloggers. And for that I salute him.

If You Love Him Set Him Free: Roberto Luongo


Roberto Luongo has been traded. This trade news was only shocking in that I think people had given up on it ever actually happening. Personally, I found myself feeling nothing but relief and happiness for Luongo when the news broke. I will miss him terribly, because he is both a wonderful goalie and a wonderful person, but Luongo leaving was the best thing for him. It’s like if you read about someone leaving horrific circumstances to get a fresh start in a new country, when you hear about an animal abused and abandoned who ends up in happy home, or like someone escaping prison to live out their days on a tropical island.

I have a lot of Luongo memories I will never forget. This picture after his first playoff win with the Canucks is stuck in my memory for all time.


My first year as a Canucks diehard, the only way I had access to their games was on the radio, since I was living in a dorm room in Saskatchewan. Tommy Larscheid’s quirky, exuberant radio calls every time Luongo made a spectacular save never failed to make me laugh.

We’re left wondering what would have happened if the Canucks had just a tiny bit more talent and a little more luck while we had the pleasure of Luongo in net.

The trade return the Canucks received for him isn’t all that bad actually. Markstrom and Matthias have struggled certainly, but they are both still young, and there’s no reason why they can’t play a lot better with a fresh start in Vancouver. And I do find it delightful the Canucks now have THREE Swedish goalies. Joe Cannata is going to feel like a bit of an outsider. Heh.

Having said all that though, all of the lead up to this trade is completely terrible and completely on the Canucks. They went from having both Luongo and Schneider, to having neither in less than a year. From two of the better goalies in the league, to a tandem that has not even a full season of NHL experience between them. With all due respect to Lack and Markstrom, who are lovely, that is not great. At all.

On top of that, how are you going to attract premiere free agents or expect great players to waive their no trade clauses to come to Vancouver after seeing how Luongo was treated?

Gillis has done some really good work with the Canucks. But after this goalie fiasco, I don’t see how you can argue he should keep his job.

But anyways, run free Luongo! Enjoy your second term in Florida with your family and friends nearby. You deserve it.

A Hockey Poem

Canada won

The hockey game

Everyone (in Canada) was very happy

Even the moose

Even the beavers

Rob Ford did a weird dance

Stephen Harper did one robotic fist pump

Would Stephen Harper write a new hockey book?

No one knows

Now it would be maple syrup versus meatballs

Maple leaves versus IKEA

For the prettiest medal at the dance

Would ABBA ring out from iPods in victory?

Or would it be Nickleback warbling away?

We wait for 4 am Sunday(7 am eastern) in anticipation

Do we stay up all night?

Or do we sleep and rise before the birds?

No one knows what the result will be

Except for the hockey gods and lady luck

And maybe those tricksy stats guys

We stand on guard for thee hockey

We stand on guard for thee

Canucks/Kings: Anger Bowl

Where to even begin with this game? Was it a hockey game? Or was it a performance art piece demonstrating how not to play hockey? I mean, it was less a hockey game and more a two hour dick measuring contest. I generally like my hockey to be heavy on the scoring chances and low on the feeling of “someone is about to get stabbed on the ice”.

I think the most entertaining moment (for me) was when the refs confused Henrik and Daniel and sent Henrik to the box to serve Daniel’s penalty. It got even more wacky immediately following this when Daniel then proceeded to help kill off his own penalty.

But there were certainly some items to add to the pro column for the Canucks besides that. The defence suddenly looked sharp and competent, holding the Kings to not too many shots. This was a far cry from the recent defensive play where they all looked like they had been cryogenically frozen and then thawed out to play defence for the very first time in their lives. It was nice to have Alex Edler back in the lineup, at least by the eyeball test. Oh and the penalty kill. Wowee. You could write a sonnet about the Canucks penalty kill. Shall I compare thee to an ice-y day?

In the con column, well, the offence. The Canucks current offensive line up is where the dreams of all little pucks go to die. Hurry back Alex Burrows. Go on a goal hunting mission David Booth. You are our only hopes.

On a slightly different tangent, the Canucks could be an interesting case study in how society’s constricting ideas of masculinity are harmful. The 2011 Canucks were speedy, flashy, and fun to watch, yet didn’t have much traditional “brute force”. Cue the cup final loss to the Boston Bruins and the irritating narrative that the Canucks are JUST NOT TOUGH ENOUGH. RAWR. This narrative didn’t die down when people looked at Tim Thomas’ gaudy save percentage against the Canucks. Oh no. It simply picked up steam. And now look what you’ve done, society. Because the Canucks felt like they needed to get MORE MANLY AND GRITTIER, you have unleashed Tom Sestito, he of the seconds of ice time and countless penalty minutes onto the world. I hope you’re happy.

I will admit, I do have some conflicting feelings with the Tom Sestito incident myself. I don’t like goons on my hockey teams. I think The Code comes from a bizarre fever dream that an enforcer wrote down one time. And then when a player runs the Sedins, I turn into some kind of mutant offspring of She Hulk and Don Cherry. It’s something I need to work on, I realize.

But if the Canucks find some scoring again, and control their Tom Sestitos, there’s still plenty of time to make this a decent if not extraordinary season.