On Sunday, during the NBC Game of the Week's first intermission, Patrick Burke launched "You Can Play" with a public service announcement aimed at creating a level playing field in the sport, regardless of sexual orientation. The PSA video can be found at the end of this post.
Burke spreads the message of inclusion to help carry on the legacy of his brother Brendan Burke. In a piece written by Bruce Arthur of the National Post, "A few weeks after Patrick Burke made his brother Brendan swear on the Stanley Cup that he really was gay — that was what the boys always did when you wanted to prove something, swear on the Stanley Cup — he went to Brendan and he apologized. He said he was sorry if he ever said anything, did anything, to make Brendan feel uncomfortable before his younger brother came out of the closet to his family in December of 2007"
Over 30 hockey players have gotten involved with You Can Play and for the remainder of the season, additional spots will air to get the message across. For more information on the initiative, visit the website YouCanPlayProject.org.
Here are your links for the week:
Your Lightning links:
- Victor Hedman could play tonight versus the Senators as he says he's 100% (Tampa Bay Times)
- Brett Connolly's comfort level and minutes are on the rise since the exit of Steve Downie (The Tampa Tribune)
- If the Lightning make the playoffs, could Stamkos be considered a contender for the Hart? A 'For Your Consideration' campaign for him (Lightning Hockey Blog)
- Did you know there is an Evan Oberg mileage tracker? As of February 29th, he's at 16,319 miles (Lightning)
- The rumors of the Norfolk Admirals and Lightning ending their affiliation, and the Syracuse Crunchbecoming the new affiliate for the Lightning (with no information coming from the Admirals management themselves) has left fans feeling like they are in the dark. Ken Peacock writes "I have already paid for my season tickets next year and I would like to know what sort of product we will see on the ice next year." (Vulture's Row)
The rest of your links after the jump...
- The Detroit Red Wings are so hard hit by injuries on their blue line that they almost sound like they miss Mike Commodore (The Hockey Writers)
- Ken Campbell has thoughts on the 30 NHL teams. His thought on the Lightning: The difference between Steven Stamkos and Alex Ovechkin? Stamkos has changed his game, has developed a power forward’s mentality and is now getting goals from all over the ice, including the dirty areas. Ovechkin, meanwhile, hasn’t changed one thing since he entered the league. (The Hockey News)
Your links from around the NHL:
- Mikhail Grabovski has signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract extension (TSN)
- Nice dangle by Chris Thorburn on Ryan Miller. A positive for the Lightning about the Jets-Sabres game is that it wasn't a 3 point game (Puck Daddy)
- The Syracuse Crunch exercise their option to end their current affiliation with the Anaheim Ducks. Do you know who might be looking for a new AHL team? The Tampa Bay Lightning, I'm not suggesting anything, I'm just pointing that out (Syracuse.com)
- With their goalie getting injured early in the game, the Erie Otters had their centre Connor Crisp suit up as the emergency backup goalie. Great account by Neate Seager (Buzzing The Net)
- Don Cherry blasts Brian Burke on HNIC and says that the Leafs need Ontario born hockey players (ProHockeyTalk)
- Could Don Cherry's outburst on HNIC's Coach's Corner this past weekend be detrimental to the CBC? (Globe and Mail)
- This 2012 NHL Entry draft will have a lot of familiar last names being called. There will be sons of former players and a crop of younger brothers coming through (Buzzing the Net)
- Interesting read by Bryan Reynolds of Hockey Wilderness on the stats guys in hockey vs. the non stats Wild fans and how they just don't give a damn about stats
- A great profile on Jean Beliveau by Stu Hackel. He was the first hockey player ever to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated in January 1956 (SI.com)
- Random fact about Vincent Lecavalier and Beliveau that Cassie reminded me of: Vinny played Beliveau in a Canadian hockey movie about the life of Maurice "The Rocket" Richard. The Rocket: The Legend of Rocket Richard
- Smoking and hockey? Adrian Dater has a great post on the culture of smoking and hockey. "In the Province of Quebec, I used to go see some junior games a lot, and you couldn't see the ice. The whole rink was covered in smoke, it was amazing," says Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman (SI.com)
- Michael Farber writes a great piece on the evolution of Evgeni Malkin. "Coming out of the [defensive] zone, he'll go underneath a guy's stick three, four times a game, into the triangle. Sometimes he looks like he's doing it for pleasure. Just because he can, you know? Everybody in the world would think it's a bad move, but he's done it 18 times in the last five games, and it's gone wrong once. Kinda tough for me to say, 'No, don't do it.'" Bylsma says of Malkin (SI.com)
- Last week Bob McKenzie reported that parties have expressed interest bringing an NHL team to Saskatoon, SK. It's one thing to express interest, and another to actually have the market to sustain a franchise (TSN)
- Are we going overboard questioning every single questionable hit to see if it's a headshot? Matt Reitz weighs in (View From My Seats)
Video of the week: