“Where do DOPS go from here?”

After another intense weekend of hockey in the elite league, criticism towards the Department of Player Safety (DOPS) has escalated to a dangerous level with one player claiming that “safety is now in the hands of the players.” The catalyst behind the criticism follows the board’s ruling on Sheffield Steelers forward Colton Fretter, who was given a one match ban for charging against Belfast player … Continue reading “Where do DOPS go from here?”

Nice to see you, to see you ice…

After a year since its release in 2016, the hockey documentary ‘Ice Guardians’ is available on Netflix (regions may vary). Fighting veterans Brian McGrattan and Kevin Westgarth, who both endured one season spells in the Elite League, feature in the film which explores the controversial role of enforcers within the sport.

Described in the film as a dying breed, enforcers are quick to be scapegoated when it comes to injuries sustained within the sport. The documentary revealed that fighting in the NHL was only responsible for 5% of injuries that players suffered from with body checks being a more serious issue. Without enforcers, the film suggests that players are more susceptible to cheap physicality from opponents which can go unanswered if officials don’t spot it. They are also given the credit of helping some of the sport’s greatest players achieve their true potential. So why is the role being sacrificed?   Continue reading “Nice to see you, to see you ice…”

The Gardiner Conference

The Braehead Clan will be looking to clinch their fourth consecutive Conference title this season under new coach John Tripp in what is now an all Scottish affair. This is because the Manchester Storm have moved to the Patton conference, also taking Braehead coach Ryan Finnerty with them. This leaves four teams: Dundee, Edinburgh, Fife and Braehead (profiles below).   So can anyone stop Braehead? Last … Continue reading The Gardiner Conference

The Erhardt Conference

The 2017/18 season sees a change to the Erhardt conference. Gone now are the Coventry Blaze, to the Patton Conference along with Manchester Storm and the two new teams, Guildford Flames, and Milton Keynes Lightning. Leaving the “arena teams” to now compete for supremacy in the Erhardt. Reigning champions Cardiff Devils will be looking to win back-to-back conference titles, but the challenge of facing the … Continue reading The Erhardt Conference