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Randy C. Battochio, Robert J. Schinke, Danny L. Battochio, Wayne Halliwell and Gershon Tenenbaum

Through adaptation studies in elite sport, researchers can delineate the strategies that amateur and professional athletes employ during career transitions (e.g., promotion, relocation). Fiske (2004) identified five core motives as catalysts to adaptation: understanding, controlling, self-enhancement, belonging, and trusting, which were recently contextualized in sport as a result of one archival study examining the second hand experiences of National Hockey League (NHL) players. The purpose of the present study was to learn about the adaptation process of NHL players based on a first hand data source (i.e., semi-structured interview). A semi-structured open-ended interview guide was utilized to learn about the experiences of four groups of NHL players (n = 11): prospects (n = 3), rookies (n = 3), veterans (n = 2), and retirees (n = 3). There is an indication that adaptation strategies and sub-strategies vary according to the player’s career stage and the challenges related to seeking and maintaining a roster spot. The findings are also consistent with Fiske’s five core motives and earlier adaptation sub-strategies, in addition to uncovering three novel sub-strategies (i.e., understanding one’s performance, distraction control, and trusting player agents). Implications and recommendations are provided for sport researchers and practitioners.

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Jordan D. Herbison, Luc J. Martin and Mustafa Sarkar

. Every June, the National Hockey League (NHL) franchises convene for their annual amateur entry draft (NHL Draft), where each of the 31 franchises takes turns selecting the top amateur players (18–20 years of age) from around the world. By selecting a player in the NHL Draft, a franchise is reserving the

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Jeffrey G. Caron, Gordon A. Bloom, Karen M. Johnston and Catherine M. Sabiston

The purpose of this study was to understand the meanings and lived experiences of multiple concussions in professional hockey players using hermeneutic, idiographic, and inductive approaches within an interpretative phenomenological analysis. The interviewer was an athlete who had suffered multiple concussions, and the interviewees were five former National Hockey League athletes who had retired due to medically diagnosed concussions suffered during their careers. The men discussed the physical and psychological symptoms they experienced as a result of their concussions and how the symptoms affected their professional careers, personal relationships, and quality of life. The former professional athletes related these symptoms to the turmoil that is ever present in their lives. These findings are of interest to athletes, coaches, sport administrators, family members, sport psychology practitioners, and medical professionals, as they highlight the severity of short- and long-term effects of concussions.

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Prue Rains

The work that rule enforcement officials do in sports is more difficult to evaluate than popular imagination would suggest. Officials are not expected to call every infraction of the rules; in fact, they are expected not to. It is not the correctness of a call (or non-call) that is at issue, therefore, but the fairness of a pattern of discretionary calls. Using the work of National Hockey League linesmen and referees as examples, this article describes three methods used by professional sports leagues to produce fairness on the part of officials and, more importantly, to prove that fairness has been accomplished. I have characterized these methods as the procedural production of consistency, the substantive production of consistency, and the supervision of officials’ work. The failure of these methods to produce compelling and objective evidence of fairness supplies a persistent and essentially unresolvable problem for those who man the social control apparatus. Ironically, the tension that this problem generates, and the attention therefore paid to the issue of fairness, is probably the best guarantee that fairness is produced.

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Randy C. Battochio, Robert J. Schinke, Mark A. Eys, Danny L. Battochio, Wayne Halliwell and Gershon Tenenbaum

Semistructured interviews were used in this study to learn about the challenges experienced by four groups of National Hockey League (NHL) players (N= 11): prospects (n= 3), rookies (n= 3), veterans (n= 2), and retirees (n= 3). The database is comprised of 757 meaning units grouped into 11 contextual challenges. From an additional quantitative analysis, the prospects and rookies emphasized challenges pertaining to scouting demands, training camp, increased athletic demands, team expectations, and earning team trust. The veterans spoke mostly of challenges including scouting demands, athletic demands, and team expectations. Retirees considered mostly challenges pertaining to team expectations, athletic demands, lifestyle, media demands, transactions, cross-cultural encounters, and playoffs. An expert panel ensured that the interview guide, data analysis, and the findings represented the participants’ experiences in the NHL. Recommendations for practitioners and researchers working with NHL players are proposed.

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Alicia Cintron, Jeffrey F. Levine and Marion E. Hambrick

At the upcoming National Hockey League (NHL) owners’ meeting in Boca Raton, Florida, team owners are meeting to discuss franchise expansion. League executives believe adding two new franchises would increase viewership and popularity, generate higher revenues, and balance the Eastern and Western Conferences. However, it is unclear whether viable markets for two new franchises exist. Despite this concern, five ownership groups representing five distinct North American cities—Seattle, Washington; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kansas City, Missouri; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Québec City, Québec, Canada—have emerged as viable candidates for an expansion franchise. Given the five ownership groups, the NHL now needs to decide which cities to choose as the new homes for its two expansion teams, based on each city’s viability to host a professional team. Each ownership group will present a case on why its city should be the future home of a new NHL expansion team.

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Robert J. Schinke, Alain P. Gauthier, Nicole G. Dubuc and Troy Crowder

The study of adaptation in elite sport delineates the adjustment strategies of amateur and professional athletes during career transitions (e.g., promotion, relocation). Fiske (2004) recently identified 5 core motives as the vehicles to adaptation: belonging, understanding, controlling, self-enhancement, and trusting. The goal was to verify and contextualize these core motives with 2 respondent groups of professional athletes from the National Hockey League. The groups consisted of those experiencing rookie adaptation and veteran adaptation. A total of 58 athletes were divided into groups representing the Canadian mainstream, Canadian Aboriginal culture, and Europe. There were 175 newspaper articles that were retrieved using online and library resources. The similarities and discrepancies in and across groups provides insight into this hard-to-reach population.

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Joseph Ray, Jimmy Smith and Brian Fowler

Social media has become a powerful source of sports information. The uncertainty of outcomes of a sporting event is a contributing factor to fan satisfaction, which in turn affects fans’ social-media habits. If teams can determine specific factors that affect these social-media habits, marketing conclusions can be drawn. The current research followed the Twitter accounts of 4 National Hockey League (NHL) teams throughout the 2015 NHL postseason to observe changes in fan engagement. The results displayed increasing growth during each subsequent round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, which indicates an advantageous time to gain fans and develop brand loyalty. The current research showed that retweets and favorites earned on team tweets were shown to have the greatest correlation to followers gained. The growth demonstrated during the postseason provides sports organizations the opportunity to cultivate a strong and loyal following for their teams through strategic marketing initiatives.

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Martin Camiré

Leadership is often formalized within sport through captaincy, but researchers have yet to examine the realities of captaincy at the highest level of professional competition. The current study examined the benefits, pressures, and challenges of leadership and captaincy in the National Hockey League (NHL). One captain of an NHL team participated in two in-depth interviews, providing thorough descriptions of his first-hand experiences as an NHL captain, including (a) the techniques he uses to manage his media obligations, (b) his role as a communication bridge between players and coaches, (c) the composition of his leadership group, and (d) examples of interactions that occur during player-only meetings. The transition to captaincy was considered an especially challenging and pressure-filled period. Practical implications for sport psychology consultants are discussed in terms of how they can assist captains of elite competitive teams in setting realistic expectations for their leadership role.

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Sarah Gee

This study examines the development and production of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) 2005–2006 “Inside the Warrior” advertising campaign. Three aspects of the creative process are explored: (1) the context of the 2004–2005 NHL lockout season that led to the League’s ensuing relaunch and rebranding exercise for a new professional ice hockey product within the entertainment industry; (2) the promotional devices used in the campaign that accentuate its explicit hypermasculine “warrior” theme; and (3) interviews with executives from Conductor that offer important insights on their construction of a warrior theme and the existent nature of the crisis of masculinity. Taken collectively, it is argued that the NHL’s “Inside the Warrior” campaign is exemplary for exploring the crisis of masculinity inasmuch as it highlights how one major sport-entertainment-media partnership created, produced, and (re)presented a mythical form of hegemonic masculinity, a contemporary hockey warrior hero, for public consumption.