Hockey is apparently a growing sport in Beijing. They’ve a ways to go, but let’s not be surprised if our neighbours across the Pacific start to fare better on the ice at the Winter Olympics in the not too distant future if they decide to set their minds to it.
If you’re looking for a great read on other unlikely hockey hotbeds around the world, check out Mr. Dave Bidini’s “The Tropic of Hockey“.
Hockey Canada is considering a few adjustments to minor hockey to curb recent drops in registration. Enhancing non-contact leagues appears to be at the top of the list in light of recent concerns around concussions and other injuries. The NHL, for its part, isn’t setting the best example. Hockey purists will no doubt claim the sport is just fine the way it is, but hockey does need to react to threats from other sports, video games and rising costs to name a few. Every sport, for that matter, has to grow and evolve in the face of challenges to its popularity. I appreciate a good hockey hit as much as the next guy, yet you need look no further than women’s hockey to see a high level of skill and really entertaining hockey without head hits, hits from behind and the other bad sides of what can be a pretty violent game at times. Maybe it is time to take a harder look at non-contact options to get more kids playing and staying in hockey.