Book Review: Major Misconduct

“Before you read this next story,” begins Chapter 6 of Jeremy Allingham’s Major Misconduct: The Human Cost of Fighting in Hockey, “I need you to do something first. Grab your phone or computer, search ‘Stephen Peat vs. P.J. Stock’ on your browser, then settle into your seat and brace yourself.” The fight, which took place in a game between Peat’s Washington Capitals and Stock’s Boston Bruins on January 5, 2002, is just one brutal example of the fighting that the author wants to help eradicate from the sport of hockey.

In the book, Allingham delves into the stories of former hockey fighters Peat, James McEwan, and Dale Purinton, all of whom have suffered from common symptoms of CTE since retiring from the sport they love. Drinking, drugs, estrangement from their families, and jail time are common themes indicative of the consequences that all three men attribute to careers spent fighting, or as Allingham puts it, accurately, numerous times throughout the work, “bare knuckle boxing.”

While the three men all have uniquely fascinating stories (McEwan, for example, has turned his life around through spiritual meditation, yoga, and a hallucinogenic drink administered by Amazonian shamans called ayahuasca), they all seem to stem from childhood memories of players fighting on television, and the glorification of the act by the announcers, and in two of the three cases, the boisterous Hockey Night In Canada co-host Don Cherry’s highlight packages of great hockey fights. None of these men, of course, strapped on skates with the intention of becoming known for their fighting prowess, but instead adopted that element into their games in an effort to push to the next level of their professional careers.

Lest you think that Allingham is limiting himself to one side of the story to paint the picture he wants you to see, that is certainly not the case. Allingham speaks with boxing coaches who have trained hockey players, as well as players who have taken boxing classes, all of whom indicate that it’s not about going out on the ice and looking for a fight. Rather, it’s about knowing what to do to protect themselves should they end up in that situation. The author even goes as far as to talk to Georges Laraque, a prolific NHL enforcer who fought over 140 times in the league during stints with the Oilers, Canadiens, Penguins, and Coyotes. Laraque doesn’t share the outlook that fighting is a direct cause of CTE, though he does feel fighting should be eliminated at the junior level.

When I first got the press release from the books publicist, I wrote back that it sounded like a fantastic book. I got the book in the mail either Monday or Tuesday of this week, and I had a hard time putting it down. While I don’t know that Allingham succeeded in his goal of making me want fighting out of the game entirely (I did once watch an entire two-hour VHS tape my then-roommate bought of every single Rob Ray fight), it definitely has me thinking about the consequences these men suffer as a result of repeated blows to the head. It’s also done something I once thought impossible – it’s made me dislike Gary Bettman even more than I did before reading it. This book is definitely worth the read, and absolutely lived up to my expectations.


The Buffalo Sabres partner with Nextiva

Nextiva, an innovative tech company dedicated to simplifying business communications, team collaboration, and customer engagement, recently announced that they have partnered with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres to be the team’s official communications partner, setting up all of the communications throughout Buffalo’s KeyBank Center.

While Nextiva plans to present “something special” to give everyone a look at what goes on during game day with the service they provide to the team, I was able to ask a few questions that I, as a Bored Hockey Fan, was curious about when it comes to this partnership.

How do official team partnerships work?

In our case, we were selected as the official communications provider for the Buffalo Sabres thanks to a generous introduction by its channel partner PremCom, who recommended us to them. The Sabres went on to choose Nextiva, and we were definitely excited by the opportunity to support the Sabres, and grateful for the opportunity PremCom had provided.

What other teams throughout the world of sports has Nextiva partnered with?

The Sabres are our first partnership with an NHL or sports team.

What are the benefits of a team using Nextiva for their communications?

The biggest thing we wanted to do was to provide the Sabres organization with concrete solutions, to give confidence that their needs would be met on all levels — for fans, for patrons, and for the team—and that we could provide each and every solution on their list with something feature-rich and seamless from our Unified Communications platform. The suites at the Buffalo Sabres’ home arena, the KeyBank Center, are now outfitted with Nextiva phones and service, and features include voice communications, mobility and desktop sharing, along with the company’s trademarked Amazing Service.

Is the Nextiva partnership visible and accessible to fans aside from the logo on the ice?

The Nextiva logo is prominently featured on the ice, but it is also visible on posters around the KeyBank Center arena, wherever voice communications technology is featured around the arena, and within the private suites.

How many technicians, and how much time, does it take to install a communications suite like the one Nextiva now has at the KeyBank Center?

Joe, we’re working on something special over the next 2-3 months that will give everyone a visceral, immediate and inside look into what goes into staging game day, and into helping an NHL team maximize its communications across the board. We’ll share with you as soon as it’s completed!

If the NHL were to partner, as a whole, with Nextiva, what benefits would the league see as far as communication for on-ice officials to the replay official or the “war room” in Toronto?

Ultimately, we’re able provide system-wide unified communications at the highest level, so that all of their locations can be connected and managed on one single account. We may be able to create a custom solution for on-ice officials and other officials around the arena during game day, similar to what we’ve done for the Conan show.

We also ensure that all arena facilities and private suites are fully equipped with the best in first-class communications features. This means that guests will be using Nextiva communications to make their experiences as enjoyable as possible, using them to call for their food and beverage orders, make requests, and receive service or support as needed while enjoying their experiences in the suites.

I, for one, am looking forward to the special inside look Nextiva is preparing for us over the next 2-3 months. Very special thanks to Nextiva for sharing with us and taking the time to answer a few questions, and we wish them the best of luck for a successful partnership with the Sabres.

Hockey Media

Press Release: “Hockey Addicts Guide: New York City”


Where to Eat, Drink & Play the Only Game That Matters

If the genre of hockey tourism has not received much attention, it’s because Evan Gubernick has just invented it with this guide, the first in a new series: HOCKEY ADDICT’S GUIDE: NEW YORK CITY [The Countryman Press; on sale March 13, 2018; $14.95; Paperback].

Packed with everything you need to immerse yourself in New York City’s unique hockey culture, HOCKEY ADDICT’S GUIDE is a must-read for local fans, beer-league devotees, youth hockey-obsessed families, and visitors alike.  Find out:

  • Where to show up for the best pickup games, and where to grab a beer after the game
  • How to get your skates sharpened at the tiny fifth-floor shop only the locals know
  • How to find outdoor rinks that aren’t crowded with tourists holding hands
  • Where to cheer on the Rangers, the Devils, and the Islanders (and even the women’s team that plays out in New Jersey, the Metropolitan Riveters!)
  • Where hockey fans hang out off the ice, from sneaker boutiques to bike shops to beer gardens
  • Where to root for non-New York teams among fellow transplanted fans — including the one place in New York City where it’s acceptable to cheer for Boston

Organized around major hockey hubs like Madison Square Garden, the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, and the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, this guide offers deeply opinionated recommendations on where to eat, drink, sleep, and shop like a New York City hockey fan.

Stay at the urban dude ranch run by a retired hockey pro, buy hard-to-find jerseys from the best vintage shop in town, and grab a King Henrik coctail at the Tribeca bar co-owned by Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist.  Eat at the Italian restaurant recommended by the Zamboni driver from Madison Square Garden, or the Chinatown noodle shop where the NYU hockey team refuels late at night.

This is a take-along guidebook that will be pored over, referenced, and most importantly, fiercely debated in locker rooms across the city.

EVAN GUBERNICK is the founder of Snipetown NYC, a magazine devoted to the hockey subculture of New York City, and creative director of 485 Creative.  He lives in Brooklyn, NY.


Let’s talk about FoxTrax

I know, I know.  It’s a dirty word for long time NHL fans, but as much as we would like to pretend it didn’t happen, FoxTrax was a thing.  Not only was it a thing – a poorly executed thing – it was very innovative in the world of sports.  Granted, hockey itself has pretty much stuck to a score and time overlay that’s expandable to include a power play timer, but things you see in other sports are direct decedents of FOX’s glowing abomination on ice.  Now, over 20 years later, there is talk about similar technology returning to the National Hockey League.

Sports broadcasting innovation

The year is 1996.  FOX had the broadcasting rights to the NHL in the United States, and aimed to come up with a solution for a common complaint about hockey back in the days of fuzzy old standard definition televisions.  The complaint?  Casual viewers couldn’t keep track of the puck.  I mean, I’m sure anyone can miss a black dot on a white sheet of ice, right?  I digress.  People apparently couldn’t follow the action, and FOX, along with a company called Etak, set out to solve that problem.

Splitting a puck directly in half (as one would slice a bagel), an array of infrared emitters, a shock sensor, and a circuit board and battery were placed inside, the two halves of the puck then glued back together with an epoxy.  Carefully considered were the weight and balance of the puck, as NHL Chief Engineer Rick Cavallaro stated that the players could tell if it was even off by a slight amount.  Specialized cameras picked up the infrared emissions from the puck. FOX’s “Puck Truck” overlaid appropriate (for lack of a better term) on-screen graphics based on data from the cameras.   The result was a blue hue around the puck at all times, along with a blue tail to track passes, and a red comet tail on shots 70MPH or higher.

It was a technological breakthrough, and a monumental moment in the eventual history of televised sports.  Hockey fans hated it.

Reactions to the innovation

Sure, casual fans were better able to follow the action.  In fact, 7 out of 10 FOX viewers surveyed said they liked the addition of the glowing puck.  Hell, 14 year old me thought it was “cool.”  35 year old me, not so much.  Yahoo’s Greg Wyshynski wasn’t a big fan either.  “Imagine if you were watching the Super Bowl and every time the running back disappeared in a pile of tacklers he started glowing like a blueberry from Chernobyl.”

“The inference being that (Americans are) too hockey-stupid to follow the play or that we need to be distracted by shiny new toys in order to watch the sport.”

The future of NHL Broadcasts

FoxTrax died a quiet death at the end of the 1997-98 season as ABC took over NHL broadcasts in the United States.  Oddly enough, it’s an article from ABC-owned ESPN that inspired this post.  The article notes that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said, “While it was the subject of much discussion, and some derision, in 1996, the technology of Fox Sports’ glowing puck was the precursor of the first-down line that has become standard practice for any football broadcast, and any number of innovations.  Actually, we are working on a dramatically updated version of that technology, and we have plans to roll out updated player and puck tracking. We are literally going back to the future.”

Before reading the article, I’d responded to the link shared on Facebook with essentially the same sentiments as Gary Bettman.  I know, I feel dirty.  I referenced the on-field overlays used in football, and the strike zone overlay used in FOX’s coverage of Major League Baseball as technology that was not only created, but actually done well in the wake of FoxTrax.  The most interesting takeaway from Bettman’s quote, however, is that they “have plans to roll out updated player and puck tracking.”

Say what?

Bettman likely isn’t referring to bringing back FoxTrax in it’s original form, with modified puck and red-glowing shot trails.  I feel it’s more akin to things we’ve already seen from the league.  Showing player statistics such as ice time, skating speed, shot speed, and things of that nature.  Personally, I found it helpful (though not absolutely necessary) when the FoxTrax puck would glow along the near boards, rendering it visible for fans at home who don’t have x-ray vision to see through wooden boards on their television.

Overall, I don’t hate the idea of implementing new old technical innovations into an NHL broadcast.  However, taking a minimally invasive approach may be the key to doing it correctly.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Phil Kessel appreciation post!

Pop art by ThinkSoJoE

Today is October 2, 2017, and 30 years ago today, Pittsburgh Penguins star and two time Stanley Cup winner Phil Kessel was born.  Therefore, today I decided to share with my fellow hockey fans some knowledge bestowed upon me by some folks in a chat room during a recent pre-season game between the Penguins and the Buffalo Sabres.  I do have to apologize, however, as I didn’t think to keep the names of the folks who said these things as I was sharing them with my co-admin G the other night.

  • “Kessel was baptized in hot dog water”
  • “When Kessel gets NHL 18 he makes Kessel a little bigger to see if he can eat a few more burgers and still play”
  • “Kessel ain’t even fat, he’s jacked.”
  • “Kessels not fat, he’s thicc”
  • “Kessel won’t go to a team meeting unless they got pigs in a blanket.”
  • “Kessel stays in (Pittsburgh) not because he likes winning, but because they have the highest taco bell/pizza hut combos per capita”
  • “When the snapchat filter came out with the dancing hot dog Kessel ate his phone”
  • “If Kessel had a time machine, he’d go back to 1943, not to kill hitler but to kill a Dodo bird and try it’s meat.”
  • “Never refer to the puck as a biscuit or Phil will eat it”
  • “Kessel drank Smart Water for a week and couldn’t understand why he wasn’t better at math.”
  • “Kessel spends 14K on Reeses Pieces a month”
  • “Kessel met Jesus once but kept hounding him about Fish”
  • “Kessel’s salary is measured in quarter pounders”

And there you have it, folks.  Things I learned about birthday boy Phil Kessel from random people in a chat room.  Happy birthday Phil, from all of us at BoredHockeyFan!

Arizona Coyotes, Montreal Canadiens, NHL

Free John Scott

John Scott:  NHL All Star Captain.

John Scott: NHL All Star Captain.

In 2012, John Scott became a Buffalo Sabre.  As a Sabres fan who sat through a team with a distinct lack of goals the previous season, the first question on my mind was of course, “why?”  Scott had been up and down between the NHL and AHL since 2008 and had one goal in the big league to show for it.  His signing, I believe, was an overreaction to a hit by then-Bruin Milan Lucic on then-Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller the previous season, an attempt to “toughen up” the Buffalo Sabres.

To say that Scott’s tenure in Buffalo was less than stellar is an understatement.  With one goal and 194 penalty minutes across two seasons, the highlight of John Scott the Sabre was being ripped to shreds by Mike Milbury following a nationally televised game against the Boston Bruins for a hit on a defenseless Loui Eriksson.

Needless to say, I’ve never been the biggest fan of John Scott.  However, when you leave the people on the internet to their own devices, things happen. The National Hockey League opened up all star voting to the fans, and allowed them to vote for any player they chose as a captain for the player’s respective divisions in the new 3-on-3 tournament format.  That opened the door for fans to find the most ridiculous choice and vote him in.  Believe me, I was one of the people voting on a daily basis for John Scott, along with Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres, Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators, and Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

So what happens?  John Scott wins the all-star voting.  Not just for the Pacific Division – he was the number one vote getter in all of the NHL.  Those of us who voted for him felt a sense of pride.  Suddenly, despite the fact we were initially voting for him as a joke, we had a sense of pride.  John Scott was our all-star.  We made that happen, and we were not only proud of that fact, we were proud of him.  Sure, he’s not the best hockey player, and yes, maybe Mike Milbury had a point in calling him a goon, but John Scott is a good guy, taking it all with good humor, and humbly accepting the honor bestowed upon him by the NHL fans.

People are often critical of the National Football League, referring to the NFL as the “No Fun League.”  I propose we start calling the NHL the “No Humor League,” because while we’re having fun putting guys like John Scott where they don’t necessarily belong, the league steps in and conveniently convinces the Arizona Coyotes to send Scott to the Montreal Canadiens, which throws a wrench into our plans.  Here’s what they don’t tell you.  Scott’s wife is pregnant with twins and due to give birth All-Star weekend.  Now, this poor woman, 9 months pregnant, has to go through the ordeal of her husband being traded to a team 2600 miles away, being uprooted from their home in Arizona, and for what?  So John Scott can’t play in the NHL All Star Game?

This ordeal is a bigger embarassment to the National Hockey League than John Scott could ever be.  I wish he were on Twitter, because I’d like to personally apologize for him for the way this has affected him and his family.  I voted for John Scott ten times a day every day.  I was looking forward to seeing him get his moment in the spotlight.  Now it’s all been taken away from him – and us.

Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, New York Riveters, NWHL

Introducing the NWHL


NWHL(2015) logo” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

A recent sponsored Facebook post alerted me to the fact that the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women’s Hockey League had just signed their first player, team USA goaltender Brianne McLaughlin.  Well that’s awesome and all, but who are the Buffalo Beauts and what in the world is the NWHL?

I decided to dig deeper.  I learned that the NWHL is a brand new women’s professional hockey league, with the inaugural puck drop scheduled for this October, and that the Buffalo Beauts are one of the first four teams, along with the Boston Pride, Connecticut Whale, and the New York Riveters.  The Beauts will be playing their home games at the brand new HarborCenter, directly across the street from First Niagara Center where the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres call home.

The first NWHL Draft took place last month, and the teams are in the process of signing players to contracts.  This is a milestone for women’s hockey as this is the first paid professional women’s hockey league in North America.  The original idea Dani Rylan had was to bring a Canadian Women’s Hockey League team to New York, but ultimately she created the NWHL instead.

“We’re thrilled to be launching the first-ever paid professional women’s hockey league and creating a platform for these talented women,” says Rylan. “We look forward to helping the sport for the best players in the world, and giving these women a place to shine.”

The NWHL season will consist of 18 games per team, nine home and nine away, with the season lasting from October until March, including pre-season, an All-Star weekend, and the playoffs.  The regular season starts October 17th with each team playing one game each weekend.

For more information on the NWHL, check out their website at


Press Release: Kraft Hockeyville USA


One U.S. Community Will Win Opportunity to Host NHL® Pre-Season Game Televised on NBCSN, $150,000 in Arena Upgrades and Coveted Title as First-Ever “Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA”

NORTHFIELD, Ill. – January 1, 2015 – Announced today, at the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® featuring the Chicago Blackhawks® and Washington Capitals® broadcast on NBC, the puck officially dropped for Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA – the search for America’s most passionate hockey community. Uniting an all-star roster of partners including the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), National Hockey League (NHL®), NBC Sports Group, and USA Hockey, Kraft’s award-winning, Canadian-born HockeyvilleTM program has expanded into the U.S. for the first time to help build better hockey communities across the country. Beginning today, hockey communities across the U.S. can vie for the esteemed title of “Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA” and enter for a chance to win the grand prize of hosting an NHL® Pre-Season game televised live on NBCSN and $150,000 in arena upgrades.

“Seeing all these passionate hockey fans cheering on their team in the brisk winter air reminds me of the way so many of us fell in love with the sport,” said Dino Bianco, Executive Vice President and President, Kraft Beverages. “Fans like this coming together for their shared love of hockey is what inspired us to launch Kraft Hockeyville in the U.S. and celebrate the unity that hockey brings to communities across the country.”

Kraft also drafted a friend – NHL® legend and NBC Sports analyst, Jeremy Roenick – to help spread the word across the country. “Growing up in Boston, hockey was a way of life for children and families, and it brought together my community in a way that nothing else could. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the lessons I learned and the experiences I gained at Pilgrim Arena from coaches like my dad, Wally Roenick, Paul Kramer, and Arthur Valicenti. Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA will help communities keep these traditions alive, and that is something I am excited to be a part of working with Kraft.”

How Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA Works

Like a hockey game, Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA has three periods. In the first period, communities across the country are encouraged to enter by sharing unique stories about their local rink, teams, hockey spirit and passion and submitting their nominations now through March 18, 2015, at, where complete contest rules and nomination applications are available.

Ten community finalists will be chosen to kick off the second action-packed period, which includes three rounds of public voting:

· Round 1 (April 14-16, 2015) – Top four communities chosen to move on to the next round; remaining six each receive $20,000 toward arena upgrades.

· Round 2 (April 21-22, 2015) – Top two finalists selected; remaining two each receive $40,000 toward arena upgrades.

· Round 3 (April 27-29, 2015) – One community will emerge as the first-ever “Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA”; runner-up will receive $75,000 toward arena upgrades.

In the final period, the winning community will be announced – on May 2, 2015 – and receive the grand prize of the chance to host an NHL® Pre-Season game televised on NBCSN and receive $150,000 in arena upgrades from Kraft.

Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA is meant to not only ignite a passion for hockey in America, but also bring a renewed sense of pride to communities. Since launching in Canada in 2006, Kraft HockeyvilleTM has positively impacted 43 communities with more than $1.6 million donated in arena upgrades. Kraft also hopes that its diverse portfolio of products will help unite hockey fans in their celebrations of the sport and their communities. The campaign will celebrate consumers’ excitement around a variety of iconic Kraft brands, including A1, Bulls-Eye BBQ Sauce, Cracker Barrel, Jell-O, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Kraft Mayo, Kraft Natural Cheese, Kraft Salad Dressings, Kraft Singles, Maxwell House, Miracle Whip, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Stove Top and Velveeta.

For contest rules, information on nominating your community and complete program details, visit Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA can also be found at and on Twitter (@HockeyvilleUSA). You can join the conversation using #HockeyvilleUSA.


NHLPA, National Hockey League Players’ Association and the NHLPA logo are trademarks of the NHLPA. © NHLPA.

NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League, and the NHL Winter Classic logo and HOCKEYVILLE are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks (including HOCKEYVILLE) and NHL team logos and marks are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. © NHL 2014. All Rights Reserved.


Pardon our dust.

Greetings, fellow Bored Hockey Fans, it is I, the kingpin of the Bored Fanchise, ThinkSoJoE!  Now, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but Bored Hockey Fan has been inaccessible for a little while.  We were continuously having issues with our old server, and while I don’t think they were necessarily caused by BHF, when we tried to re-enable access to this site, things went haywire and the hosting company yelled at me.

I have no idea what caused the issues over there, but I knew that I wanted to get this site over to the new (and thusfar, far more stable) server as soon as I could.  I got all the necessary information from the database to launch here, plus all of our uploaded files (including our podcasts).  I even got the old theme, but I decided that since I was planning on creating a new theme for the site anyway, I’d throw the generic “TwentyFourteen” style that comes with our blogging software up here for the time being instead.

That said, kick back, enjoy a great Winter Classic between the Caps and Hawks, and stick with us!  Everything should be back to normal sometime in January!