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Wake With Elias: Podkolzin’s early brilliance overshadowed by toxic hockey culture

We’d love nothing more than to talk solely about Podkolzin’s impressive start, but abuse and racism in hockey had to rear it’s ugly head once again.

Nashville Predators v Vancouver Canucks
Vasily Podkolzin has been a pleasant surprise for the Canucks.
Getty Images

Sometimes, it’s painful to be a Canucks fan.

Right now, however, it’s hard to be a fan of the NHL in general.

These two truths can (unfortunately) exist in cohesion. It’s fair to love the game of hockey. The skill level and entertainment value are at an all-time high.

It’s also possible to love the game of hockey, and despise the NHL.

The sexual assaults committed against Kyle Beach and John Doe 2 were horrific. How the Blackhawks handled it in 2010, and how the NHL handled it in the aftermath, made the situation far worse than it had to be.

While some of the characters at fault are out of the game, the top troll, Gary Bettman, still sits atop the NHL’s iron throne.

This morning, two more awful stories regarding abuse and hatred have surfaced. While sports should be escapism from reality, there’s no escaping the reality of hockey embodying a far too toxic culture.

Canucks News

  • Shame on these racist assholes who called into Sportsnet 650 the other night. No place for that crap. [Daily Hive]
  • Why the Canucks might not be done despite ranking in the bottom of the NHL [Sportsnet]
  • Single-vaxxed Travis Hamonic has gone back to Abbotsford, and the Canucks have recalled Jack Rathbone.
  • Vasily Podkolzin has been earning Travis Green’s trust thanks for his early-season brilliance. [Daily Hive]
  • Could you ever be in an open relationship with the Vancouver Canucks? [The Morning Practice]

Around the NHL

  • More negative news out of the NHL this week was Bob Murray resigning from the Anaheim Ducks as general manager because of abuse allegations [NHL]
  • Murray isn’t the only general manager in hot water. Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin should be facing the music for atrocities that happened when he was in Pittsburgh’s front office. It was reported that he told Jarrad Skalde, an assistant with the Penguins AHL team, to “keep quiet” about the Pens AHL head coach sexually assaulting Skalde’s wife. [ESPN]

Yeah, hockey really sucks right now.

  • One positive amidst all this negativity? The hotline set up by the NHL for reporting abuse is working. [Toronto Star]
  • Okay, we need at least one feel-good story here. How about this? When Egor Solokov made his NHL debut in Ottawa on Tuesday night, his billet parents attended the game when his family from Russia couldn’t be there. [CTV News]