Being a hockey fan, especially an American one, means many things. It means we, as fans, follow a niche sport, which, in turn, generates a strange camaraderie. Think about it: when you walk down the streets of Boston, or Vermont, or Albany, Montreal, Miami, wherever - if you see someone in a hockey t-shirt or jersey, instinct is to acknowledge your fellow fan, whether its with a fistbump, a quick chirp, or, in some cases, a drawn-out conversation that leads to a new friendship. The hockey community, relatively, isn't large; it's Canada and pockets of fans in the States and around the world, nothing on the grandiose scale of football, baseball, or even basketball.
The small size of the hockey world also means that when something happens like yesterday's tragedy, everyone feels it. It resonates through everyone who ever saw guys like Pavol Demitra and Karlis Skrastins and, locally, former Lowell Devil Alexander Vasyunov, play. It echoes back though stories about these players from their close friends. But it also means something much more positive - it means that the hockey world collapses in on itself like a family after an event like this, an instant support group. Of course there's always going to be a vocal minority of people who try to ruin that, but the overwhelming voice is one of community, something that really doesn't happen anywhere else.
If there's anything good to be taken from a summer like this one, it's the knowledge that no matter what happens, that community will be there.
- Ray Bourque reacts to fellow 1979 first round Bruins draft pick Brad McCrimmon's death in the KHL plane crash. [Eagle Tribune]
- Still can't resist joking about Brad Marchand's lack of contract. Get this done, man. [Telegram & Gazette]
- The Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the QMJHL are going to retire their first number - and it's Patrice Bergeron's! [Something's Bruin]
- The Dropkick Murphys have carved out a thriving niche based on their Bruins love and odd sound. [Tribune-Review]
- Claude Julien brought the Cup to Lexington yesterday. [Minuteman]
- And the Cup goes to Providence today. [Projo]
- What a novel concept, a drunk and disorderly Bruins fan from the parade will probably go to jail! /pointed look at Vancouver [Sun Chronicle]
- Some nonsense about Milan Lucic altercating with his girlfriend, Brittany Carnegie. Considering the source of the 'report', I am 100% inclinded to believe Carnegie on this one. (she's on twitter at @brittcarnegie). [Globe]
- President Cam Neely made a statement on the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv tragedy. [Bruins]
NHL Hockey News
- Russia mourns the crash of the flight carrying Yaroslavl Lokomotiv. [CNN]
- NHL players react to the crash on Twitter. Some of this is pretty heartbreaking. [NHL]
- Jeff Chick in Dallas writes about a job yesterday - transporting the family of Karlis Skrastins to the airport. [A Chicks Perspective]
- The Capitals have a lot of connections to the team, most unsurprisingly Alex Ovechkin, who is good friends with the lone survivor from the team, Alexander Galimov. [Post]
- The KHL has no bylaws in place to cover a tragedy like this. Oddly enough, the NHL does. [Metro News]
- Seven AHL alumni, including former Lowell Devil Alex Vasyunov, died yesterday. [The AHL]
- Sidney Crosby is progressing though not as quickly as people had hoped. [Tribune-Review]
- Vancouver's top cop wants to end the huge viewing parties in the city. Probably a good idea, eh? [Calgary Sun]
- The OHL switched to soft-cap shoulder pads to try to cut down on head injuries. Will they work? OHL players react to the equipment change. [In The O]