The regular schedule resumes and the boys return to talk all things hockey. This week COVID passports, changing rules, Olympics, name changes are on the agenda. Plus all the usual news bits and features you have come to expect from the Door 14 Hockey Podcast.
Period One - Local Coverage
Here we are, only a few weeks away from the return of competitive top flight EIHL hockey – but there’s something still looming over the return of the game: Covid-19. With the four nations taking different approaches to arena entry, and indeed different policies between arenas in England, we chat through where things lie today and the challenges ahead for fans as vaccine passports appear to be the way forward.
The EIHL this week released some new rules for the upcoming 2021/22 season, including clarifying roster sizes and suspension protocols, which have seen more than a few raised eyebrows since their release with seemingly no impact on team’s ability to ice a full import compliment in the face if suspensions. The league also announced that a mere 16 years after the NHL incorporated the behind the goal trapezoid, it would finally make its long awaited debut in the UK’s top flight.
Meanwhile and not to forget that competitive games are in fact back in the UK, the Cardiff Devils have been competing in the CHL with one win and three losses, including this shutout defeat which included a desperately horrendous ‘own goal’ (we see you there Ben O’Connor!)
Period Two - International Hockey
The news many have been waiting for has finally been announced (with of course some caveats due to Covid-19), but it looks very much like the NHL’s best and most silky handed superstars will head to China for the 2022 Winter Olympics. The lads discuss the pro’s and con’s of this announcement for the ‘amateur’ element of the Olympic competition.
Speaking of Covid (because we barely touched on it…) the NHL has made it very clear that they plan to come down hard on players who choose not or cannot be vaccinated should that unvaccinated status have an impact on their teams.
Period Three - General Nockey News!
The top tier women’s league in North America, formerly the NWLH has decided to rebrand in a move designed to remove the stigma of gender values being levied onto their game, and will going forward be known as the Premier Hockey Federation. This is a top move by a top league and we’re pleased to see the league go from strength to strength including a soon to come expansion to the home of hockey in Montreal.
Meanwhile in the KHL, the place of women in the game has come under a very different light – with AK Bars deciding that now is the time to do away with their cheerleading squad in an effort to make their game-night experience more ‘family friendly’. The move however has been branded by some from the squad as one designed to protect player’s wives from…jealousy?! Make of it what you will folks – we’re steering clear of any judgement here!
Now that we’re back in the flow of the podcast and with games around the corner, we’re so happy to be back in regular touch with all you lovely people! This time around, Marcas, who regularly drives from Dublin to Belfast for home games, asked us a question on Twitter and the lads were more than happy to answer it!
Welcome back, folks! Looking forward to the next podcast, it's a great way to pass the time on the M1/A1 from Dublin to Belfast on a game day. What is the one thing (it can be as mundane as you like) that you missed most about live hockey?
— Marcas Ó Callanáin (@MOCallanain) September 9, 2021
If you’d like the lads to answer your question or if you want to give us an opinion on anything we’ve said any this or any other podcast, drop us a line!
We also want to take a moment to wish a MASSIVE HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our mate Ethan McClean, who turns 13 on the 14th of September. Ethan is a special young man who even though he’s going through something the likes that almost none of us will ever come close to, always has the biggest smile for everyone and is always up for a bit of hockey chat on the concourse in the SSE Arena. We’ve all missed catching up with Ethan and his amazing family at games over the last year and a half, but we’re almost there and we can’t wait to see you soon guys! On the 14th (great birthday date by the way Ethan!), we would love it if as many Door 14 fans and listeners would drop into the Team McClean twitter page and wish this amazing young man the very happiest of birthdays! Thanks everyone!
One Last Thing
If you listened to this week’s podcast, you’ll have heard that John is heading off on a few adventures over the next few weeks all in memory of his father Alan, who sadly passed away last year after a short battle with cancer.
Starting on the 19th of September, John (and his lovely wife, Catherine) will head from Milngavie just outside Glasgow and march the 96 miles (although they’ll definitely make that up to 100!) past Loch Lomond, through Glen Coe and past Ben Nevis to Fort William 6 days later. As if that wasn’t enough, John will then just 10 days later line up at Stormont Estate on the 3rd of October to tackle the 26.2 miles of the Belfast Marathon, only his second attempt at the distance. A glutton for punishment and deciding that the two before weren’t quite enough, on the 16th and 17th of October, John will finally take up the final challenge as he makes up part of a relay team of four hoping to run for 24 hours straight around Belfast’s Victoria Park – with a personal target in his own three, two hour stints – to run three half marathons of just over 13 miles each.
This will bring his total mileage over just under 6 weeks to over 165 miles and he’s doing this to raise money for Cancer Research UK, in the hopes of funding research so that less people have to go through what his father and his family had to and he would appreciate any donations people can spare. Head to his Just Giving page to donate if you can.