StickTaps: Red Stars, Rainbow Flags, and Blue Masks

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Photo courtesy of KHL/Twitter

In this week’s edition of StickTaps, we go back to the biggest hockey moment of the summer and look at stories from Calgary all the way to China. Cheers and enjoy!

  • KHL hockey makes great first impression in China
    China’s newest attraction, the Kunlun Red Star of the Kontinental Hockey League, skated out for their first ever game on Sunday and did not disappoint. The Red Star beat the Admiral Vladivostok 6-3 in front of a sold out LeSports Center in Beijing, with Kunlun’s Anssi Salmela scoring the historic first ever goal. China is one of hockey’s biggest growing markets, and putting a major professional franchise in the country is a huge step for the game. The Red Star have just five Chinese players on the roster, but the impact of having a team should help that number grow in time. I wish the best of luck to the Red Star this season and beyond.

  • Flames march in Calgary Pride Parade
    Matt Stajan, Troy Brouwer, and Chad Johnson of the Calgary Flames marched in the city’s pride parade over the weekend, continuing the sport’s push for LGBT rights. Flames president of hockey ops Brian Burke is a major backer of the LGBT community’s place in sports, while his son Patrick is the co-founder of the You Can Play initiative. It’s always good to see sports teams taking a stand at combating homophobia, so kudos to the Flames and their continuing support of the cause.  
  • Nebraska college football team honours late teammate
    I don’t follow college football too much, but this was an beautiful story I had to add. After Nebraska punter Sam Foltz died in a car accident earlier this summer, the team honoured his memory by purposefully lining up on a fourth down against Fresno State with just 10 men on the field while leaving Foltz’s punter position empty. The Huskers would receive a delay of game penalty on the play, but Fresno State appropriately declined it. An excellent move on both teams parts to remember a fallen member of the college football family. ESPN has an excellent article on this story, which you can find here.
  • The 23 minutes that shook the hockey world
    Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman is one of the best hockey analysts and writers in the business, and his newest article for Sportsnet Magazine is one of his finest. Friedman discusses the famous half hour on June 29 where P.K. Subban and Taylor Hall were traded and Steven Stamkos resigned in Tampa Bay. It’s a long-read article, so I suggest you take a look during your morning coffee.
  • A complete list of World Cup goalie masks
    The awesome people at TSN’s Bardown site have compiled a list of photos and videos for every goalie mask that’ll be worn during the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto. Goalie mask art is my favourite art form because of how each one represents the wearer’s hobbies and history. My favourite of the World Cup masks is Pekka Rinne’s Pred Mech Suit (seen below), but you can find the whole list here.

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    Photo courtesy of DAVEART.com/Facebook
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