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  • 🏒 Linechange: KHL troubles, Hockey's new Seinfeld & book recommendations

🏒 Linechange: KHL troubles, Hockey's new Seinfeld & book recommendations

Get your hockey + tech+ culture news with Linechange

Well hello,

If you haven't yet opened this correspondance in the past ( how dare you!) here's the lowdown:

Linechange is a newsletter that wants to inform you intelligently (and respectfully) about topics that blend hockey, tech & culture.

Hopefully you'll come out of this with some conversation starters for dinner tonight. 

On that note, here's the menu-du-jour:

  • Government warns all 48 Canadian KHL players to leave Russia ASAP

  • Former NHL goalie Scott Darling becomes Stand up Comic and joins Barstool

  • Our top 3 favorite hockey books that you should read

Canadian government to KHL players: Get out while you still can!

With Canada being firmly on the side of Ukraine, it's no surprise government officials are getting bad juju vibes when it comes to the high-level hockey players playing in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Regarded as the worlds second best hockey league after the NHL, the KHL has always had its share of controversies. From paying players with duffle bags full of US dollars, to dealing with literal mobsters to not getting paid at all, it's no secret to anyone that the league is as cowboy as it gets.

"Russia doesn't have any rule of law, so anybody who is in Russia is always in danger of being framed, incarcerated, used as a pawn in whatever the local government, central government et cetera decides to do"

Maria Popova, McGill associate Professor of Political Science

Our editorial take: Canada is obviously not on the Russian Radar when it comes to retaliation, and the pay that players get there in cash ( when they do get it) is substantial and life changing. With that being said, if players do get a chance to play in North America ( albeit for less money) they probably should skip this KHL season out. Truth is, that's not always an option. 

Scott Darling: the curious case of the cooky goaltender

So a coach, a trainer and a stay-at-home defenseman walk into a bar....Nope, not gonna do it. 

But Scott Darling, former Chicago Blackhawks goaltender will.

The perennial backup, if there ever was one, has ventured into uncharted territory as he explores stand up comedy. He's also joined Barstool Sports which should help him sharpen his funny bone. 

Scott dove into his inspiration and the artistic endeavour in a podcast this summer. He discusses his first stab at the new job and his plan of action. 

The new hockey-funny-man has always been considered by teammates and hockey folk as snarky and quick-witted, while previously being involved in GGSU, a facebook group . GGSU is the largest goalie online community, known for its vivid ( sometimes overboard) engagement. Don't google and find out what GGSU is short for.

Can he make it as a stand up? You can judge for yourself from an August bit on his instagram account. 

Verdict: As long as he's got the same hustle that got him a gig as the backup of a storied NHL franchise, we're sure he'll find his way.

So what are ya readin' these days? ( apart from this amazing newsletter)

Our team has compiled a couple of recommendations that we feel are worth picking up. We make no money off these, no affiliate links or whatnot, so it's all Kosher. 

Let's hit it.

The game, by Ken Dryden

Well, can't start this list without the most obvious of them all. This book is considered by many as the best sports book even written. It shouldn't come as any surprise since Dryden is a master at eloquently putting his thoughts into words ( queue in joke: hey you can learn a thing or two about that). On a personal note, I've felt that this book really helps every hockey person feel what the iconic star goalie has felt during his career. It provides a real crisp snapshot of the sport we all dearly love.

You can pick this doozy up anywhere books are sold, but here's the Amazon link

Skate or Die, by Steven Violetta

This one is a little less known, but Dave Hanson has called it Slap Shot on steroids, so that makes it worth a gander. Skate or Die is an unvarnished fictional portrait of a minor league hockey team, with all the cussin', fussin', fighting and epic trash talk that you can expect. Written by the former NHL executive Steven Violetta, it's full of real hockey stories packaged nicely into a novel to preserve anonymity. 

You can pick up on Amazon or Barnes and Noble

The Hockey Sweater, by Roch Carrier

My personal favorite, because I'm a sappy nostalgic kind-of-mess, is this old-time classic story by Roch Carrier. It could be considered a children's book, but so what? More fun for all. It's light and makes you want to take your kiddo out to shoot some pucks on a cold Saturday morning. 

Alright, that's a wrap.

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