TIME nhl

NHL Teams Are Postponing Hospital Visits Amid a Mumps Outbreak

An overall view of the interior of the arena at the NHL season opener at Staples Center on October 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
An overall view of the interior of the arena at the NHL season opener at Staples Center on October 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Stephen Dunn—Getty Images

'Tis the season for NHL players to get the mumps

NHL teams are postponing their annual holiday visits to hospitals, amid a mumps outbreak within the league.

Four teams have amended their plans as of Tuesday evening, out of concern that an undiagnosed player could bring the disease into a hospital, USA Today reports. At least 15 NHL players have so far come down with mumps, including players for the Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Though some teams said they would have to cancel their plans, others said they still expected to make their traditional hospital rounds, but after the holidays. The Calgary Flames, which has not had a mumps case, said all its players were vaccinated two weeks ago and they expected to make their visits sometime after the New Year.

[USA Today]

TIME Infectious Disease

NHL Mumps Outbreak Grows With Sidney Crosby Diagnosis

At least 13 NHL players and two referees were infected in the outbreak

Sidney Crosby became the latest National Hockey League player to receive a positive diagnosis for mumps in an unusual outbreak of the disease which is typically prevented by vaccination.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced Crosby’s diagnosis Sunday and on Monday said that the two-time NHL MVP was no longer infectious.

“He probably could have been here today, but we took an extra day to be cautious,” said team manager Jim Rutherford. “As far as I know, he will return tomorrow or the next day.”

The mumps outbreak, which has infected at least 13 NHL players and two referees, is odd given that most U.S. residents receive a vaccine for the disease, which causes headache, fever and swelling of the salivary glands. Crosby reportedly received a vaccination for the disease as recently as this February, according to the Penguins.

Still, doctors say that the effectiveness of the vaccine can wear off over time, and hockey players may be particularly susceptible to the disease given the exchange of saliva during heavy hits.

TIME Holidays

Good News! 5 Things to Be Grateful For This Thanksgiving

Triplet panda cubs rest in an incubator at the Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou in south China's Guangdong province, Aug. 12, 2014. AP

It's been a dismal month, but you can give thanks for these tidbits of good news

This November has been a serious bummer. The midterm elections were a depressing snoozefest. The sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby have made ‘America’s Dad‘ seem more like a creepy uncle. Protests have erupted across the country after a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown. American aid worker Peter Kassig was beheaded by ISIS. We lost Mike Nichols.

With all that bad news, it’s hard to find anything to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. But you better come up with something quick, because sooner or later somebody is going to ask, “so what are you grateful for?” with a schmaltzy smirk. So here are five pieces of good news to celebrate as you make small talk with your aunt’s new weirdo boyfriend.

1) The baby panda triplets in China have stayed alive for 100 days: The “miracle” panda cubs were born in August, and they’ve all survived longer than zookeepers anticipated. Now they’re reportedly healthy enough that visitors can see them. Who to tell: Your niece (but leave out the fact that they’re in China.)

2) The human race has issues, but we landed a probe on a comet this month: On Nov. 13, the European Space Agency’s Philae lander touched down on a comet after a 10-year, 4-billion mile journey. Since comets are made of space’s most primitive materials, scientists hope that the probe will collect valuable information that could help explain the origins of our solar system. Who to tell: Your grandparents who watched the Moon Landing (don’t mention the Virgin Galactic crash.)

3) The Canadians are pretty nice neighbors: After a microphone failure at the Toronto Maple Leaf’s game on Nov. 18 left our national anthem inaudible, Canadian hockey fans filled in to sing the rest of the Star Spangled Banner before the game began. Who to tell: Your neighbor, duh.

4) Taylor Swift ‘s 1989 happened: If you hate Taylor, stop reading now (and maybe do some soul searching.) Anyone with ears should admit they’re thankful for 1989. Who to tell: Play Shake It Off for your grandma, play Blank Space for your cousin who just dumped her boyfriend, play the rest of the album for anyone who will listen.

5) We reached a historic climate change agreement with China: Since the U.S. and China make up 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, it’s a big deal that the two biggest polluters are committing to cleaning up the planet, especially since China has previously been unwilling to cooperate on this issue. The fact that China is willing to work with the U.S. to curb climate change is great news for the planet. Who to tell: This one’s good news for the whole table.

So cheer up and eat up. The bad news can wait till Black Friday.

TIME nhl

Jack Johnson’s Shocking Bankruptcy Story; Maple Leafs Point Fingers

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) during the game between the New Jersey Devils and the Columbus Blue Jackets played at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Nov. 1, 2014.
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) during the game between the New Jersey Devils and the Columbus Blue Jackets played at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Nov. 1, 2014. Rich Graessle—AP

Johnson, currently playing the fourth season of a seven-year, $30 million deal, has less than $50,000 in assets and more than $10 million in debt

The hockey world has been taught a couple of vitally important lessons this week.

From Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray, who is suffering from terminal cancer, we’ve learned of the life-saving potential of colonoscopies. It’s an uncomfortable thought, especially for men who tend to shrug off medical care for anything short of limb reattachment, but the preventative value of this simple procedure is enormous.

And then we learned that if you make your living in this game, you need to get yourself a good agent. It’s advice that would have saved Jack Johnson from bankruptcy.

The story of the financial ruination of the Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman that was told this morning by Dispatch writer Aaron Portzline is both shocking and heartbreaking. Johnson, currently playing the fourth season of a seven-year, $30 million deal, has less than $50,000 in assets and more than $10 million in debt, the result, Johnson says, of “picking the wrong people who led me down the wrong path.”

Those people, according to Portzline, were Johnson’s own parents.

Earlier in his career Johnson had Pat Brisson, one of the best agents in the game, looking after his affairs. But the two parted ways in 2008 and Johnson signed a power of attorney that turned over full control of his finances to his mother, Tina Johnson.

In hindsight, the decision to put millions of dollars into inexperienced hands was incredibly naive. But these were his parents. The two people in the world he trusted the most. Put into the same situation, there are plenty of us who might have done the same thing.

Fortunately, most of us don’t have parents like Johnson’s. The picture of them that’s painted by Portzline’s research is beyond ugly. Instead of making safe, conventional investments that would protect the financial future of their son, the pair blew through past and future earnings via a complicated series of risky loans at high interest rates, defaults on which resulted in massive fees, higher interest rates and three lawsuits against Johnson.

There are also reports of lavish spending on houses and travel, leaving Johnson not just broke but essentially working for nothing as garnishments swallowed his massive bi-monthly paychecks.

“I’ve seen lots of instances of parents riding their kid’s coattails around,” a league source told Portzline. “I’ve never seen a case as ugly as this one, where the parents took such advantage of their kid.”

Johnson has since surrounded himself with competent attorneys and financial experts who actually have his best interests in mind. Assuming relief will be provided in bankruptcy, he has a chance to climb out of this hole, save his future and maybe put his focus back on playing hockey.

But his relationship with his parents? That’s a tragic casualty of this mess. And one that no court can piece back together.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Sports

Watch Canadian Hockey Fans Help Finish the U.S. National Anthem After the Singer’s Mic Fails

This is sure to warm even the iciest hearts

At a Toronto Maple Leafs game Tuesday night, singer Michelle Madeira was partway through The Star-Spangled Banner when her mic cut out. She continued singing, but of course, the crowd couldn’t hear her. Without missing a beat, the entire crowd picked up where Madeira left off, completing the U.S. national anthem in unison.

Fans kept up the enthusiasm and sang O Canada right after.

See? Hockey fans aren’t just drunken and rowdy and prone to fighting. They’re also sometimes really awesome.

(h/t Daily Dot)

TIME Food & Drink

The 5 Best NHL Arenas for Food

An overall view of the interior of the arena at the NHL season opener at Staples Center on October 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
An overall view of the interior of the arena at the NHL season opener at Staples Center on October 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Stephen Dunn—Getty Images

Here are the best places in the NHL to pound on the glass and have a bite to eat

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

It’s hockey season. Oh you didn’t know? That’s because hockey is usually degraded as the least major of the major American sports. Heck, at this point Nascar and professional wrestling get more love than hockey. But we find that exceedingly unfair. Hockey is faster than football, takes as much skill as baseball and has at least as many missing teeth as professional wrestling. NHL arenas also offer some great food for hungry fans. Here are the best places in the NHL to pound on the glass and have a bite to eat.

1. Bridgestone Arena, Home of the Nashville Predators

There’s not much in the way of actual ice and snow in Nashville, but the city still scored a hockey team in 1998. Predators’ fans can eat what is most likely the best if not the only chicken-and-waffles in all of professional sports. And the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich is another local pick that’s worth the wait.

2. Rogers Arena, Home of the Vancouver Canucks

This year the Canucks have introduced lobster rolls and a dozen variations on stadium tube steaks, including a “perogy dog” topped with cheese and potato perogies and sauerkraut and a croque monsieur dog topped with ham and gruyere. They’ll also pour you a Negroni right from a concession stand. Not a bad way alternative to the $8 swill beer most arenas offer.

3. The Staples Center, Home of the L.A. Kings

Nachos and hot dogs are available, but a lot of the menu options at the home of the defending Stanley Cup champions read fit L.A.’s health conscious stereotype: roasted beet salad, sesame-crusted tuna, even gluten-free beer. The big winner here though is the sushi that’s made fresh at every game.

4. Nationwide Arena, Home of the Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus, Ohio is on this list for one reason and it ain’t fancy. The arena here serves the ultimate “drunk at the stadium” food. The Dancing Kevin sandwich is named after this guy, Dancing Kevin. And like him it is a fantastically oversized piece of work. A pork bomb on a pretzel bun, the sandwich features ham, pulled pork and bacon topped with mozzarella sticks.

5. Bell Centre, Home of the Montreal Canadians;

Montreal takes a few things very seriously: French, food and hockey. The latter two are on display at the Bell Centre, which sells smoked meat sandwiches from Lesters Deli, which has been cranking out delicious, fatty sandwiches in Montreal for over 60 years. And because this is Canada, expect mountains of poutine.

More from Food & Wine:

TIME hockey

Watch Hockey Fans Sing ‘O Canada’ After the Shooting in Ottawa

Hours after a soldier was killed outside Parliament

Hockey games typically only start with Canada’s national anthem when there’s a Canadian team on the ice — Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary or Winnipeg. But that wasn’t the case on Oct. 22, when the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted their rival Philadelphia Flyers just hours after a Canadian soldier was shot and killed in an attack outside Parliament in Ottawa.

With the National Hockey League having postponed a planned Wednesday game that would’ve seen the Ottawa Senators host the Toronto Maple Leafs, it fell upon the Penguins to honor the slain soldier and those grieving by leading fans in a heartfelt rendition of O Canada, with the Pittsburgh rink digitally draped in a Canadian flag.

You can watch the touching footage above.

TIME hockey

NHL Suspends Kings’ Slava Voynov After Domestic Violence Arrest

Slava Voynov of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates with the Stanley Cup after the Kings 3-2 double overtime victory against the New York Rangers in Game Five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 13, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Slava Voynov of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates with the Stanley Cup after the Kings 3-2 double overtime victory against the New York Rangers in Game Five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 13, 2014 in Los Angeles. Bruce Bennett—Getty Images

The NHL has suspended defenseman Slava Voynov indefinitely after he was arrested on domestic violence charges Monday morning, the league announced Monday.

There are currently no details on the exact nature of Voynov’s arrest other than that he violated California Penal Code section 273.5, Domestic Violence. He will continue to be paid while suspended.

From the NHL’s release:

The suspension was imposed under Section 18-A.5 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which provides that, during the pendency of a criminal investigation, “The League may suspend the Player pending the League’s formal review and disposition of the matter where the failure to suspend the Player during this period would create a substantial risk of material harm to the legitimate interests and/or reputation of the League.”

Voynov, 24, has been with the Kings since 2011-12 and played in all 82 games for the team last season while helping it win the Stanley Cup. He’s played in all of the Kings’ six games this season, recording two assists and averaging 23:11 of ice time per game.

Voynov signed a six-year, $25 million contract extension with Los Angeles before last season.

The NHL dealt with a similar incident last year when Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov was arrested on domestic violence charges in an incident involving his girlfriend. The charges were later dropped.

The news of Voynov’s arrest comes amidst significant controversy around the issue of domestic violence in the NFL stemming from the arrest of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

The release of video showing Rice striking his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City casino elevator led to Rice’s release from Ravens and an indefinite suspension from the NFL, with criticism levied at the latter for initially suspending Rice for just two games.

The NFL has said it is working on developing a new domestic violence policy and the handling of the Rice case by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is the subject of an investigation led by former FBI director Robert Mueller III.

The issue of domestic violence has emerged in other sports as well, including the arrests of U.S. national team goalie Hope Solo and Charlotte Hornets forward Jeffery Taylor.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME

Why Wayne Gretzky Is Still ‘The Great One’

Simply the Best
The March 18, 1985, cover of TIME TIME

Wayne Gretzky became the all-time NHL career scoring leader on Oct. 15, 1989

Correction appended, Oct. 15, 2014, 1:45 pm

If you grew up in a hockey house like I did, your parents might’ve worshipped Wayne Gretzky as if he were the Messiah on Skates. And in a lot of ways he was: The Great One played a full two decades of NHL-level hockey, starting in 1979 with the Edmonton Oilers and ending with my hometown heroes, the New York Rangers, just before the turn of the century, racking up some 2,857 points in 1,487 regular season games. (NHL scoring gives individual players one point for a goal and one point for an assist, but those numbers don’t mean squat for the game at hand.)

Those 2,857 points made him — and still makes him — the League’s leading scorer. Gretzky toppled another hockey legend, Gordie Howe (1,850 points), to first take that title on Oct. 15, 1989, 25 years ago Wednesday.

Gretzky’s points total is impressive to say the absolute least. But as a kid who grew up loving hockey in Gretzky’s twilight years, it’s really this stat that stuck in my mind: If you take 2,857 points and subtract the points he got for goals, he’s still got more assists than any other NHL player has total points. (The next guy down, point-wise? Gretzky teammate and Rangers legend Mark Messier.)

As a young hockey fan, that fact instilled a simple lesson: Greatness can sometimes come from being the guy who puts the puck in the back of the net. But even more often, it comes from knowing whom you can count on to help you get that job done even better than you can. “How long Gretzky and [NBA star Larry] Bird play at the top and stay at the fair will help determine their ultimate reputations,” TIME wrote of Gretzky in a March 18, 1985 cover story about athletes at the peaks of their careers.

Gretzky stayed at the top for many seasons after that, but 25 years later his ultimate reputation is this: A life lesson that, while being the hero is nice, you don’t always have to shoot — sometimes it’s smarter to pass.

Read a 1981 story about the then-20-year-old hockey star, here in TIME’s archives: Hockey’s Great Gretzky

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the number of individual points an NHL player gets for a goal. The number is one.

MONEY

Why Germany Is So Good At Soccer (and the U.S. Is So Mediocre) in 2 Charts

Germany's national soccer players Roman Weidenfeller, Shkodran Mustafi, Andre Schuerrle , Kevin Grosskreutz and Per Mertesacker celebrate
Kai Pfaffenbach—Reuters

Hint: It's Focus.

As Germany takes the pitch Sunday, fresh off crushing Brazil’s World Cup hopes in a historic 7-1 blowout, it’s worth reflecting how Germany got there. Not the team; the country.

See, this isn’t Germany’s first grab at the sport’s brass ring.The German national team is one of international soccer’s most consistent powerhouses. German teams—including those from the Nazi era, post-war West Germany, and reunified Germany—have qualified for 18 of 20 World Cup tournaments and missed the quarter finals of those only once. The team has also made it to a mind-blowing seven finals — a 35% appearance rate — winning three of them.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the United States has not exactly replicated Deutschland’s success. The U.S. has zero titles and zero finals appearances, and reached the semi-finals only once, at the first World Cup in 1930. This year, we were eliminated by Belgium in the round of 16, and finished 15th overall in the tournament. Not bad by our standards, but not great. And certainly not befitting of a country with the world’s largest economy, 300 million people, and an extremely competitive national team in almost every other team sport.

So why is Germany is so good and the U.S. so mediocre? Following America’s most recent loss, many theories have been offered. We over-coach our players; our college system doesn’t mirror international play; we don’t have a soccer “culture.” There’s likely some truth to all of these answers, but there’s one I find most convincing: competition from other sports. The U.S. has only so much athletic talent, and unlike many other nations, we tend to spread it around. Germany, on the other hand, concentrates the vast majority of its athletic talent on soccer—and they’ve certainly reaped the rewards.

In order to visualize this, I’ve assembled pie charts showing the revenue breakdown of the most popular professional sports leagues. The numbers aren’t perfectly analogous—updated figures on smaller German team sports are hard to come by, sports seasons don’t coincide and sometimes span more than one calendar year, and we’re including only major team sports. But as a rough proxy for each nation’s athletic focus, they are offer a clear picture of the sports the two nations care most about and to which they dedicate the most resources and, as economists and others would argue, talent.

In the two charts below, the green pie slice represents the percentage of major team sports revenue that goes to soccer. As you can see, it’s not even close.

GermanySportsRevNew

 

USSportsRev

Soccer eats up the overwhelming majority of German team sports revenue, while in the US, it barely makes up a sliver. Germany’s three major soccer leagues each take in over €100 million, and their combined revenue is €2.8 billion—the equivalent of over $3.8 billion. There’s really only one major sport in Germany, with a few second-tier leagues running far behind.

In comparison, America’s MLS teams have a combined revenue of about $494 million, as estimated by Forbes in 2013 (the MLS does not release total revenue figures). That’s about 1/7th of the NHL’s revenue, and 1/20th of the NFL’s total income.

So next time you’re wondering why the U.S. isn’t good at soccer, remember: the American people are not exactly focussed on the “beautiful game.” All things considered, it’s surprising we aren’t worse.

Sources: BBL: Deloitte via SportsBusinessDaily; DEL: Deloitte via SportsBusinessDaily; 3. Liga: DFB official figure; Bundesliga: 2014 report; 2. Bundesliga: 2014 report; NFL: Forbes via Statistica; NBA: Forbes via Statistica; NHL: CBS Sports; MLB: Forbes; MLS: Forbes

 

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