Articles by Chris Pope

Hockey

After NHL taste, Ryan Murphy storms back to Kitchener

The beginning of the NHL season is a fascinating time of year for hockey fans, especially those with vested interests in the game’s top prospects. To get a better understanding of the probationary trial period and how big level clubs sample their future stars before sending them back to Junior, TheGP Hockey caught up with Carolina Hurricane draft pick Ryan Murphy.

Hockey

Gabriel Landeskog: Getting drafted, making history

Before Gabriel Landeskog was old enough to obtain a driver’s license in Sweden, he was on the road to a career in the National Hockey League. In the land of beautiful blondes and IKEA, you have to be 18 years old to get your licence, but at the age of 15, Landeskog had already suited up in the J20 SuperElit in Sweden. A season later, it was the Swedish Elite League and then the Ontario…

Hall of Fame

Hockey community makes progress with concussions in sport

Concussions and head shots have taken over hockey at all levels. It’s something that the hockey masses think the NHL needs to deal with before someone dies. It has already ended careers (ask Eric Lindros) and is now the reason why hockey fanatics watched the Penguins in the playoffs without the game’s greatest player, Sidney Crosby. Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins have been extra diligent when dealing with his concussions. According to many reports, Crosby suffered his first concussion after a collision…

Hall of Fame

Embracing gay athletes in professional sports

Are professional sports taking away players’ rights when it comes to sexuality? In the fall of 2010, the United States military went from, “don’t ask, don’t tell” to “be gay, it’s okay.” It refers, of course, to a soldier’s sexual orientation. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, and Pope Benedict himself have denounced homosexuality. It’s deemed a moral sin. But what about professional sports? Why haven’t the major North American leagues dealt with homosexuality?…

Hockey

Marcus Foligno: Jumping for Janis

There are points in life when it’s nice to have your parents next to you; your first day of school, your first hockey game and graduations to name a few. For a professional hockey player, the list goes on. You can add to the mix your draft day, your first time representing your country and, of course, your very first NHL goal. Marcus Foligno grew up in a hockey home wanting to be a pro…

Other Sports

T’was the year 2010

T’was the year 2010 and from Jan to December; Each month in sports was one to remember. In college football it was Texas, the Crimson Pride would destroy; But the Longhorns were hurting without star McCoy. The Winter Classic saw Flyers/Bruins, a rivalry confirmed; The Bruins got the winner in overtime from Sturm. At the Juniors, it was Gold the Americans would win; An upset over Canada, courtesy of John Carlson. In Feb, at the…

Hockey

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the NHL Draft

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is not an easy name to forget. Even harder when you’ve actually seen him play a game. It’s not out of the ordinary to see the youngster with his name from shoulder-to-shoulder going end-to-end for the Red Deer Rebels in the WHL. Nugent-Hopkins really came into the hockey spotlight last June following the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Immediately his name was thrown into the discussion of who would go first overall in 2011….

Hockey

Gabriel Landeskog, from Sweden to the NHL Draft

Living 3982 miles away from your family can take a toll on a teenager and their family. That’s not the case for sharp-shooting Gabriel Landeskog and his family back home in Stockholm, Sweden, nor has it ever been ever since he left home at age 16 to suit up for the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. Perhaps it was his father who made it easy for the family. After all, Tony Landeskog is…

Hockey

Kirk Maltby’s grind to the Hockey Hall of Fame

Very few NHL players can call themselves a Stanley Cup champion. Even less can call themselves a four-time champion. Not many can say they played 16 years in the NHL either, 14 with one team. And only 250 can say they’ve played 1,000 games in the show. But what exactly qualifies someone for the Hockey Hall of Fame? Only 244 players, after all, have. Does Kirk Maltby make the cut? The Hall’s mandate is to…

Hockey

Love what game?

“Tell them I’m through, ‘for love of the game,’ Billy Chapel.” Clear the mechanism. Snowstorms, rain, hail, tornado warnings, or maybe it was sunny skies. You drag your net out onto the shovelled street or driveway with a smile on your face. You throw sticks to decide on teams and usually argue on who is playing net. Ilya Kovalchuk turned down a 12-year, $101 million contract extension from the Atlanta Thrashers. Imagine what you could…