Please welcome our new WUYS contributing blogger, Mr. Chocolate Iced! *cue cheers and whistles* As a dude, hockey fan, and African-American male, CI will offer his insight, manly wisdom, and unique perspective about this sport that we all love. He’s also a real life lawyer, so he can explain all that pesky arbitration/collective bargaining/contract type stuff. ‘Cuz Pants and Chuck don’t do no math.
~ Pants and Chuck
I know what you’re thinking, “a black guy that has been a hockey fan since he was about twelve years-old, plays ice hockey now, and occasionally writes for a hockey blog…really?” Yes, really. Allow me to re-introduce myself, my name is Chocolate Iced, your male contributing blogger on “What’s Up Ya Sieve?” and a puck head who happens to share skin color with the President. I grew up playing a lot of street hockey in Long Island, New York and rooting on my hometown team, the New York Islanders. (Yes, I hate the Rangers, thanks for asking.)
Not me…but we are out there…
I don’t remember how I became a hockey fan, but I always remember hockey being lots of fun to watch. There was (and is) something so great about the speed of the game, the physical nature, the skill, the ice, everything. Once I got to BU as a college freshman in 1997, that was it, I was really hooked. I didn’t start playing ice hockey until a few years ago, but it’s the thing I look forward to most each week.
It’s a fact: the vast majority of the players in the NHL (and in every other hockey league in North America) are white. However, black players, although still rare in hockey, have made a significant and lasting contribution to the game. The very first black player to play in the NHL was New Brunswick’s own Willie O’Ree, who skated for the Boston Bruins on and off from 1958 through 1961.
O’Ree also won a couple of scoring titles in the WHL, scoring 38 goals in both the ’64-’65 and ’68-69 seasons.
Another past great, and the first black player inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame, is goaltending legend Grant Fuhr. Fuhr won four Stanley Cups with the Oilers in the 1980s. He also had a sweet ‘fro back in the day.
Right now there are more than 25 black players in the NHL, including Mike Grier (Go Terriers!), Wayne Simmonds, Jarome Iginla, P.K. Subban, Ray Emery, and Stanley Cup Champion Dustin Byfuglien.
One of my favorite players in the league right now is Evander Kane, who was named after Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield. You remember Kane, he’s the guy that did what the Bruins should have done by beating the crap out of Matt Cooke last season. Suffice it to say that I wouldn’t want to drop the gloves with Mr. Kane anytime soon.
Well, that’s it for now kids. Until next time remember, “Hockey is for everyone.” (Cue lame record scratching and “rap” music.)