Calgary Flames' third round draft pick Keegan Kanzig is the latest to suffer a concussion in major junior hockey. His is significant

Island Insider this week: A Marmot never tells; Hockey’s forward pass is from Victoria, sort of

Hockey's forward pass turns 100 years old, junior hockey changing views on fighting

1. A century of passing it forward

It was the summer of 1913 and brothers Lester and Frank Patrick sat in the parlor of the family house on Michigan Street in James Bay. They discussed, among many things, how to improve the flow of the game of hockey, which they brought to B.C. with the three-team Pacific Coast Hockey Association in 1912.

Here is a recount of a discussion between, based on true facts.

Frank: “Let’s do the forward pass.”

Lester: “No.”

Frank: “Then let’s get rid of the seventh skater.”

Lester: “Forward pass it is!”

Frank: “Fine then.”

Lester: “Fine.”

The 1913-14 season started and they began to use the forward pass in their three-team PCHA league based out of arenas in Oak Bay and Vancouver. The pass was allowed in the neutral zone, only. By mid season, the brothers weren’t sure about it, and neither was the media, of which many hated it.

A few games into the1913-14 PCHA season.

Lester: “Actually Frank, I don’t like the pass but my players (the Victoria Pros) seem to be better at it than your players (Vancouver Millionaires) so I’m going to use it.”

Frank: “Fine.”

Using the forward pass, in the newly-created neutral zone only, the Victoria Pros made it all the way to 1914 Stanley Cup, which they lost to the Toronto Arenas in Toronto. Toronto actually won the only game of the series to feature the forward pass. When the Great War came, hockey was suspended. The war accelerated the acceptance for innovation though it took another 12 years before the forward pass was allowed in all zones in the NHL.

– From the non-fiction book by Vancouver author Craig Bowlsby, 1913: The Year They Invented the Future of Hockey, available through Chapters.ca, and his PCHA bible, Empire of Ice, released earlier in 1913.

2. Kirby going Kirby?

Interviewed Vikes co-captain Kyla Kirby after the team lost in the McCrae Cup, national field hockey championship game to UBC on Sunday. She was awful “aw shux” but also positive about it being her last game, you know, after she wiped the tears away. Then I learned why: the 22-year-old is not letting go of her dream to play nationally. Not sure where Kirby actually stood the past few years in the eyes of the national team but, for the most part, playing for the Vikes is not the easiest path to wearing the maple leaf. It’s a demanding task to play and study at UVic while making the weekly training pilgrimage to Vancouver, just ask former Vike and CIS All-Canadian Ali Lee, who bowed out of the national team in 2008 to focus on her undergrad and won that year’s CIS national championship. Lee is still in Victoria, and was behind the startup of the Kirby’s Island Wildcats premier club, which she plays for, with ex and future Vikes. Guess who is being recruited next (no relation)?

3. Ahead of herself

Bridget Mateyko was the only St. Andrew’s Regional school athlete to compete at the Nov. 2 cross-country provincials in Aldergrove. St. Andrew’s athletic director Alia Zawacki expects a bright athletic future from this young Mateyko, who finished 26th overall. Not bad for a Grade 8 student who, as a 13-year-old ran against 17-year-olds.

4. Fighting in junior, not that big a deal? Or glared over?

(I actually wrote this on Tuesday, Nov. 5, before this happened.)

Fighting in hockey is a hot-button issue, but only among the writers who cover the NHL, which is beat reporters, self-made bloggers and people who tweet way too often. Sadly, the cream of the crop hockey media talk about the same parallels in major junior but overlook junior B, where game misconducts are standard for fighting, as in, fight and you’re out.

Because of the automatic ejection, which was also introduced to senior box lacrosse this year, most fights happen in the later stages of the game. There few, if any “goons” Island’s junior league. There are a few players, however (defenceman specifically), whose nastiness keeps them in the league.

Are there repeat offenders? Yes, but again, its mostly the defenceman, or players who play regularly. One could say it’s like that in major junior too (oops).

Junior B players can easily rack up 20 to 30 PIMs in one incident due to junior’s restricting rules. The issue could be explored, but the top minds in hockey media are busy tweeting.

Some of my favourite tough guys in the VIJHL the past few years? Kyle Peterson (Peninsula Panthers, Kerry Park Islanders) was a prolific scorer with a throwback style the nasty 1970s and 80s. Or Alex Milligan, current Islanders sniper, who isn’t particularly tough, but has a method to his madness: Both his 10-minute misconducts this season are against the Victoria Cougars.

5. Marty the Marmot true to the code

A mascot never tells.

Got to hand it to the Victoria Royals administration who dealt (or didn’t) with the Marty the Marmot catastrophe this week. All due respect to the person who may, or may not exist inside Marty the Marmot, what happened to him was/her awful. He could have been paralyzed when green-shirt guy picked him up and body-slammed him at centre ice. VicPD nearly pressed charges, yet the true identity of Marty was never revealed. Assault it was not, for it was never a person attacking a person. It took some serious investigating, but in the end it turns out green-shirt guy is a season ticket holder who thought Marty had lots of padding.

 

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