Colour Commentary: Carey Price returns

A new chapter for the Montreal Canadiens began on Friday night.

Carey Price returned to the Bell Centre on Friday night, where he would be given a heart-warming welcome from the crowd. This would be the NHL’s highest paid goaltender’s first game since Montreal’s 1-0 defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning on July 7 in the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals. The Canadiens have had a rough season without their star goalie and have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. 

The Canadiens’ netminder allowed two goals against 19 shots in his return versus the New York Islanders. The Habs would go on to lose 3-0, after Islanders forward Brock Nelson scored an empty-net goal late in the third period. 

For the game, Nelson would get a goal and an assist, with two shots on goal. The Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin also had an impressive performance, shutting out the Canadiens and making 44 saves. 

Despite the loss, the Canadiens and Price have come a long way. Price has had many hurdles since his last game in July. He had knee surgery on July 23 and has struggled during his recovery. He also entered the NHL’s player assistance program on Oct. 7 before the start of the 2021-22 season.

This is only the beginning of a new chapter, only time will tell what’s in store for the Canadiens’ star goaltender.  


Graphic by Madeline Schmidt


The NHL enforcer: adapting to the times

The role of the enforcer in the NHL has changed throughout the years.

Once upon a time, NHL teams took great pride in having a tough fighter on their roster. These intimidating figures, known as enforcers, were not necessarily the most skilled players, but were physically imposing competitors who would stand up for their teams and fight. 

For many years, enforcers played a crucial role in the sport by protecting the team’s best players and spending a lot of time in the penalty box as a welcomed consequence. Having a tough guy would boost the morale of the team, and give teammates confidence while offering a sense of safety by not hesitating to get their hands dirty.

With time, the game of hockey changed, as well as the role of the enforcer. Following the 2004-05 NHL lockout, teams began to search for more complete players, who were faster and displayed more skills. Nowadays, teams are leaning away from having that one-dimensional fighter, opting to instead use their cap space for players who can add to the scoresheet.

TSN’s Calgary Flames reporter and Concordia University journalism alumni Salim Valji said having someone whose sole purpose is to fight is not needed to win in today’s game. 

“The game doesn’t revolve around fighting quite the same way as, say, 20 years ago. I think that you need players who have some skill but are also able to be physical and occasionally fight. So the enforcer role isn’t as common, instead it’s hybrid players like Tom Wilson, who can impact a game on the scoresheet in addition to bringing extra physicality, that are seen today,” he explained.

It’s no secret that the Montreal Canadiens, last season’s Stanley Cup finalists who fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games, have been struggling this season. Despite the underwhelming season, Valji said the Habs should emphasize building a winning culture instead of looking to toughen up the roster. 

“I don’t think that would make a real difference for a team like the Montreal Canadiens, since they are clearly going through a rebuild. Instead, they should bring in veterans who work hard, are good professionals, and can mentor and guide the young players,” Valji said.

With the evolution of the role in modern hockey where fighting has become more frowned upon in today’s day and age, Valji doesn’t think that the evolution of the role takes away from the fans. “Everything in life changes and evolves. The game is faster, more skilled, and more creative than a few years ago — and I think that’s a great thing. And who knows, maybe in five seasons it reverts back.”

While old-school enforcers are few and far between in the NHL today, Valji said the player archetype is not yet extinct.

“I think there are still a few old school enforcers […] Nicolas Deslauriers of the Anaheim Ducks comes to mind. He plays on their fourth line, stands up for teammates, and is really well liked by the organization. Zach MacEwen is another one whose job description is just to be physical and fight. There are far fewer enforcers now than 10 years ago, but some are still around.”

Over time, hockey has certainly changed, but enforcers continue to impact the game. As time goes on, we’ll see how the game continues to evolve, and whether there’s a potential resurgence with enforcers down the line.


Graphic by James Fay


The Blackhawks attempting to silence the past and Kyle Beach’s case does not mean moving on

Addressing what happened to Kyle Beach in 2010 is a crucial part in making sure today’s Blackhawks players feel safe

Trigger warning: this story contains mentions of sexual assault.

“We’re not looking back at 2010, we’re looking forward.”

“We’re not going to talk about Kyle Beach.”

“We’re not going to talk about anything that happened.”

The above was said to reporter Mark Lazerus from The Athletic by Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz, when asked what the team is doing to make sure what happened to Kyle Beach doesn’t happen again.

In 2010, Beach was a black ace on the Blackhawks, a minor league player brought onto the NHL squad as an extra skater during Chicago’s playoff run. The Blackhawks ended up winning the Stanley Cup that year, but the truth about Beach being sexually assaulted by former video coach Brad Aldrich got buried under the team’s success.

The people who should have supported Beach, and who should’ve helped him get the truth out, looked the other way.

It took over 11 years for the full story to come out, after an independent investigation by law firm Jenner & Block came to an end and a full report was released in October 2021.

The report states that “two former Blackhawks players claimed in their interviews and publicly in 2021 that, during the 2010 playoffs, ‘everyone’ knew about Aldrich engaging in inappropriate conduct with players.”

On top of this, the organization’s mishandling of Beach’s case led to another victim, who remains anonymous, and multiple alleged victims coming forward.

The Blackhawks organization has been heavily criticized for their mishandling of the situation, only adding fuel to the fire with the quotes from Wirtz at the latest Blackhawks town hall event on Feb. 2.

How can one look forward without looking back? How is it possible to move on from something without processing it first?

In a statement released to the public a few hours after the event, Wirtz apologized about his outburst at Lazerus and Phil Thompson, a Chicago Tribune reporter, who was also irrationally shut down by Wirtz in a similar way.

However, his initial reaction to the question, and his silence on what the organization’s present situation looks like are more telling of how wrong and concerning the present situation appears.

Lazerus asked a fair question: “what are the Blackhawks doing, what have the Blackhawks done,  what will the Blackhawks do to empower a player in a similar situation to make sure that doesn’t happen again?”

It is even more justifiable to ask this knowing it took over 11 years for the full story to come out and for everyone involved to pay the consequences of their actions, to an extent.

The Jenner & Block report was followed by management members involved in the 2010 incident leaving the team. This includes Stan Bowman and Al MacIsaac, the general manager and senior vice president of hockey operations, respectively.

Aldrich left the Blackhawks in 2010 after the end of the season, but volunteered at a high school in Michigan, where he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old student in 2013. He was sentenced to nine months in prison and was added to the list of sex offenders in the state. Aldrich’s name was also scratched out from the Stanley Cup with a series of “X’s” following the investigation report on the Beach case.

It definitely does not feel like the punishment fits the crime. Both the Blackhawks and the NHL are to blame: the Blackhawks for how they handled the situation and allowed it to stay secret for years, and the NHL for how it responded to the investigation report, with only a $2 million fine. There should’ve stricter punishment, which only shows how much progress the NHL still has to make.

One cannot see how this story unfolded without wondering how much less harm it would’ve caused if it were handled properly.

Instead of hiding the truth and not supporting Beach, what if the management had gone to the police? How would it have unfolded then?

That is all hypothetical; nothing will ever change the past: how the Blackhawks mishandled the case in 2010, and the trauma that will haunt Beach for the rest of his life.

But what could change is the present and the future of the team and its players. What can also be done is making sure nothing of the sort happens again. But that cannot be done by silencing the past and forgetting about it.

Ensuring these players feel safe should be the number one priority of the organization, and that simply cannot be done by staying silent.

People in power have to know they can’t do whatever they want and get away with it, and the players need to know the entire team, management, and staff stand with them, and will support and protect them if need be.

Making the locker room a safe space for players to talk about anything would be a good first step. That can only be done by addressing the Beach case, letting players know that the organization is aware of their wrongdoings, and asking them what they would like to see occur to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

But the absolute last thing that should be done is staying quiet.


Graphic by James Fay


Colour Commentary: Nick Suzuki is an NHL All-Star

The Montreal Canadiens’ young centre will make his All-Star Game debut on Feb. 4

Before the season, if you told Canadiens fans that Nick Suzuki would be an NHL All-Star in the 2021-22 season, they’d be ecstatic at the news but hardly surprised given his talent level and his performance in the Habs’ Stanley Cup Playoff run last summer. The team as a whole performed exceptionally well, but the 21-year-old Suzuki in particular led the team in goals and points, with seven and 16 respectively. 

A little over six months later, the Habs have won a mere eight games through 44 total contests, and find themselves competing for the worst team in the league. For a variety of reasons that have already been extensively discussed, this season will go down in the Canadiens’ storied lore for all the wrong reasons. Frankly, no one on this roster deserves to be an All-Star, especially when you consider the talent that ultimately didn’t make the cut. 

Disclaimer: diehard Habs fans might want to close their eyes for what’s about to come. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

In 44 games played, Suzuki has tallied 27 points and has disappeared for extended stretches of the season. Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins’ Brad Marchand has 21 goals and 47 points in 37 games this season, playing some of the best hockey of his career. One of these two forwards didn’t make the cut (settle down, Marchand skeptics), for a simple yet nonsensical reason. 

The NHL All-Star Game must showcase at least one player from each team, a requirement that makes snubbing deserving players inevitable. In each of the four divisions, 11 All-Stars are selected from the eight teams (nine skaters and two goalies). A contest, meant to showcase the league’s top talent, fails to do just that on an outdated technicality. 

Is Suzuki a top-nine skater in the Atlantic division? Before the season, it wasn’t entirely out of the question that Suzuki could make the leap into stardom. Having watched most of the Canadiens games this season (a tough watch on most nights), I can safely say he isn’t there yet. Nonetheless, he will be recognized as the best player on this bottom-feeding ensemble. 

So yes, Suzuki is an All-Star, a bittersweet notion that should still excite Montreal fans. The team’s newly-implemented number one centre is now 22 years old, and the Canadiens’ nightmare season is hardly a result of his play. And before I get labelled as a hater, I think Suzuki has what it takes to be Montreal’s foundational piece for years to come, and he earned every bit of the eight-year contract extension he signed in October 2021. 

It’s just unfortunate that his first All-Star season — a feat worthy of remembrance —  will be spoiled by the Canadiens’ woes and incompetence.


Graphic by Madeline Schmidt


The Concordian’s top moments of the year in sports

Our staff members revisit the most captivating moments of the year in sports

Maggie Morris – Managing Editor

In 2021, I did something I never thought I’d do: I cheered for the Habs. As a lifelong Sens fan, I’m used to facing adversity, but the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs tested me in a way I had never experienced before. Ultimately, when the Canadiens were matched up with the Leafs in the first round, it made the decision significantly easier. The Leafs suck. 

The Habs’ playoff run made Montreal come alive in a way that it hadn’t since early 2020. While it’s always more fun to watch your own team achieve that level of success, it was still so cool to be a part of. Honourable mention to the European Football Championship, which assured me that I will never be able to break my British boyfriend’s heart the way that final did. 

Guillaume Laberge – Music Editor

As a French Canadian and a hockey fan since the age of five, it’s hard not to put the Montreal Canadiens’ unbelievable Stanley Cup finals run as my favourite sports moment of the year.  They had such an improbable Cinderella story with them coming back from a 3–1 deficit against the Toronto Maple Leafs (what a choke) and then beating powerhouses like Winnipeg and Vegas along the way. Their win in game six of the semifinals over Vegas was definitely the climax of their run, and the fact that it happened on Quebec’s national day made the story feel unreal. It’s a game we Habs fans will remember for a long time. I’ve been following the Habs closely for about 15 years now and never have I felt more joy and excitement following them over the summer. 

Liam Sharp – Sports Editor 

Having no fans in attendance during UFC fights was an experience I will never forget. Sure, all sports are ultimately better off with spectators, but being exposed to MMA without the deafening crowd noises and reactions was weirdly satisfying. Hearing the heavy breaths, the strikes landed, and coaches’ instructions in excruciating detail throughout a bout was something I’ll probably never get to witness again unless I’m fortunate enough to be octagon-side in the future (or unfortunate enough to experience another global pandemic). 

Without fans, Max Holloway’s beatdown of Calvin Kattar on Fight Island to start the year tops my list. With fans, Rose Namajunas’ flash knockout versus Weili Zhang perfectly encapsulated why this sport can be so endearing. 

Gabriel Guindi – News Editor

Other than the Canadiens making the finals, my favourite sports moment had to have been the Milwaukee Bucks winning the NBA championship. In this day and age of NBA super teams usually winning it all, I found it refreshing that a traditionally-built, smaller market team got to win the Larry O’Brien trophy. Especially for Giannis Antetokounmpo, his loyalty to the franchise by staying with the Bucks and not scampering off to a bigger market team based purely off hype, was gratifying not only for him, but for the city of Milwaukee who haven’t welcomed a professional sports title in over 50 years.

Maria Bouabdo – Assistant Sports Editor

Excluding the Habs’ playoff run, this was my favourite sports moment. Not because it’s amazing or impossible to do, but because of the exact opposite.

Brandon Duhaime is a clumsy and relatable Minnesota Wild rookie, as you can see in the clip. I think it’s pretty rare for hockey fans to watch professional athletes and relate to them on the ice. Like have you ever heard someone say “I could totally pull that off” when talking about Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby? I doubt it. However, a lot of us can 100 per cent say that we have enough skills in the clumsiness department to pull off what Duhaime did. So that alone makes him a 2021 icon for me.


Graphic by Madeline Schmidt


Colour Commentary: The NHL mismanagement of the Kyle Beach case

Though admitting their fault for not doing a proper investigation when the event occurred during the 2010 playoffs, the NHL should still be held accountable for their actions

It’s no surprise to anyone that a sports league’s best interest to stay viable and out of the negative spotlight is to have the most squeaky-clean record as possible. From contractual dispute allegations to concussion protocol, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) is supposed to represent the players when a serious problem occurs. The sole purpose of creating the NHLPA was to have the player’s best interests in mind.

However, the NHL, NHLPA, and the Chicago Blackhawks’ handling of the Kyle Beach sexual assault allegations is nothing short of disappointing for not only the league, but professional sports altogether.

The sexual assault investigation that unfolded graphically depicting the events that took place in 2010 from May 23 to June 14 created a conundrum of he-said-she-said between some permanent and former Blackhawks staff.

The fact of the matter is that both the NHL and NHLPA want this issue to not attain more spotlight than it has already garnered. Ten years ago, this problem came to the attention of not only the Blackhawks front office but the NHLPA as well. Both the team and players’ association did nothing to resolve the situation at the time, failing to acknowledge the potential consequences this would have on the future of the league. Originally listed as John Doe, Beach bravely exposed his identity to place a face to the sexual abuse survivor.

No investigation was established, no aforementioned enquiries made, and no final verdict ever shared. Brad Aldrich was given the freedom to resign and pack his bags to another city, confidently handing out letters of recommendation written by seniors in the Blackhawks organization hence getting a position in the USA hockey program five months after resigning.

Upon interviewing all active parties in the 107-page report, a meeting within the organization was held to discuss the handling of the sexual allegations. Due to the Blackhawks’ chances of winning the Stanley Cup that year, the issue was tossed under the rug in the hopes that the truth would never re-emerge to the surface.

The precariousness for a 21-year-old player is baffling, especially at this level of sport. How does someone succumbing to a horrible experience committed by a member in a position of power get trumped due to the sole fact of winning a Stanley Cup?

An excerpt from the report reads: “it was decided that the group would not alert Human Resources or do anything about the incident during the playoffs so as not to disturb team chemistry.”

That year, the Blackhawks won the Cup, though Aldrich resigned after the playoffs — knowing well what he did, the Blackhawks allowed Aldrich to parade around the city of Chicago hoisting the cup like nothing ever happened.

The question that should be seriously highlighted is why this allegation got tossed under the rug by the league? The proven negligence from the NHL resulted in Aldrich finding a new job and led him to sexually assaulting a minor hockey player. Luckily, that incident did not go unnoticed, resulting in Aldrich receiving a nine-month prison sentence, and five years’ probation.

According to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, the league takes sexual misconduct very seriously. Though they may be telling the truth, their mishandling of the situation proves otherwise as it seems that they’re trying to silence the narrative and keep things quiet in order to protect the well-being of the league.

For example, in a press conference held online by Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly, Rick Westhead, the investigative journalist who broke the scandal, only got a chance to ask questions after other reporters highlighted that issue, despite the fact that many reporters had a chance to ask follow-ups 40 minutes into the webcam press conference.

Though the NHL is adamant that this issue should never happen and that they would provide all the necessary resources possible for future players, why would they try and silence the person who would know about the situation the most? How good are the resources they’re providing?

When Beach brought the situation to the attention of former Blackhawks mental skills coach Jim Gary, Beach alleged that in the meeting Gary partially placed blame on him for the incident that had transpired. When a confidant to Beach brought it to the attention of NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr, other than assigning a therapist, the NHLPA did not act on the matter.

An internal investigation is set to take place regarding the NHLPA’s mishandling of the Beach case. This newly sanctioned internal investigation provides no solace for Beach or the underage victim. It’s a way for the league to save face, promoting to the public as a responsible association acknowledging what they haven’t done. If the NHLPA or the league for that matter really cared, Beach‘s experience with a former video coach would have been properly received and been attended to upon acknowledgement.


Major sports leagues’ power rankings

 Looking at the most dominant teams in all major sports leagues

While it’s been a tough year for sports with COVID-19, we’ve been lucky enough to witness a championship in all four major sports. With two of the four major sports leagues already into their seasons, one having recently concluded and one on the verge of starting, let’s take a look at the top five teams in their respective sport.

National Basketball Association (NBA)

  1. Utah Jazz (27-8) 

No one would have expected the Utah Jazz to be sitting comfortably in first in the NBA standings. Led by all-stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, this team has been firing on all cylinders, winning 23 of their past 27 games. The Jazz are out for vengeance after losing seven games to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of last season’s postseason.

  1. Brooklyn Nets (23-13)

Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have been on fire this season, averaging 121 points per game. On the other hand, their defence has been a different story. However, it’s been improving every game. It’s championship or bust for this superteam.

  1. Los Angeles Lakers (24-11)

The Lakers will always be near the top of the NBA standings as long as LeBron James is healthy. However, they have looked a bit lost recently; losing four of seven Anthony Davis went down with a calf injury. The good news: it’s not supposed to be long-term. A healthy Lakers team in the playoffs is the team to beat.

  1. Los Angeles Clippers (24-12)

The Clippers have been almost unbeatable when both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are in the lineup. The problem is actually to have them both dressed up at the same time, as they have had multiple injuries.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers (23-12)

Team leader Joel Embiid has been a pleasure to watch this season and has been playing like a MVP candidate. Could a deep playoff run finally be in store for a 76ers team with so much to offer? Only time will tell.

 National Hockey League (NHL)

  1. Toronto Maple Leafs (17-4-2)

The Maple Leafs have been the hottest team in the NHL recently, with Auston Matthews leading the way. The superstar is leading the NHL in goals with 20 in 18 games. Can he score 50 goals in the shortened season?

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning (14-4-1)

The reigning Stanley Cup champions came out of the gate hot. Even with some injuries, the core of this team looks as good as ever. Winger Nikita Kucherov is also inching closer to a return. Watch out.

  1. Florida Panthers (13-4-4)

The Panthers might have the most underrated offensive duo in the NHL with Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau. Chris Driedger has also been a revelation in goal, while starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has been underwhelming.

  1. Vegas Golden Knights (13-4-1)

The Golden Knights have been getting consistent offence throughout their lineup. However, the main reason for their success has been Marc-Andre Fleury. He’s leading the league in almost every goaltending category.

  1. Boston Bruins (12-5-2)

The Bruins always seem to be near the top. Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak are playing like the best line in hockey and are wreaking havoc in the loaded East division. Not to mention their great goalie tandem.

Major League Baseball (MLB)

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Who’s going to stop the Dodgers? Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, David Price and newly acquired Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer. All of this with the best batting in baseball. Good luck to everyone else.

  1. San Diego Padres

The Padres conquered the offseason, signing Fernando Tatis Jr. to the longest deal in baseball history while also trading for Yu Darvish and Blake Snell. The Padres may be on their way to dominating baseball for years.

  1. New York Yankees

It’s going to be interesting early on for Yankee fans. This team looks dominant on paper, as they finally have a healthy Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. If Gerrit Cole performs as usual and Corey Kluber shows glimpses of his 2017 self, it’s game on.

  1. Atlanta Braves

Last season, The Braves were one game away from the World Series without their superstar Mike Soroka. A healthy rotation mixed in with a dominant offence led by Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna Jr. is going to be a joy to watch.

  1. Chicago White Sox

The White Sox are going to be one of the most exciting young teams to follow. Their roster is as deep as anyone, and the acquisition of Lance Lynn may be the most underrated move of the offseason.

National Football League (NFL)

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

As reigning Super Bowl champions, the number one spot is theirs to lose. Back-to-back championships are entirely possible.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs

The core will be returning, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes is going to be hungrier than ever. The Chiefs will be the odds-on favourite to win it all next season.

  1. Buffalo Bills

It’s finally time for everyone to respect the Bills. With a dynamic young quarterback in Josh Allen, talented receivers and a top 10 defence, this team’s future is bright.

  1. Green Bay Packers

Could Aaron Rodgers force a trade to end his tenure with the Packers if they don’t fulfill his needs in the offseason? Time will tell, but the clock is ticking on the Packers’ championship window.

  1. Los Angeles Rams  

The Rams boast an elite defence with Aaron Donald leading the pack. They just needed an upgrade on offence to really emerge as Super Bowl contenders. Getting Matthew Stafford was perhaps the answer.




Graphic by Taylor Reddam

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