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Archive for the ‘Jews and hockey’ Category

 

Cleaning out my inbox

Posted on: June 12th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

So I have a bunch of Google alerts set up to bring me the latest news on what the MOTs are up to in various sports. Unfortunately, I’ve been letting time slip away and it’s been building up. So in an effort to get clean again, here goes…

NFL

Hard to believe training camps are close to opening again. Should be an interesting season, if for no other reason than to see what the players and teams will do about the whole National Anthem business. It’s not within the purview of this blog to get deep into politics; if you want to know my feelings you can find them on Facebook, where I probably spend too much time.

Suffice it to say the biggest news on the field as far as we’re concerned will center around new Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen. Maybe we’re just being overly sensitive, but there already seems to be a lot of attention — relatively speaking, of course — paid to his religion, in a way that other players do not have to face, even the Jewish ones who are already in the league. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, here are a few items on Rosen to chew on:

Of course, Rosen is not the only MOT in the NFL. There’s Nate Ebner, a special teams specialist for the New England Patriots who’s coming off a season-ending injury sustained in the ninth game last season. There’s Ali Marpet, an offensive lineman for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, now entering his fourth season (“Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFL’s new anthem policy“). There Adam Bisnowaty, who signed with but never played for the NY Giants last season. They placed him on waivers and the Detroit Lions picked him up last month. And, arguably the best of the bunch, Mitchell Schwartz, another O-Man for the Kansas City Chiefs.

David Tepper became the ninth current Jewish NFL owner when he bought the Carolina Panthers in May, joining Arthur Blank (Atlanta Falcons), Malcolm Glazer (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Robert Kraft (New England Patriots), Jeffrey Laurie (Philadelphia Eagles), Stephen Ross (Miami Dolphins), Daniel Snyder ( Washington Redskins), Steven Tisch (NY Giants), and Zygi Wilf (Minnesota Vikings). Last month, Blank was named Sports Executive of the Year by The Sports Business Journal.

By the way, in case you were wondering, former Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman returned to the Canadian Football League where he led the Toronto Argonauts to the Grey Cup, Canada’s equivalent to the Super Bowl.

NHL

If you consider Andre Burakovsky to be Jewish, then fine, there was a Jew on the Stanley Cup-winning Washington Capitols.

Other Jews in the League during the 2017-18 season included

  • Jason Zucker (Minnesota Wild) who enjoyed career highs in goals (33) and points (64)
  • Josh Ho-Sang (NY Islanders) who had more than his share of issues with his team
  • Brendan Leipsic, (Vancouver Canucks), who missed his chance to appear in the Cup finals when the Vegas Golden Knights traded him away
  • Jacob Chychrun (Arizona Coyotes), who missed time due to injuries.
  • Jason Demers (Arizona Coyotes)
  • Michael Cammalleri (Edmonton Oilers, the dean of Jewish hockey players with more than 900 games in the NHL
  • Zach Hyman (Toronto Maple Leafs), who may have a career in children’s literature waiting for him when he retires

And mazel tov to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who celebrated his 25th anniversary in that office.

NBA

I think we can all agree that the Golden State Warriors really screwed Omri Casspi when they released him with just two games remaining in the regular season. Yeah, yeah, I know: it’s a business. Here’s hoping the first Israeli to play in the NBA will find a new home. For awhile it looked as though that would be in Portland with the Trailblazers, but now I’m not so sure.

The other football

Sigh. Soccer.

In the MSL, we have

  • Steve Birnbaum, Defender, DC United (2-6-3, 11th — last — in Eastern Conference)
  • Benny Feilhaber, Midfielder, Los Angeles Football Club (7-4-3, third in Western Conference)
  • Zac McMath, Goalkeeper, Colorado Rapids (2-9-2, 12th — last — in West)
  • Daniel Steres, Defender, LA Galaxy (6-7-2, eighth in West)

Sadly, most of the international soccer news seems to be anti-Semitic and/or anti-Zionist in nature.

Miscellaneous

Finally, here are a few items that fall under the general heading of “Jewish sports”:

There, all caught up. Now that there’s only baseball to worry about, things should be a little easier.

Jice-men finale: Caps win Stanley Cup

Posted on: June 8th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

For the first time in their 43-year history, the Washington Capitols have won the NHL Championship, beating the upstart expansion Vegas Golden Knights last night, 4-3.

Andre Burakovsky — who had 9:38 of ice time — assisted on the game-winner by Lars Eller at 12:53 in the third period. It was his fourth assist in the championship round, whiuch Washington won, four games to one.

There’s still a question as to his Jewish identity. He has said he was not, but the Jewish Sports Review maintains he is. Robert Wechsler sent me this email regarding Jews on Stanley Cup-winning teams:

If we’re accepting Burakovsky as Jewish …

PLAYERS

Sam Rothschild — 1926 Montreal Maroons

Alex Levinsky — 1932 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1938 Chicago Black Hawks
Larry Zeidel — 1952 Detroit Red Wings
Mathieu Schneider — 1993 Montreal Canadiens
Mike Hartman — 1994 New York Rangers
Andre Burakovsky — 2018 Washington Capitals
COACH
Cecil Hart — 1930 and 1931 Montreal Canadiens

Jice update: Stanley Cup, Game 3

Posted on: June 4th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Andre Burakovsky had 11:57 of ice time as the Washington Capitols beat the visiting Vegas Golden Knights, 3-1 to take a 2-1 lead in the Stanley Cup. Game Four takes place tonight in DC. As of this posting there are still 119 tickets left, starting at $987. Have fun.

Jice update: Stanley Cup, Game 2

Posted on: May 31st, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Andre Burakovsky had two more assists to help the Washington Capitols beat the host Vegas Golden Knights, 3-2. Pretty economical in that he only had 10:54 of ice time. That ties the series at a game apiece.

The first assist came at 17:27 in the first period to tie the game at 1-1. The second turned out to be the game-winner, giving the Caps a 3-1 lead at 9:41 in the second period.

Image result for Andre Burakovsky

 

Jice update: Stanley Cup, Game 1

Posted on: May 29th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Image result for andre burakovskyAndre Burakovsky had an assist for the Washington Capitols, who lost Game One of the Stanley Cup finals to the host Vegas Golden Knights, 6-4. The contribution came at 14:41 in the first period to tie the game at 1-1. He had 13:53 of ice time and served a two-minute penalty for board, also achieved in the first period.

Game Two is scheduled for tomorrow in Las Vegas.

It’s go time: One Jew in the Stanley Cup

Posted on: May 24th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Washington Capitals left wing Andre Burakovsky (65) and defenseman John Carlson celebrate after the Capitals defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 during Game 7 of the NHL Eastern Conference finals hockey playoff series Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)It’s Andre Burakovsky (#65 in photo on right) of the Washington Capitols versus the Vegas Golden Knights (what happened to the “Las?”), an expansion team that defied all expectations to make it to the finals in their first season of existence.

Burakovsky — who has been plagued by injury in the post-season — scored two goals last night to help the Caps beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in the seventh game, 4-0. They were his only points in the eight games in which he appeared.

Brendan Liepsic started the season with the Knights but was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in February. Oh, well.

Burakovsky was the subject of some controversy over his Jewish identity but the Jewish Sports Review maintains that’s he’s MOT.

 

And now, the rest of the story (UPDATE)

Posted on: May 16th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

To take a page from Paul Harvey (no relation to major Mets disappointment Matt)…

I have been majorly remiss in not reporting on anything but baseball. So let’s address that now.

NBA

Omri Casspi has laid up his final shot for the Warriors. (Photo: Facebook)Omri Casspi was waived by the Golden State Warriors just before the end of the regular season, thereby terminating his chance to make it into the playoffs. It’s not a stretch to say that the timing sucked. Casspi — the first Israeli to make it to the NBA — was a pretty good guy to have coming off your bench, regardless for whom he played. Obviously it was too late in the season for another team to pick him up, but here’s hoping we’ll see hime again next season. By the way, T.J. Leaf may be the first Israeli to make it to the post-season, but he’s not a MOT.

NHL

At this point, Andre Burakovsky (Washington Capitols) and Brendon Leipsic (Las Vegas Knights) are the only two Jice-men still active.

Burakovsky — whose connection with Judaism has been an issue over the last couple of years (he claims he’s not Jewish but the Jewish Sports Review stands by their “ruling” that he is based on their qualifications) —  appeared in 56 games for the Caps (49-26-7, third in the Eastern Conference), putting 12 pucks in the net and assisting on a baker’s dozen. Washington leads the Tampa Bay Lightning two games to one in their conference matchup. They beat the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round, four games to two. In the next round, they put away the Pittsburgh Penguins, also 4-2.

Leipsic, a 23-year-old rookie, had five goals and 17 assists in 58 games for the amazingly successful expansion Knights, who ended their inaugural season with a mark of 51-24-7, good for third place in the West. They are tied with the Winnipeg Jets in the Conference Finals at 1-1, having knocked out Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild in the first round. The Knights then ousted the San Jose Sharks, 4-2, in round two to move to the next-to-last step.

Zucker had an outstanding season for the Wild (45-26-11, fourth in the Western Conference). He appeared in all 82 games and led all Jewish players in goals (33) and assists (31). Zucker did not put up a point in the series with the Jets. He is also a finalist in the running for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, given to “the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.” According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune,

Zucker and his wife, Carly, raised funds for the Zucker Family Suite and Broadcast Studio at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, a space that allows children and their families to watch Wild games in a game-like setting. They donated $160,000 to start the project, and also contributed $1,600 for each goal Zucker, who wears No. 16, scored (33) this season. In seven months, the project has raised more than $900,000.

Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs made great leaps over the last two seasons. They came in at 49-26-11, fourth in the East. Compare that with 29-42-11 in 2015-16 and 40-27-15 last year. They were eliminated in the first round of this year’s playoffs by the Boston Bruins.

Michael Cammalleri — at 35 the senior statesman among Jewish NHLers — appeared in a total of 66 games, split between the LA Kings (15 games, three goals, four assists) and Edmonton Oilers (51 games, 4/18), to whom he was traded in mid-November. The Kings finished in the seventh spot in the West with a record of 45-29-8. They were swept by the Knights in the first round. The Oilers were pretty awful, however, 36-40-6, eighth in the West.

Jason Demers appeared in 69 games for the Arizona Coyotes  (29-41-12, last in the West), contributing six goals and 14 assists.

Jakob Chychrun, also a member of the Coyotes, had his share of injuries, appearing in just 50 games with four goals and ten assists.

Josh Ho-Sang was a lightning rod for the NY Islanders this year. For some reason, he was constantly in the news, an indicator of why the team was doing poorly, even though he scored twice and assisted on 12 in just 22 games. He spent most of the year with the AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Some said he had a bad work ethic, a bad attitude, etc. Others say he was injured and didn’t want to let on. Let’s just hope for better times ahead. The Isles finished 11th in the East at 35-37-10.

NFL

Not much to report since the Arizona Cardinals selected Josh Rosen as their No. 1 pick (10th overall) in the NFL draft, much to the former UCLA QB’s annoyance. And that annoyance has stirred up something that may or may not be there, as far as anti-Semitic sentiments go. Tablet Magazine took a tongue-in-cheek approach in this piece.

Image result for josh rosen, anti-semitism

Despite the JSR’s declaration that Rosen meets their requirements, this piece from The New Yorker would seem to go against the one about not identifying with another religion. According to the article by Zach Helfand, “Rosen is the son of a Jewish father and a Quaker mother. He had a bar mitzvah but attended a Catholic high school, where he went to weekly mass and gave confession twice a semester.” So unless that confession thing was just going through the motions…

BTW, the question of religious identity is always tricky. A Jewish lad might have a bar mitzvah (although I guess “having” one is a moot point since it’s automatic) but later decide to convert. A Nazi might say, once a Jew, always a Jew. I leave this issue to more enlightened and educated minds.

As for the handful of other JFLers:

  • Ali Marpet preparing for a new position on the O-Line?
  • The NY Giants waived Adam Bisnowaty, who never made it to the official roster. UPDATE: Since posting this earlier today, news came down that he was claimed off waivers by the Detroit Lions.
  • Also around: Mitchell Schwartz, KC Chiefs, of whom great things are expected next season; and Nate Ebner (New England Patriots), who will be coming back from a season-sending injury.

MSL

Soccer. Ugh.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know my antipathy for the sport. Too much running around with nothing to show for it. Too much moving back and forth of players between teams and leagues. Too much time between games. Zzzzzz. But in the interest of fair play, I should mention the few Jews in the Major Soccer League. Thanks to the folks at JSR and Bob Wechsler for doing the leg work on this.

According to their calculating, these are the Jews of the MSL (standings as of this writing):

  • Steve Birnbaum, Defender, DC United (1-5-2, 11th — last — in Eastern Conference)
  • Benny Feilhaber, Midfielder, Los Angeles Football Club (6-2-2, second in Western Conference)
  • Zac McMath, Goalkeeper, Colorado Rapids (3-6-1, ninth in West)
  • Daniel Steres, Defender, LA Galaxy (2-5-2, 11th — but not last — in West. That’s another thing: 23 teams in the league? They couldn’t have found one more to make things easy?)

Wechsler added in his email on the topic:

  • Andrew Jacobson of Vancouver and Zach Pfeffer of Colorado have retired.
  • Jonathan Spector of Orlando does not identify as Jewish. His Jewish grandfather was Art “Speed” Spector, was the first player ever signed by the Boston Celtics.
  • Kyle Beckman of Real Salt Lake is listed as Jewish in many sources. He recently married a woman in a Greek Orthodox ceremony. From what I hear, you must be willing to be ID’d as Greek Orthodox in order to participate in its wedding ceremony.

So there you have it, folks. I know there are several items I’ve neglected, such as Soren Thompson‘s upcoming induction into the USA Fencing Hall of Fame, and for that my apologies. I hope to do better in the future.

In the meantime, don’t forget about my most recent book, Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War, in this, the 80th anniversary of that special season.

Jewish sports update, January 31, 2018

Posted on: January 31st, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors (40-11) suffered a rare blowout loss, dropping this one by 30 points to the host Utah Jazz, 129-99. Casspi showed signs of rust, playing 11 minutes, scoring two points, but committing three turnovers and two personal fouls.

NHL

Jason Zucker scored his 20th goal of the year, connecting on one of the four shots he took as the Minnesota Wild (27-18-5) beat the host Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2, in a shootout. It was the seventh consecutive game with a goal or an assist for Zucker, who played 16:31 and served a two-minute penalty for delay of game. The Wild host Brendan Leipsic‘s Vegas Golden Knights on Friday. Leipsic took one SOG in 10:29 as the Knights (33-12-4) beat the host Calgary Flames, 4-2.

David Warsofsky was a scratch as his Colorado Avalanche (27-18-4) fell to the host Vancouver Canucks, 3-2.

Tonight, Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs host the NY Islanders while Andre Burakovsky and the Washington Capitols entertain the Philadelphia Flyers.

MLB

Alex Bregman is proud of his days at LSUis and vice versa.

The Jays Journal blog asks, “Is Kevin Pillar the next domino to fall to clear the outfield clutter?”

Ryan Braun is clearly on board with the direction his Milwaukee Brewers have taken.

Cardinals Brewers Baseball

MLB Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig will explore the integration of America’s pastime and diversity in the game from 1945 through today during a discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee. The program will be part of the museum’s new exhibit, “Allied in the Fight: Jews, Blacks and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” which is on view until March 25.

Misc.

JTA posted this piece on “5 Jewish storylines to watch” at the 2018 Winter Olympics, one to which the Jewish state will be sending its largest contingent to date.

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 30, 2018

Posted on: January 30th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors visit the Utah Jazz tonight.

NHL

After the All-Star break, action resumes tonight with Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets; Brandon Leipsic and the Vegas Golden Knights visiting the Calgary Flames; and David Warshofsky and the Colorado Avalanche visiting the Vancouver Canucks.

Jason Demers is listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury as the Arizona Coyotes prepare for their Thursday game against the Dallas Stars.

MLB

Kevin Pillar, aka “Superman” to his Toronto Blue Jay fans, “wants to fly higher than ever before.”

Ryan Braun will indeed start working out at first base for the Milwaukee Brewers to help with their overcrowded outfield situation.

Alex Bregman served as the keynote speaker for LSU’s First Pitch Banquet this past Sunday.

I guess you get stories like this one regarding Gabe Kapler during the off-season.

The Cleveland Jewish News weighs in on the local team’s decision to retire the Chief Wahoo logo. Next year.

Misc.

Quarterback Josh Rosen, who decided not to return to UCLA so he can go into the next NFL Draft, will participate in the 2018 State Farm All-Star Football Challenge this week. The competition will feature 24 players from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC. The athletes will be divided into six teams based on their college conference. Each team will consist of four players from the same conference who will compete for conference supremacy in a series of skills competitions. The event will be televised on Friday, Feb. 2, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Former NFLer Geoff Schwartz on “Why everyone loves the underdog Eagles, especially the Eagles”

Soccer clubs across Germany pay tribute to Holocaust victims

Kenyan soccer kids receive Maccabi kits from the Australian contingent

Jewish sports update, January 28, 2018

Posted on: January 28th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

Omri Casspi, still recovering from the aftereffects of the flu, played just four minutes for the Golden State Warriors (40-10), making one steal which led to a Stephen Curry three-pointer.

NHL

No activity over the weekend because tonight is the NHL All-Star Game. No MOTs on the rosters, not too surprisingly.

MLB

Mazel tov to Alex Bregman, who was named “Headliner of the Year” by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

Could the Brewers be moving Ryan Braun to first base? Seems a shame as he looks like a pretty decent outfielder (to one who doesn’t watch him on a regular basis).

Will Craig Breslow return to the Cleveland Indians? The LOOGY has had two stints with the Tribe, the first in 2007 and the most recently last season. Overall, he’s appeared in 14 games, tossing 12.2 innings with no won/loss record or saves.

Kind of funny, some of the questions asked about teams. For example “Who will be the next Blue Jay to get 20 steals?” I mean, 20 is a pretty low bar to set. Kevin Pillar was the last Toronto player to swipe that many, by the way.

And FYI, pitchers and catchers start reporting for Spring Training on Feb. 12, although some teams haven’t officially set their dates yet.

 

 

 

   
 

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