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JuicyLesson 302 : An Articulate, Intelligent Go-Getter Raffi Laleyan Doesn’t Mess Around … Jack Todd Says That Hockey Junior Josh Ho-Sang is Being Victimized Much Like P.K.


MONTREAL – Raffi Laleyan tells the story of how he used Google Maps’ Street View to catch a scammer on Montreal’s West Island who sold him a fake Samsung phone. (Monday, August 18, 2014, Dario Ayala / THE GAZETTE)
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

One can tell from the way he presents and conducts himself that M. Laleyan is one smart cookie. Very fine job, Raffi. Really. Great …

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Team Orr’s Josh Ho-Sang, right, celebrates his goal with teammate Alex Peters, centre, during the CHL Top Prospects hockey action against Team Cherry in Calgary in January.
Photograph by: Jeff McIntosh, THE CANADIAN PRESS

**Below is how Josh Ho-Sang’s “Player Profile” is presented on a certain website and it might prove interesting for someone (Hello, Jase B.) to check on the presentation of other players’ profiles on that same site and compare them with that of Ho-Sang. I know you can do it, Mr. B.

By the way, I want to thank Jack Todd for bringing up this whole subject. I, personally, hadn’t noticed from the photo by Jeff McIntosh (above) that the guy came from a visible minority.

To answer Todd’s question about what an invisible minority would look like – there must be more to that question, in Todd’s mind at least, than initially meets the eye. If that is not the case, an invisible minority would be a white Jew in Quebec, or, come to think of it, any white non-francophone in Quebec, any white francophone who lives in the ROC, a Sunni Muslim in Iraq … need I go on? Perhaps Jack, you can explain your meaning of that somewhat introspective (?) question to me.

Some true appreciation for Mr. Todd’s usage of the term “Afro-American” in two instances in his article below. I have had an exchange of emails with Mr. Todd in which mine have taken him to task for using the term “black” and his defending said usage in place of his possibly using the term “Afro-American” which he said he found “pretentious”.

I am generally pleased that Jack has at least used the term “African-American” for the very first time if I’m not mistaken, and I don’t think I’m mistaken either in saying that I bet we don’t see the term “African-American” in Todd’s pieces for a good bit of time going forward.

The above will be Jack’s way of telling me (and anyone else who thinks like me on this issue) to fuck off for taking any credit for his sort of turnaround. But good going, Jack. Won’t be taking anything for granted.

To continue with full disclosure: None of my last five or six emails have been answered by Mr. Todd. I don’t know why. I can only guess that he either thinks that I am a jerk and/or a dangerous, opinionated idiot, whom he’d rather have nothing to do with.

Anyway, I will be sending a copy of this entire Juicy Lesson [302] to Jack. Hopefully I’ll get some kind of response. I may or may not keep you posted for reasons which are somewhat but by no means completely esoteric. In the interests of completely full disclosure, I have sent Jack Todd a number of my JuicyLessons and have got nothing back from him. But that’s par for the course as relatively few of my readers ever offer comments on what they read on my site.

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**Josh Ho-Sang’s Player Profile

^^April 2014 – Josh Ho-Sang was suspended 15 games for a dangerous play that resulted in Knights defenseman Zach Bell imagebreaking his leg in Game 3 of the first round series versus London. The suspension has been one of the most debated disciplinary actions of the season and Ho-Sang will start serving his 15 suspension at the start of the 2014-15 OHL season.

April 2014 – Josh Ho-Sang had a successful sophomore season recording career highs in goals (32), assists (53), points (85), plus/minus (+26) and penalty minutes (44) topping his team in scoring. He improved his defensive commitment and attention to detail but remains a high-risk style of player who relies on dangerous passing plays all too often.

2014 NHL Entry Draft, Ho-Sang is one of the draft’s top skaters and a player with big upside but he does come with some concerns – mainly, his size and carefree offensive game.
Profile from: Brendan Ross of Dobber Prospects – Apr. 14th

Now for Jack Todd’s take as it appeared in the print edition of the today’s Montreal Gazette (Monday, August 25/2014). Here we go.

Ho-Sang gets same treatment as Subban from Hockey Canada
BY JACK TODD, SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE AUGUST 25, 2014

Anyone who has followed the P.K. Subban saga from the beginning is suffering a little déja voodoo these days.

You know the story: exciting, charismatic, talented young hockey player is deemed a little too cocky by the hockey establishment, which is determined to take him down a peg or two.

The player falls into the category they call “visible minority,” although no one really knows what an “invisible minority” would be. He runs his mouth a little too much for the powers that be. His stock falls well below his talent level in the draft.

Then he isn’t issued an invitation to the world junior training camp by Hockey Canada, the ultimate hockey establishment.

Apart from that last bit, Joshua Ho-Sang’s story is P.K. Subban imageall over again. Brash young star rubs hockey people the wrong way despite his talent.

In another time, Maurice Richard imagewas treated pretty much the same way. You would think hockey people would learn, that the examples of Subban and Evander Kane would teach them something — but in this gossipy little universe, learning anything new is a challenge.

In most cases, I don’t believe it’s a matter of bigotry or outright prejudice. As much as anything, it’s a matter of exposure. Hockey coaches and GMs don’t deal with the annual influx of African-American players you get in the NBA and the NFL, with their general disdain for the old-school rules. (Remember when the NCAA made the dunk illegal because old white men didn’t like the way young black players were flying high?)

JERRY ADDS: I remember when, with the South Korean women beginning their ascension to the top of the LPGA tour around ten or fifteen years ago, that organization trying – unsuccessfully as it turned out and highly fortunately as well – to implement a rule which would have barred any player not proficient in English – whatever that means – from competing in any LPGA sanctioned events.

Back to Jack:
Face it: No league that has endured Terrell Owens imageand Randy Moss image is going to have a problem with Subban or Ho-Sang, who are both bright, articulate young men. Any student of obnoxious jerkitude has to be wondering how Johnny Manziel gets away with it, when a player like Subban can’t raise an eyebrow without creating a firestorm.
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The answer is simple: Manziel is whiteimage and he plays in the NFL, not the hidebound NHL, where change comes at glacial speed. (See fighting, for instance, and the decades-long effort to do away with it.)

Speak up for yourself, as Ho-Sang did, and the sizable Cro-Magnon segment of the hockey media (the ones who haven’t liked anything since Clarence Campbell was king) will try to crush you. Show a little flash and dash, as Subban did during his rookie season, and cretins from Mike Richards to Don Cherry are lining up to slap you down. image

With Ho-Sang, it’s been a little uglier than a slap-down. Reports had Ho-Sang on the Do Not Draft list of many teams heading into this year’s NHL draft before the New York Islanders selected the forward 28th overall. Now if he had a string of arrests on his record, or positive tests for drugs (performance-enhancing or otherwise) you could understand that.

But the only rap against Ho-Sang is, apparently, that he’s a square peg in the round-peg world of the NHL, the most conformist league in the universe. The league is privately run, however — not much we can do about attitudes except to work to change them by degrees.

Jerry adds: The first part of the this paragraph is not completely true. ^^Please see above text beginning with ” … April 2014 – Josh Ho-Sang was suspended 15 games for a dangerous play that resulted in Knights defenseman Zach Bell breaking his leg in Game 3 of the first round series … ” I don’t know what happened and can’t take the time to research this but if true, maybe it’s understandable that Ho-Sang wasn’t invited to Honky (pun intended) Canada’s world junior camp. End Jerry remark

For a public entity such as Hockey Canada to refuse to invite Ho-Sang to camp is another matter. What’s the harm in taking a look at the kid who led the Windsor Spitfires with 85 points last season in the Hockey Canada camp environment? In making your own decisions, rather than relying on gossip and innuendo? Jerry says please see ^^

We are, by all accounts, talking about a major talent here. When Ho-Sang played with media darling Connor McDavid, they say it was Ho-Sang who stood out. But Hockey Canada, an organization that is on a fairly significant losing streak at the world juniors, didn’t even want to take a look at Ho-Sang?

The trouble is, coaches want robots. And Ho-Sang, the son of a Jamaican tennis pro and a Jewish mother, is not a robot. Neither is Subban, or Evander Kane. They all play the game with emotion. They dazzle. Sometimes they aren’t where the control freaks want them to be, but that is a problem only if you would prefer to watch the computer version of the game.

The problem is so deep in the world of hockey that Alex Kovalev, of all people, felt free to put down Subban for playing “street hockey.”image Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Subban might have as much flair as Kovalev had in his day but there’s a difference: Subban has never taken a game off. Matter of fact, he never takes a shift off. When he’s out there, he’s going flat-out. If he makes a mistake, it’s from trying to do too much.

Kovalev, on the other hand, was often caught trying to do too little. He would sit on the bench looking as though he was in another world, put in a listless shift, then go back to daydreaming. And this is the guy who complains that Subban makes too much money? Please.

Sooner or later, things will change. We were reminded of the horrors for which the hockey establishment has been responsible this week when Todd Bertuzzi finally settled Steve Moore’s lawsuit.

When Bertuzzi assaulted Moore (in what should have been his last act on NHL ice) a sizable segment of hockey’s old guard was squarely in Bertuzzi’s corner, beginning with Brian Burke. An eye for an eye, don’t you know. Or better still, a career for a concussion.
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This is the mentality that players like Ho-Sang and Subban have to outlast. The diehards are called that because they die hard — because it takes decades to overcome their intolerant, rigid, sometimes bigoted view of the universe.

Subban is beating them at their own game with a Norris Trophy and an eight-year, $72-million contract. Ho-Sang believes that in three years time, he will be the best player from the 2014 draft class.

I fervently hope he’s right. Because if there’s one thing the hockey world is bent on, it’s stamping out all traces of fun in the game. You can’t go all Nail Yakupov after a goal, you can’t show emotion. You’ve got to be as poker-faced as Sidney Crosby and your interviews should be like tapioca pudding: if you say something quotable, you’ve made a mistake.

But the mistake here was made by Honky Canada. Right now, the glaciers are melting faster than the hockey world is changing. But it will come — and so will Josh Ho-Sang’s day in the sun.

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

Until tomorrow.

Peace.

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