News from around the Hockey Community - July 11, 2013

Dilip Vishwanat

Noted player's agent Don Baizley passed away last week, and the hockey world honored him in the best possible way by having his memorial service in, you guessed it, an arena. Baizley was truly loved by his clients, and all who knew him agree he left a big mark on hockey.

Mark Chipman, chairman of True North Sports and Entertainment which owns the arena and the Winnipeg Jets, said he was happy to provide the facility for the memorial.

"I don't know if I can put into words what Don meant to the game," he said. "I don't know if there's any one individual I've met in my life who's had a more meaningful, more profound impact on the modern game of professional hockey."

red wings dominate this season's HHOF inductees, as Brendan Shanahan and Chris Chelios are selected. Also selected are Scott Niedermayer, female player Geraldine Heaney and former NHL coach Fred Shero.

Heaney was a defenseman who played for the Canadian womens team, winning a silver medal in 1998 and a gold medal in 2002. She is considered to be one of the best female players ever and was most recently a coach for the Waterloo women's hockey team.

"It was unbelievable receiving the call today," Heaney said. "I want to thank the selection committee that you're still inducting female players in the hall of fame."

Wysh over at Puck Daddy discusses the importance of being a First Ballot Hall of Famer.

I’ll caucus with the former group, in that I think getting elected on your first attempt is the highest honor of the highest honor.

Anthony and Chris Stewart are highlighted in a great article by ESPN, in which their struggles growing up are vividly described, making their NHL success—not with just one brother, but with both—something to be celebrated.

The East Side Motel on Kingston Road in Toronto seems like the last stop for dying souls, where you're not quite completely gone but way closer than you ever planned. The place is populated with druggies and their dealers. Hookers work the Kingston Road sidewalks, and when they land clients, this is where they book a room. Its rooms are rented by the government -- a place to put families who can't afford anywhere else -- or by the hour. Faded green paint flakes from the walls like ashes. Filmmakers have used the place to show rock bottom.

This is where former NHL first-round picks Anthony and Chris Stewart grew up. Even now, several miles and so many dollars away from East Side and the things that landed them there, they still feel it every day. It haunts them, a chronic sickness. Theirs was Room 29. Their parents, their five sisters and them. A door near their room led to the hotel basement, which had a stocked kitchen. Late at night the brothers broke in and gorged. "It was a nice break from toast, syrup and ketchup," Anthony recalled. "And you know, some days, just ketchup."

Pictures showing performing "artist" Justin Bieber touching the Stanley Cup and, worse, stepping on the Blackhawks logo hit the newswire yesterday. Huge debates broiled about it, and Bieber was hit with some serious backlash, even by players themselves. The Blackhawks organization responded with this statement:

"Bieber was very excited to see the Stanley Cup when he entered our locker room last night. As frequently happens with guests into our room, Justin inadvertantly stepped on the team logo on the floor but moved off quickly once immediately reminded. He was apologetic and understanding of the tradition but continued to take photos with the Cup and some young fans. He was extremely genuine and kind with his time. We appreciate his enthusiasm towards hockey and wish him well with the remainder of his tour."

Hockey players are skating against autism in Manchester, VT. 20 players from the NHL, AHL and European pro leagues will be on site at Riley Rink to participate in the Pro-Am Hockey Fund-raiser presented by the Bennington Autism Task Force. Players include Mathieu Perreault and Stephen Gionta, among others.

About 200 spectators attended the inaugural game last year and Ron Marcellus - the founder of the game and one of the organizers of the event - said they are hoping to double attendance and possibly bring in as many as 500 people.

"What I'm encouraged by [is] throughout the whole winter people would come up to me in the supermarket or a restaurant and say, 'I had a great time last summer. I hope you do it again,'" said Marcellus. "So, I really think we're going to get a lot of people back and some new hockey people and fans."

Proceeds from the event will benefit not only the Bennington Autism Task Force, but the Jonathan Levin Scholarship Fund. The fund was started in the name of Barbara Levin Riley's son in the early history of Riley Rink following his death. The fund provides scholarships to eligible children

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