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Daily Cupcakes- January 31st, 2012

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A study of amateur hockey says that violence is a more common occurence in the sport now than in previous years.

Many amateur hockey referees have been in games where the officials lost control because of aggressive play, suggests a new study that takes a novel look at violence in the sport.

Almost half the hundreds of officials surveyed by medical researchers at the University of Toronto said they had been victims of physical violence themselves, from cross-checks to the head, to a fan’s sucker punch, to an attack by an irate parent after the game, according to the just-published paper.

This is some bad news for NHL teams.

Insurance companies specializing in sports say the Penguins and other NHL teams will increasingly have to adopt the risk of million-dollar contracts alone as the number of players sidelined with concussions swells. The prospect threatens to alter the hockey industry.

For players who have suffered serious concussions — there are at least 73 players who have missed games this season with brain injuries, according to player agent Allan Walsh — new contracts will include so-called concussion exclusions.

That will mean teams won’t be able to insure those players against future brain injuries.

Some more highlights from the All Star weekend.

Players from both teams came out of their dressing rooms to watch Canadian hip-hop star Drake perform during the second intermission. "I think I was the first one to go on the ice on our side, I’m a huge Drake fan," said Phoenix defenceman Keith Yandle, who later had Drake sign a stick for him. "I love his music. I’m a big hip-hop guy. It was great to be that close to him, watching him. He’s just something else all the Canadian guys in our locker room can brag about, saying they have the best rapper now. They think that they’re taking over the world." ... Lupul probably couldn’t get away from Jonathan Quick enough. The Los Angeles goalie robbed him of his hat trick with a great leg save in the second period. It was Quick who also ended Lupul’s chances of winning the elimination shootout in the skills competition.