Former NHLer Danny Carcillo is sharing his hazing story and calling for change. • The Buffalo Sabres are channelling their inner Drake. • The Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews is back, baby! • We have the perfect excuse for you to use for your next Bumble break-up. • Some major gender equality news coming out of Iran. • Our Canadian women’s soccer team is playing for bronze in the U17 FIFA World Cup. • Grandma’s are the cutest. • And, watch the Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors game with us tonight!
The GIST: This week, ex-NHLer Daniel Carcillo said he went through a year of violent hazing abuse as an Ontario Hockey League (OHL) rookie while coaches and management turned a blind eye. Carcillo was inspired to open up about his experience after hearing last week’s news that six students at St. Michael’s School in Toronto were charged in a different and very violent sports hazing incident.
WTF is hazing?: Hazing is a kind of initiation ritual where rookies are subjected to humiliating and sometimes violent tasks and behaviour. Think running a naked mile or being force-fed alcohol until you pass out, though sometimes it’s much, much worse. It’s a pretty dark underbelly of the sports world but also somehow a widely accepted rite of passage. SMDH.
Quick - tell me about this OHL: The OHL is basically one of the earliest stepping stones to the NHL. It’s one of three junior hockey leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) for players aged 16-21.
So who is Daniel?: Carcillo is no slouch. On top of winning two Stanley Cups it’s clear that this dude cares about changing the game for the better. Earlier this year, he released this tear-jerker of a video (seriously watch it) detailing the toll head trauma has had on his life to raise concussion awareness in the NHL. Daniel’s got guts for speaking out on controversial sports issues, and we think there’s a desperate need for more guys like him to step up.
Back to his OHL Story: When Carcillo was a rookie with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting in 2002, he said he and other players were abused daily, including beatings with a jagged goalie stick. The worst part? Coaches were aware and did nothing to stop it. He said sometimes they even joined in. Just unbelievable. If a kid can’t turn to their coach/adult for protection, where TF can they go?
This is F***ed Up!: We agree. But Carcillo sharing his story is having a big (and positive) ripple effect. Athletes of all levels are now coming forward to share their hazing stories online and to call for change in sports culture. Way to go, Danny!
Started from the Bottom Now We're Here
The GIST: Everyone makes mistakes, except for the Buffalo Sabres and Auston Matthews. They’re both flawless. *Beyonce’s Flawless plays in the background*
Started From the Bottom...: The Buffalo Sabres have turned their franchise around faster than it took to perform surgery on a grape. Just a year after coming dead last in the NHL, the Sabres are sitting at the very top. They are currently riding a 10-game win streak, including wins against some of the best teams in the league like the Tampa Bay Lightning. The last time the Sabres went on a 10-game hot streak? The 2006-07 season, which was around the same time Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey were getting divorced. #TBT to watching their Newlyweds show for hours on end.
What Rust?: Toronto Maple Leafs’ golden boy Auston Matthews returned to the lineup last night after missing 14 games with a shoulder injury. Most players are rusty after missing A MONTH OF HOCKEY but Matthews isn’t most players. In his first game back he scored two goals (including this beauty), added an assist and sent Leafs fans everywhere scrambling to tweet heart-eye emojis.
City of No Love?: So, uh, something’s in the water ice this NHL season. We have yet another firing to report. After being with the Philadelphia Flyers for the better part of five seasons, general manager (GM) Ron Hextall is the latest in a line of NHL coaches or GMs to lose their jobs this year. The reason? “Philosophical differences” between Ron and the Flyers’ president. Uh, sure, just gonna keep that in our back pocket for our next awkward Bumble break-up.
Oops!: Sorry - we dun goofed! In Monday’s newsletter, we said that if the Toronto Maple Leafs sassy blonde, William Nylander, doesn’t play this season he’ll be available for any team to sign in 2019. This isn’t quite true. We should have said that if Willie (yes, we’re still on a nickname basis) chooses not to sign and misses the entire season, his bargaining power will NOT have changed. He’d basically be in the same spot with the Leafs all over again next season. And update, he’s STILL not signed (and has until Saturday to do so). Anxiety level 100.
V Quick Question for You: We’re wondering what your fave NHL hockey team is. It will help us with content and TBH we’re also just nosy. Let us know your fave team here.
GIST Some Other Sh!t You Should Know
- We talk a lot about leveling the playing field, but what about when women aren’t even allowed to SEE the field? That’s basically what’s been going on in Iran since 1981, where women are banned from attending male sporting events like soccer. This week, FIFA (the international governing body on soccer) ruled that the ban violates their ethics code. About freakin’ time. The next step is for FIFA to give Iran a deadline on when they must allow female fans to attend games. We would suggest yesterday.
- If you follow us on Instagram (P.S. if you don’t, who even are you?), you know that Canada’s U-17 women’s soccer team made it all the way to the FIFA World Cup semis yesterday and it’s a BFD! It’s the farthest a Canadian team has gone since 2002. Unfortunately, last night they lost a tough game against Mexico 1-0. But don’t fret, they still have a chance at third place when they battle New Zealand on Saturday.
- A 90-year-old Japanese grandmother is making our hearts sing. Setsuko Takamizawa is spending the next few years learning English so she can be a tour guide during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. You’ve gotta see how excited she is it is SO DARN CUTE and reminds us that you’re never too old to dream!
What’s Up This Week
Tonight: After you get your football pool picks in by 7:30 p.m. ET (pssttt click here to play and to get #thegist of each game), join us to watch your East-leading Toronto Raptors take on the reigning champs, the Golden State Warriors.
Tonight we’ve got something special for ya. When you tune in with The GIST, not only will you get sassy and fun GIST commentary, you’ll have a chance to book a test-drive with Infiniti.
We know what you might be thinking: “Test drive? Y tho?” But, we promise, this isn’t your grandpa’s test drive - it’s something special. With this test drive, Infiniti will literally BRING THE CAR TO YOU wherever you are in Toronto - your house, your work, your gym, you name it - so that you can easily take the new QX50 and QX60(v nice vehicles in our opinion) for a spin. Because what’s better than convenience and saving time? So, join us tonight by clicking here.
Can’t tune in tonight but still interested in learning more about Infiniti or testing out a car? We’ll miss you, but we get it. Click here and we’ll be in touch.
P.S. Infiniti is one of The GIST's Partners
Saturday: After you watch our U17 women’s team take on New Zealand for third place at 2 p.m. ET, you can post up to watch the Leafs play the Minnesota Wild at 7:00 p.m ET.
Shout-Out: HOLLA at some of our GISTer sisters who won the third day of GISTMAS: Louise Pecchia, Katie Lo, Marlene Oliveira and Trishe Crowe. WE LY, thanks for spreading the gift of The GIST this holiday season. <3