The Club | Ukraine and sports, calendars and… dehydration

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Posted at 9:00am

Ukraine and sports

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has many diplomatic and financial implications. What about the world of professional hockey? In particular, are there implications for the participation of North American players in the KHL?

Jean-François L’Heureux

Response from Simon-Olivier Lorange

There are certainly repercussions, which can be summed up in particular by the departures of non-Russian players, even though the KHL playoffs are in full swing. As of March 10, at least 15 foreign players have requested termination of their contracts. The majority are Finnish, but there are a few North Americans in the group – Geoff Platt, Nick Shore, Kenny Agostino, Shane Prince… In addition, two clubs withdrew from the league play-offs, namely Jokerit, a team from Helsinki, Finland, and Dynamo Riga, Latvia. Anders has announced in recent days that it has asked all its teams to cut ties with the KHL. It shouldn’t be surprising if other twists and turns occur.

The vagaries of the calendar

I would like to know how the schedule for a season in the NHL is made. Do you do that with a glove or with a computer program? Are the teams consulted?

Jean Guy Trinque

Response from Guillaume Lefrancois

This is a complex file and the demands of the teams are indeed part of it. The availability of arenas is one of the concerns; the Bell Center hosts shows during the holidays, the Habs always hit the road after Christmas. In this particular case, the NHL also meets the Florida teams, which are guaranteed to have a full house thanks to the Quebec vacationers who follow the Habs. Some executives also have special requests that the NHL is trying to accommodate. For example, it is said that Marc Bergevin liked that the Canadian started his seasons with several matches abroad, to unite the team. Indeed, since 2014, the Canadian has started every season with at least two games on the road, sometimes three or four, before his first home game. An NHL publicist described the creation of the scheme as “a collaborative process.” He recalls that the NHL does its best to meet the requirements of the teams, taking into account “the collective agreement, the requirements [des] four national broadcasters and the availability of arenas”.

The balance of disadvantages

I never understood the weighing system in boxing. I have read that the boxer does not eat, dehydrates, sweats and steps almost naked on the scales to exactly meet the weight limit for his class. Then he eats and drinks what he wants. So inevitably he will exceed the weight limit during the fight, right? Wouldn’t it be much easier and healthier for the body if the boxer watched his weight a few weeks before the weigh-in instead of doing all this circus?

John Dufresne

Answer from Jean-Francois Teotonio

The boxers will try to lose as much weight as possible just before the weigh-in. We want to make sure we reach the upper limit of the category planned for the confrontation. The weigh-in usually takes place the day before the fight. The training camps that precede the battles are exhausting and physically demanding. Weight loss is thus postponed until the last possible moment, several hours or days before the fight. And that usually happens due to dehydration. It is a weight that can be regained relatively easily in the following hours by rehydrating and eating carbohydrates. All means are good, or almost. The hunters will sit almost naked on the scales, to avoid counting excess weight. If they don’t quite make it to the limit the first time, they have a few hours to catch up. The danger of dehydration and extreme weight loss is that it can endanger an athlete’s long-term health throughout their career. In the short term, there is also the risk of injury during the fight. However, there are bodies that have rules to ensure that the weight difference between weighing and fighting is not too great, such as the IBF.

The injured person’s fault?

Putting the coach’s question aside, I have the impression that most of the Canadian’s difficulties in the first half of the season came from the number of injuries (physical condition) and the difficulties before the goals. These are two departments that have experienced a changing of the guard in the past year. Question CH: Has the impact of these changes been underestimated? Sporting question: we know that Pierre Allard was very good. Is the performance of the fitness managers (eg number of injuries) monitored, as there is always a strong (bad luck) factor in injuries?

Alexis Giguere-Durand

Response from Guillaume Lefrancois

The sports science department, headed by Pierre Allard, collected data on players’ energy consumption in particular, which certainly helped to prevent injuries. That said, the true impact of the changes is nearly impossible to measure from the outside, as we’re missing far too much information to get an accurate picture. For stats, the ManGameslostNHL Twitter account aggregates the games each team’s players miss due to injury. A website is linked to this Twitter account and you can consult its data if you have a subscription.

a little last

What’s the best site to find NFL stats and more specifically quarterbacks? For the current year, but especially over several years?

Simon Gonthier

Response from Nicholas Richard

Of course, the NFL site remains the official reference, but I personally love the site. There are plenty of individual and collective stats, current and past players, and the search tools are easy to use. Good research!