Over The Edge
UNBCâ€™s Independent Student Newspaper est. 1994
here could be a new semester structure coming to the University of Northern British Columbia... See page 8
Volume 20, Issue 12 overtheedgenewspaper.ca
March 12th, 2014 email@example.com
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Over The Edge is the University of Northern British Columbiaâ€™s independent newspaper. Our office is located on the 2nd floor of the NUSC building in room 6-350.We are an equal opportunity publication which represents students in the UNBC and Prince George community. Our publication supports student writing by welcoming news, arts, sports, culture and opinion articles as well as photography, comics, and creative writing submissions. Every year, we provide employment as editors, designers, and managers to students with a passion for journalism and are always looking for motivated individuals to work and volunteer in our collaborative environment. Over The Edge offers competitive advertising rates for space in our print publication as well as online.
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Fees levied on BC Mining Industry Nicole Halseth News Editor | email@example.com
ew fees are set to be imposed on the mining industry by the BC government. Mines Minister Bill Bennett explained the decision to the BC legislature on 27 February, claiming that responsibility to bear costs for better services should fall to the mining industry. He explained that this move “will give the ministry an opportunity to bring a few more resources in to improve our performance.” The mining industry is slightly less than enthused about these new fees, however. According to the Globe and Mail, the sector has responded by saying the move is “punitive” and “warns it will undermine already-fragile smallscale mining companies.” This move seems somewhat incongruous with Bennett’s previous actions towards the mining sector. From his influence, the BC government
“restored ministry resources for services such as permit approvals” only two years ago. At the time, Bennett explained that government cuts had stifled economic growth in the province by impeding resource sectors like mining, forestry, and oil and gas. The government is now demanding the mining industry pay for those services that were restored two years ago.
placer miners and prospectors – the backbone of the industry.” Fraser also commented further by saying “How much are mining companies going to be hammered by this new stealth tax?”
The BC government defended its decision in a discussion paper released last month, claiming the fees are needed to provide further permit services. In the paper, the government also claimed that the restorations of 2011 were a temporary measure, and current economic conditions necessitate a more long-term solution, which these fees are hoped to provide.
These fees are set to begin implementation in the fall of this year. They could range from only a few thousand dollars for the processing of a work application, to around $300,000 for large mine permits or expansions.
In response, opposition NDP critics claimed the move is “illtimed.” According to mining critic Scott Fraser, “This new tax will be felt more profoundly by the smaller exploration companies,
If fee levels remain at currently proposed levels, ministry officials claim it could bring in almost $5.5-million a year for the province.
President of the Chamber of Mines for eastern BC, Jack Denny, also had something to say on the matter. He claims these fees may actually make job creation more difficult for smaller projects, as they are already struggling with expenses and a lack of capital, and many of those who would be paying these new fees struggled
substantially in 2013. In a statement, Denny said “I find it difficult to believe that there are many outside of government who think the proposed fees are anything but a cash grab.” He elaborated by saying “While there are some big development projects ongoing, the exploration boom is over. If the ministry permitting staff cannot keep up now … the solution should be to simplify the process rather than punitive application of fees.” This move follows the recent and inflammatory decision to reject the New Prosperity coppergold mine proposal. Bennett commented that “he is no longer sure he can meet his job creation targets for mining because of Ottawa’s decision.” It seems the mining industry in BC is heating up. In a resource-based economy like ours, these decisions will impact northern communities and individuals heavily.
KXL: hundreds of youth arrested part of a new movement called Tyson Kelsall Culture Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org XL Dissent, a pledge that over 70,000 people have signed. The pledge indicates a willingness to n 2 March 2014 a large participate in civil disobedience student-driven protest should Obama allow KXL to arrived at the Whitehouse. Over proceed. This act was simply a 1,000 people showed up to protest precursor, but it was an intense the possibility of the Keystone one. Its aim is self-evident: XL (KXL) pipeline. The proposed lobbying Obama to not go allow pipeline is meant to carry tar KXL in the first place. Although sands bitumen from Alberta to completely non-violent, this Nebraska. Barack Obama has protest went a little beyond the neither rejected, nor accepted action taken in previous protests. the proposal this time around, In one action, a group of students although he did reject it once faked an oil spill outside of John previously. Kerry’s house. Kerry has to make the final recommendation to The protest held on the 2nd ended with 400 youth arrested. It is Obama on KXL.
The KXL has brought together a big mélange of people in opposition. Beyond the usual environmental groups, like the Sierra Club and 350.org, but also landowners and farmers along the route who have received little-to-no say on whether construction can begin. Some construction of the pipeline has already started, despite the fact that the project as a whole is yet to be approved. It was Obama himself who told Americans that he would not approve KXL unless it was proven that there was going to be no “significant” changes in carbon emissions. In February, a Nebraskan court
found the current route of KXL to be unconstitutional due to the potential infringement on citizen’s property rights. The tar sands and their byproducts continue to dominate and divide much of North American politics. Yet, as the tar sands attempt to expand their reach, the resistance intensifies. Will Obama side with his earlier comments and the youth who played a large role in electing him, or will he approve Keystone XL only to provoke a hypothetical 70,000 people to block it? Either way, he can only hold his silence for so much longer.
Surprise growth in Canadian economy he Canadian economy increased far more than expected during the last three months of 2013, growing at a 2.9% annual pace. Despite a 0.5% monthly contraction in December 2013, largely due to the devastating ice storm in central Canada, the economy came out much better than forecasts predicted. According to the Bank of Canada, in the fourth and final financial quarter of 2013, Canada’s economy was only supposed to grow at a rate of 2.5%. As such, this marked the best financial quarter Canada has seen in over two years. It even outdoes economic growth in the US, where annualized economic growth was dropped to 2.4% on 28 February from the initially estimated 3.2%. Additionally, this growth exceeds the 2.7% seen in the third quarter last year. According to the Globe and Mail, Statistics Canada claims this increase is due to “oil-andgas and mining production, manufacturing, household consumption and higher business inventories.” The Canadian economy also saw an increase in the public sector, finance and insurance, as well as retail and wholesale
Economists across the country have also cautioned against taking these numbers as a unilateral indicator that Canada’s economy is flourishing, especially when the details of this growth are examined further. Half of the growth can be attributed to the building up of inventories, while households with major debt also contributed significantly to the growth. Scotiabank economists Derek Holt and Dov Zigler said in a research note that “There was little breadth in the sources of growth.” Additionally, chief economist for the Bank of Montreal, Douglas Porter, referred to the GDP report as a “mixed bag.” He used the already less promising GDP record of 2014 as support for this statement. However, Porter also claimed that
the Canadian economy “looks to have had better momentum than widely appreciated,” as early 2013 estimates for the fourth quarter were much lower than the actual growth recorded. As a whole, the 2013 fiscal year saw a gross domestic product expansion of 2% annual rate. This was an increase from the 1.7% rate in 2012. Despite what the economy may be doing on paper, other factors must be considered when examining the overall health of the Canadian economy. For example, longterm unemployment (at an unchanged 7% from last year) and involuntary part-time work levels remain significantly elevated in our labour market since the recession. This has led to increased underemployment.
to 19 per cent of the total unemployed, compared with a share of 11.9 per cent in January, 2008.” The length of time an individual remains unemployed is also increasing. These factors, combined with a large number of other social indicators, show that any reported growth in the Canadian economy must be met with a degree of skepticism.
trade. However, declines were seen in sectors like business investment, construction, and agriculture.
According to the Globe and Mail, “The proportion of people without work for 27 weeks or longer has risen
Nicole Halseth News Editor | email@example.com
Prosperity Mine declined again minister in charge of mining, Tyson Kelsall Culture Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org even took a trip to Ottawa in December to push the issue aseko Minerals Ltd.’s proposed with some of Harper’s cabinet, including Natural Resource New Prosperity Mine, near Williams Lake BC, has been shot Minister Joe Oliver. Bennett and down for a second time by the Harris, like Taseko, claim that Conservative federal government. the employment and financial The first time was in 2010. Many wealth that the mine will bring the community is worth the of the opposed, especially the Tsilhqot'in National Government, risk, or they believe there is no worked tirelessly to expose the real risk at all. In a news release, environmental risks associated Harris stated, “The decision by with the proposal. In the end, the federal government…has Canadian Environmental Minister shattered the hopes and dreams Leona Aglukkaq announced that of thousands of people in the Cariboo-Chilcotin” and “In the the Prosperity proposal “is likely to cause significant adverse days ahead I will reflect on what environmental effects that cannot more I could have done. But the be mitigated.” regret will take its toll for much longer, especially when reflecting Taseko believes their plan is on how this decision will weigh environmentally sound – so so heavily upon our tomorrow, much so that they are going to and for the people and future pursue setting up the mine for generations of the Caribooa third time. Some, including Chilcotin.” Cariboo-Prince George MP, Dick The environmental concerns Harris have come out in support of Taseko, as has BC Liberal Bill were far-reaching. Of course, Bennett. Bennett, who is the BC with any mining project there
is going to be some opposition. But a non-partisan review board found that the damage caused to Fish Lake would be impossible to restore. CBC reported Tsilhqot’in National Government Chair Joe Alphonse saying that Taseko was “a cancer that just won't go away.” Prosperity mine was being proposed in an area of pristine wilderness, so it was doubtlessly controversial from the start. Is this just a Conservative Party of Canada smokescreen to make the British Columbian population feel as if the Conservatives do care about First Nations rights and environmental standards? Is it in hope that British Columbians will then weaken in their staunch opposition in regards to the Northern Gateway pipeline? Prime Minister Harper called the environmental report “very damning” and supported local Aboriginal groups’ unresolved opposition at a talk for Prospectors and Developers Association of
Canada. However, the next day, the Guardian reported documents that revealed that the government sees Aboriginal peoples’ rights as an obstruction to resource development plans, not something that should be enhanced. In any case, Taseko’s battle for Prosperity continues, despite being defeated by a government that has no reputation for protecting nature, nor boosting environmental standards. What will cause the Conservatives to change their minds? Or will Taseko wait until after the 2015 election and hope that Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have a different agenda? After all, Trudeau has already come out in blatant support for Keystone XL and Kinder Morgan’s expansion plan. Or maybe they will wait until after the federal government’s decision on Northern Gateway, and try to sneak in approval when nobody is looking.
#DTES: A 30-year plan of gentrification or goodness? Tyson Kelsall Culture Editor | email@example.com
he city of Vancouver released a 30-year local area plan (LAP) for the Downtown Eastside (DTES). Many are wondering if this is another attempt at serious gentrification. The city’s promise that nobody will be pushed out is being questioned. The plan will go to vote by city council on 12 March 2014. News headlines are claiming this to be a proposed 1-billion dollar fix.
Matthew J. Vandeventer
Already fissures are showing and the 320-page report has hardly been released. Local businesses are already calling the consultation process a failure. CBC reports Strathcona Business Improvement Association spokesperson Joji Kumagai as saying, “Some of the documentation that would help us understand parts of the plan haven't been made available to us, or have been made available very late.” Even if this were a plan of gentrification, one would think at least the businesses would be well informed. Next, Jason Jones of the Vancouver Media Co-op has reported that part of the plan is to freeze the population of low-income people allowed to live within the DTES. Vancouver is already an expensive place to rent; welfare and social assistance rates are low and
unmoving under the BC Liberals. So, although the city is claiming that the 18,500 people currently in the DTES will be unmoved, a far-fetched promise at best, within the 30 years there will also be no newcomers. Additionally, there’s a reason people need to live in the DTES: the rest of ever-growing Vancouver is North America’s most expensive city to live in, and home of the 2nd most expensive real estate of any city next to Hong Kong according to the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. To speak bluntly, Vancouver cannot afford this plan. Brian Jackson, the City of Vancouver’s general manager of planning and development told CBC that, “We need the other levels of government, other non-profits and the faith-based groups and the development community to make this a reality," because they
can only pay for approximately twenty percent of the project. Fifty-percent is projected to come through the provincial and federal governments, but that has not been agreed upon. Will the BC Liberals or Canadian Conservatives support a project with such a proposed focus on social housing? It is not really within Conservative ideology, to say the least. Of course, inherent to worries of a 320-page report are the same as the worries whenever the federal Conservatives pass an omnibus bill. Jones writes, “One way of manipulating a situation is to overwhelm”. A 320-page report is one thing, but considering there is only two weeks to organize against it, if anyone wished to, the small time period exacerbates that. When the Conservatives pass an omnibus bill, it is usually partially due to the notion that
they are stripping environmental regulations and do not want to give time for ENGOs and frontline communities to lobby against it. Why else would such a long report be given so little time to be analyzed? Businesses and grassroots advocacy groups, such as Carnegie Community Action Project, have come out saying there has been a lack of direct discussion. The plan is going to have strong opposition, in fact, it already does. There is reason to be skeptical, as over the years many poor attempts have been made to fix the DTES without working with the appropriate populations. If Vancouver wants to do it right, they should be working alongside community groups, not imposing extended reports on them.
Tyson Kelsall Culture Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
here could be a new semester structure coming to the University of Northern British Columbia. In fact, it would be pretty new and
unique to North America in general. For those that have already heard, it is being referred to as the “3-10-10-3” schedule. This sequence of numbers represents a new style of classes. Currently, classes are most likely to be offered in a 13-week format. However, the proposal is to offer the first
three weeks of the September semester as single intensive courses, followed by the next 10 weeks as slightly condensed courses, where
students take a few classes. The same thing would happen for the first 10 weeks of the second semester, and for the last 3 weeks of the second semester there would be single intensive courses again. In effect, the strategy is to match the intensive courses up with the nicer weather to
infuse more experiential learning into UNBC’s course possibilities. Dr. Mark Dale, UNBC’s acting President and Provost, says that the decision is not final, and that plenty of research is still being done, but he points out that some professors have already put it to the test and it is often summer courses that are offered in this method. Dale says there are some potential benefits and real worries which are being weighed. Included in these
worries is the notion that research is much harder to do in shorter spans. Additionally, scheduling and timetabling will have to be re-arranged. Potential benefits include the fact that 1st year students could have a sort of what Dale calls “UNBC 101,” where there is a chance for strong cohort building and student engagement. He added that how courses are taught will be different, but could be better in some instances. He lays out a potential day plan as morning lectures, and afternoon field work. This will
not be true for all courses, but certainly many could be taught this way. Dale and Troy Hanschen, UNBC’s registrar, also both see the proposal
as a potential way to attract people to UNBC. They both emphasize the importance of maintaining the transferability of these courses. Hanschen points out that the regular three credit class has 39 hours of contact to it,
which would be maintained in the 3 and 10 week courses, only condensed. This could see students come to UNBC to catch up or finish off some credits that they’re missing. Moreover, they want to see an expansion of the places where these courses are offered. Right now, UNBC has a few campuses, but Dale sees the 3 week intensive courses, especially the ones focused in the field, as being taught all over Northern BC.
In any case, Dale wants to see more research to smooth out any potential
“technical difficulties” and would like to see trial run. He remains enthusiastic about the potential, and points out that it was not too long ago that some North American universities broke down yearlong courses to semester long ones, and believes that has been a progressive development.
Secret Revealed Gordon Lucas
Why photography is still an art Laura Mooney Arts Editor | email@example.com
oday when you look at a photograph, there is a great chance that it was either taken on a phone, posted on Instagram, and/or is of food. The once respected art of photography in recent years has been taken over (some would say sullied) by the ease of taking a beautiful picture and posting your “work” for the world to see. Thanks to the advanced technology now offered on the average cell phone, anybody can take a picture and automatically change the filter they use, use auto-touch up, or remove unwanted images all in a matter of seconds, thus creating an impeccable picture that rivals the quality produced by professional photographers. These advances in technology led to a flux in people taking photos, which in turn led to an increase in people calling themselves photographers. Because of this, there has become almost a stigma related to those who are trying to be “photographers,” with the assumption being that now anyone can pick up a camera and call himself or herself a professional. What seems to be forgotten is that amongst the mass of teens and hipster adults now wandering around with vintage Polaroid cameras snapping pictures of everything, there is an actual talent involved with capturing an image, and it is not about relying on the equipment to produce a quality shot. When one examines some of the more famous photos in the world, there is so much going on in them underneath the main image one sees at first glance. The artist must make sure that everything is absolutely perfect before they even think about picking up the camera. The lighting, the subject,
the angle; everything must be precise. Only then can the actual photography session be started. Just as the painter must consider every possible outcome with their painting, the photographer must think of the photo as capturing a living moment, where even the slightest pause can alter that moment creating something completely different from what they intended. Whether that outcome is a positive or negative one may be up to the photographer’s discretion, but the result will always be different. This sense of control over the work of art produced by a photographer is something that has been lost on the generation of people who consider themselves photographers for posting a few ill-filtered pictures online. The patience that comes with achieving the perfect image has been replaced with website upon website of images featuring fancy dinners and selfies. It is because of this that the claim to be a photographer is no longer met with appreciation. Instead it is received with raised eyebrows and the assumption that you simply push a button. The idea that photos could belong in a museum with the finest of paintings is a fading ideal, and is an unfortunate one at that. From the iconic images on Time Magazine to magnificent nature shots by Andy Rouse, photographs can be works of art. As a generation, we seem to be forgetting that the pictures we see on a daily basis should not even be considered in the same category as what photographers do. Let us not forget that photography is still, in fact, an art form, and let us not allow it to be reduced to a medium found only on the Internet via iPhone apps. Although applications such as Instagram have revolutionized the way we capture the world around us, it should not be considered an art form and in no way should it be allowed to diminish how the world views photographers and the art they produce.
City will not reduce arts funding Laura Mooney Arts Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
n an to attempt to save money for the city of Prince George, it was announced on 24 February, 2014 that city funding for local arts and culture organizations was potentially going to be cut by $15,000 over the course of three years. While this may not seem like an obscene amount, to a group that is already struggling to get a decent amount of funding, this meant a huge toll would be taken on each and every arts organization in town. In an interview with the Prince George Citizen, Prince George Symphony Arts general manager Marnie Hamagami said she was completely taken by surprise at
the news, and said the first thing to be cut would be park based events such as “Pops in the Park,” a free outdoors concert featuring music from popular films. Many of these free, family based events would have to be the first to go if the funding was to be cut, since there would be no way to find enough money to put on these events if the support from the city was not available. Hamagami, along with others involved with the city’s arts and culture organizations, had been informed that there would be changes to how they received their social and cultural grants, but nothing was ever mentioned of a complete funding decrease. The city had planned to decrease the amount of money given to
the Prince George Symphony Orchestra and Theatre Northwest from a total 13% of their annual income to only 10%, which in theory would free up $27,000 for other non-profit organizations, according to the Citizen report. Luckily, the city chose not to reduce the money given to the two organizations and even increased the amount given to the third arts and culture organization, the Community Arts Council, from 8% to match the 13% given to the other groups. These percentages were guaranteed to be secure for the next three years. This means that the organizations will be receiving an increase to their funding, with a total of over $43,000 being given to them by 2016.
In some ways, this approval to fund arts organizations is a message that the city of Prince George is shifting its focus, albeit slowly, in the direction of a more pro-art based community for the city. This, along with the recent approval of the community arts center, shows that at least some member of city council still believe that Prince George could handle being a cultural hub for the north, and that it is no longer as niche of a market as it has been in past years. It shows that even though the arts have a certain stigma with much of the city’s patrons, there are still those who are fighting to put more culture in a town where art has not been the main focus ,and that maybe, with the changing times, it should start to be.
Laura Mooney Arts Editor | email@example.com
ith the Oscars over and done with as of 2 March 2014, now is the time when those who have not seen some of the winning pictures rush to the nearest theatre (or pirating websites) to view the so-called best films of the year.
12 Years a Slave The big winner this year, not in terms of number of Oscars won, but definitely the feel good win of the night, was 12 Years a Slave winning best picture. Did the film live up to the award? Or did we have another undeserved film like Crash on our hands. The only way to find out was to sit down and watch the newest induction into Hollywood masterpieces. 12 Years a Slave is by no means a sit down and zone out type of film. Director Steve McQueen’s sensitive interpretation of the true memoirs of Solomon Northrop, a free black man kidnapped and forced into slavery, is a film that will
have you glued to the screen from start to finish. Despite the lengthy 135 minute run time, the film simply flies by. During its release, the film became infamous for showing in harrowing detail the extent of the brutality that was present in the Antebellum south, and had some scenes featuring lashings that were almost unbearable to watch. There was a chance that showing scenes such as this, the film would have come off as just another bloody scene meant for pure shock value, but McQueen presented the material in such a way that it comes off as sad and poignant. The audience was meant to care for the main characters in a short period of time, and McQueen pulls this off flawlessly. Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Solomon Northrop, while having appeared in multiple films before 12 Years a Slave, still remains a fairly unknown actor. However, with his
incredibly real role in the film he has now been launched into stardom, gaining recognition from other actors and critics alike, even managing to nab a best actor nomination. Ejiofor plays Northrop with such accuracy it is as though he was channeling the spirit of Northrop himself. Every idiosyncrasy presented in Northrop’s memoirs is translated impeccably through Ejiofor’s performance, resulting in the role being one of the best parts of the film. However, while the film’s main focus is on Northrop’s life and time spent moving between plantations, with a variety of bosses or “overseers” at the helm, the cast of supporting characters is honestly what makes 12 Years a Slave so fantastic. From Benedict Cumberbatch’s (Sherlock) turn as a compassionate plantation owner, to Brad Pitt as a compassionate farmhand, and Lupita Nyong’o’s award winning performance as a fellow slave, all of these performances add to the film’s atmosphere, but none so much as Michael Fassbender. Playing the ruthless dictator Edwin Epps, Fassbender (Prometheus) creates a film villain so detestable that only meeting Epps in real life could rival it. Admittedly, this reviewer loves Michael Fassbender as an actor and a human being (seriously he is amazing), but after viewing this film it took a few days to view him as anything other than a man with a whip in his hand dealing out lashings. Even on the red carpet at the Oscar’s his face ignited fury in my household. With that said, the fact that this kind of emotion was spawned from a mere acting job, shows that the main thing 12 Years a Slave has going for it is an amazing group of actors that were able to band together to tell an amazing story. Without giving too much away, this film is more than worth the watch and in every way deserved to win the Oscar for Best Picture. The sensitive subject matter is utilized with extreme care and will leave you breathless as the actors perform the story with absolute precision. All in all, the Academy got it right for once.
Robocop: Old vs. New Nahid Taheri Contributor
s we're being introduced to a future where unmanned robots are intelligent enough to be deployed for law enforcement abroad, on the American homeland they're still illegal. The scheming private corporation that builds these robots then creates something that can woo the American citizens as well man plus machine. They call it RoboCop. Largely, the plot of the remake is quite like the earlier film, but the
tweaks to the plot actually make more sense than the original. Also, the gritty, hand-held feel adopted this time round is more in sync with the kind of films we're used to today. What really lets this film down is its screenplay. Predictable to the core, the film pretends to have twists and turns, but they are ones that can be spotted from a mile away. Like the original, it attempts to be a commentary on American capitalism and political hypocrisy as well. For example, it seems quite typical that American-built robots are being used outside the
country for law enforcement, but aren't used on American soil. These attempts come across as too blatant, instead of the pulpy satire that the original managed to pull off. There is also an attempt to highlight how, no matter what, a beating human heart trumps cold machine intelligence. This, however, is so half-baked that it comes across as looking juvenile. We grew up watching a lot of the films and television series that Hollywood studio executives have recently green-lit to remake. We all know, and I think for the most
Arts 13 part have accepted, that studios will continuously remake horror films, but when it comes to cult classics like RoboCop that is when people start questioning things. The old version was mixed action, science fiction, and dark comedy. The film also had so much to say about society that still rings true to this day. This new retelling does a decent job at telling a similar story while bringing it up to date for a modern day audience. The diehard fans of the original will surely find lots to complain about with this film.
Sports NHL Trades
Eliot J. Schechter | Getty Images
Star pieces move as deadline arrives Brady Stark Contributor
he NHL trade deadline came and passed with some very significant players finding new homes to finish off the 2013-14 campaign. Despite the number of trades being fairly low compared to recent years, the quality of players were at a high. The wheeling and dealing actually happened a few days before the deadline with the first significant piece to be moved in the form of all-star goaltender Ryan Miller. Miller, a two-time Olympic athlete and Vezina winner, was traded to the St. Louis Blues along with Steve Ott for Montreal playoff hero goalie Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, William Carrier and a 1st Round pick (Halak was later traded to the Washington Capitals with a third round pick in 2015 for Michael Neuvirth and Radislav Kesla). This trade put every other general manager on notice and started the frenzy that would ensue until the 5 March 2014 12pm deadline. The next giant domino to fall came from the Vancouver Canucks shocking the hockey community by ending the torture of Roberto Luongo by sending him home to Florida for Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias.
Goaltenders continued to be the trading commodity as the Edmonton Oilers decided to trade their resident Ursophobic (fear of bears) goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov, to the Minnesota Wilds and picked up Victor Fasth from the Anaheim Ducks for draft picks. Speaking of goalies who mentally snapped, Tim Thomas has been blazing the comeback trail after leaving the Boston Bruins a year after winning the Stanley Cup, due to personal reasons. The moment that Luongo signed the trade papers to go back to Florida, Thomas picked up the phone and demanded a trade out of Florida knowing full well that he was going to be the back-up if he stayed. Still showing signs of the goalie that won the Vezina and Conn Smythe for playoff MVP in 2011, Thomas wanted the opportunity to play a lot and make a difference to a team that would want him. That team was the Dallas Stars. The Stars are battling a few teams for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference wild card. They already have a goalie in Kari Lehtonen but his inconsistent play was enough to call the Panthers for Thomas. Another team that has question marks in the goal due to injuries
is the Montreal Canadiens, who made a band-aid goalie move by acquiring Devan Dubnyk from the Nashville Predators for a conditional pick depending on what the Canadiens do with Dubnyk for the rest of the season. Goalies being traded left, right and center was not the only story as star forwards were also on the trade menu in the form of the former captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Martin St. Louis was poised to spend the rest of his illustrious career with the bolt on his chest, but that all changed when his own general manager decided to leave him off Team Canada. Even though he ultimately represented Canada because of an injury, the damage was already done. That damage came to a conclusion as he was sent packing to the New York Rangers in exchange for their captain, Ryan Callahan, a 1st round pick in 2015 and a conditional 2nd round pick in 2014. This trade marked the first time in recorded history that two captains were traded for each other. Both teams get star quality forwards, but the winner of this trade will not be determined for at least five years, as draft picks may or may not become NHL stars. Speaking of
NHL stars, the last significant trade of the day might have also determined the most lopsided trade as far as winners and losers of the trade deadline go. The New York Islanders traded disgruntled forward Thomas Vanek to the Montreal Canadiens for Sebastien Collberg, with draft picks switching teams. The Islanders were in need of trading Vanek even though they had just traded for him earlier in the season from Buffalo. The Islanders did not get nearly enough for Vanek, who has 53 points in 60 games this season. Normally, a player such as Vanek would require a significant roster player and a 1st round draft pick in return, but because GM Garth Snow had no choice but to accept any offer that came to him, the Canadiens get a steal and bolster their playoff chances. It is hard for anyone to determine who won or lost in a trade due to draft picks being the mystery variable, but it is clear that teams like the St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, and Florida Panthers made strides toward the playoffs. Another NHL trade deadline is in the books, and now it time for the stretch drive. Buckle up fans; hockey time is just starting to heat up.
15 Sports One giant leap: First openly
gay athlete in major sports Brady Stark Contributor rior to February 2014, no openly gay athlete had played on a major sports team in basketball, hockey, football, or baseball. Jason Collins has finally broken that barrier. The Brooklyn Nets signed the 35 year old center to a 10-day contract in order to fill a need that was vacant due to injuries. The coach of the nets, Jason Kidd, was a former teammate of Collins when they played together in New Jersey. A lot of people may not have heard of Jason Collins before now, and that is because he is a more defensive-minded player. Instead of putting up points that other centers might be used to, Collins’ value is on the defence side of the ball. In the first game that Collins played in his comeback, he did not post a single point, but
in the 11 minutes that he was on the court, the Nets outscored the Los Angeles Lakers by a margin of eight points. The margin is significant due to the final score being 108-102. Since the first signing that was done in February, Collins has signed another 10-day contract to stay with the team and is poised to spend the rest of the season there. This moment in sports is not about the 7-foot-tall center for the Nets but the road that is now open for gay athletes that are in a situation that Collins was in for the majority of his career. There are athletes, major stars, that are too afraid to tell the world who they really are because of fear. Fear that the world will judge them based on their personal preference and not what they do on the court, field, or ice. The
path towards a more tolerant future will not be a smooth one, as there has been a few players in different leagues that have come out and announced that they would not be comfortable with a gay teammate, but there are so many more players that would not care about one’s personal business, just about how hard you try every down, inning, shift, or whistle. Collins’ bravery shines a guiding light for those future players such as NCAA football prospect Michael Sam, who came out last year to his University of Missouri teammates and had a season that would see him become All-American and Southeastern Conference Defensive player of the year. Sam is slated to go between the third and fifth round of the NFL Entry draft this year and be the first openly gay NFL player.
There have been a few teams and players that have stated that they might not want Sam on their team because of who he is or the distraction that might come with drafting such a highprofile player. New York Giants’ general manager, on the other hand, has publically stated that if things line-up, he and his whole organization would be proud to have such a great defensive end on their team. Obviously, sports is a long way from being equal or void of prejudice, but the first stones have been cast. This reporter hopes that one day, this type of article will never have to be written because sexual orientation will no longer be an issue. Until that day comes, we as sports fans can marvel at the stars we love to watch and the brave athletes that are not afraid to show their true colours.
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