Forward Jaden Lindo keeps adding pages to the script.
Queens University forward Jaden Lindo.
Lindo, a main subject in award-winning filmmaker Damon Kwame Mason’s“Soul on Ice, Past, Present & Future” black hockey history documentary, helped power Canada’s Queens University to the Ontario University Athletics championship Saturday.
Lindo, a 2014 Pittsburgh Penguins sixth round draft pick, scored two goals for the Queens University Gaels in their 4-1 win over the University of Guelph Gryphons.
“Actually, it’s one of the best feelings I’ve had in my whole hockey career,” Lindo, 23, said Monday. “It’s been a long time since I’ve won a championship. The last time was minor hockey. Before I committed to Queens I told my coach I wanted to compete for a championship. And to do it in front of our home fans, it was an unbelievable experience.”
The victory gave the Gaels their first Queen’s Cup title since 1981 and Lindo was named Most Valuable Player of the championship game.
“I didn’t even know they gave out an MVP for the game,” he said. “Our speakers weren’t working too well, I couldn’t hear what they were saying and all the guys were calling my name and I was, like, ‘Oh, okay.’ I just skated up, and it was amazing.”
Forward Jaden Lindo and his Queens University teammates celebrate winning the Ontario University Athletics championship on Saturday (Photo/Courtesy Jaden Lindo).
The Gaels now compete for Canada’s U Sports national championship in a tournament that starts Thursday in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
For the “Soul on Ice” documentary, Mason followed Lindo, then a forward for the Ontario Hockey League’s OwenSound Attack, through the high of awaiting the 2014 National Hockey League Draft and the low of suffering a severe season-ending knee injury that jeopardized his draft prospects.
The 2018-19 Queens University Gaels. The team won the Ontario University Athletics championship Saturday. Forward Jaden Lindo was the game’s MVP.
The dramatic arc in the film ends with the Penguins taking the injured Lindo in the sixth round with the 173rd overall pick in the draft.
But things didn’t work out, and Lindo and the Penguins parted ways. He was traded by Owen Sound to the Sarnia Sting in 2016-17. He scored 35 points (21 goals, 14 assists) in 58 regular season games with the OHL team.
He joined the Queens University team in 2017-18 and scored 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) in 21 regular season games. He had 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) in 12 regular season games but he came up big in the playoffs with 8 points (5 goals, 3 assists). He missed three months of the season recovering from a concussion.
“I was pretty upset when things didn’t happen the way as planned with Pittsburgh,” he said. “I didn’t believe it was all over. Playing in the NHL is my goal and has always been my dream. I’m at Queens right now, it’s a great program and I’m maturing as a young man. I’m happy where I’m at and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
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Mason’s camera followed Lindo, then a forward for the Ontario Hockey League’s OwenSound Attack, through the high of awaiting the 2014 National Hockey League Draft and the low of suffering a severe season-ending knee injury that jeopardized his draft prospects.
Jaden Lindo scored 21 goals for the Sarnia Sting in 2016-17 (Photo/Aaron Bell/OHL Images).
The dramatic arc in the film ends with the Pittsburgh Penguins taking the injured Lindo in the sixth round with the 173rd overall pick in the draft. Happily ever-after, right? Well, not yet.
“It didn’t work out the way I hoped with Pittsburgh, but there are different routes to getting to there (to the NHL),” Lindo told me in a recent telephone conversation from Accra, Ghana, where he and his family were vacationing. “There’s still a lot more for me to achieve and I still have a lot of potential that I still haven’t reached. I’m completely optimistic.”
But things didn’t work out with the Pens. Lindo returned to Owen Sound where the 6-foot-2, 214-pound right wing had 14 goals and 16 assists in the 2015-16 season.
He was traded to the Sarnia Sting for the 2016-17 season and tallied 21 goals and 14 assists in 58 games as a 21-year-old in his final year of OHL eligibility.
Lindo says his script to the NHL isn’t finished. He’s committed to play Canadian college hockey at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario this fall. The team, which posted a 24-14-0 record last season, is stocked with former major junior players.
The Queen's Gaels have a commitment from forward Jaden Lindo from the Sarnia Sting for the 2017-18 season. pic.twitter.com/E7dNEhNyjH
Other former major junior players have taken the Canadian college route and landed in the NHL, most notably San Jose Sharks right wing Joel Ward, who skated for the University of Prince Edward Island after his Owen Sound career ended.
Like Ward, Lindo is a rugged power forward. But Lindo models his game after another Owen Sound alum, Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds. Lindo even lived in the same billet residence that Simmonds did during his major junior days.
His season for Sarnia completed – he had 2 goals and 1 assist in 4 OHL playoff games for the Sting – Lindo played two exhibition games last week for the Jamaican national hockey team effort in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His family is of Jamaican descent.
His play in the exhibition games caught the eye of Bill Riley, a Nova Scotia resident who became the NHL’s third black player when he joined the Washington Capitals in 1976.
“He has all the tools,” Riley told me. “I had a real good chat with him after the game. I said to him, ‘Look, you have everything it takes to be a pro.’ I told him it’s 90 percent mental, 10 percent physical. I said ‘if you’ve got the right mindset, don’t take no for an answer.”
Lindo appreciated the advice from Riley, who served as a Junior A hockey general manager and a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League head coach.
“He’s someone to reach out to and talk about hockey,” Lindo told me. “He knows the game, he’s been a pro, he knows what it takes. If I ever need that support, I have the ability to reach out and talk to him.”
Between the 2014 National Hockey League Draft and the start of the NHL’s free agent signing period, some old faces changed places and the league infused itself with new young blood via the draft.
A lot has transpired from the time NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was robustly booed when he first strode onto the stage at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on June 27 to begin the draft to the last breathless breath of NHL Network, TSN, and NBC Sports Network analysts summing up the hurly-burly of the week’s free agent signing frenzy. Let’s recap:
Hoping for a Rocky Mountain high from a Stanley Cup win, Jarome Iginla signs with Avalanche.
Perhaps the biggest free agent catch was landed by the Colorado Avalanche when it inked Jarome Iginla to a three-year, $16 million deal. The former Calgary Flames icon hopes his third NHL team in three seasons – he played for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2012-13 and Boston Bruins last season – will be a charm and deliver the Stanley Cup championship he longs for before he takes residence among the greats in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Iginla’s relocation from Beantown to the Rockies wasn’t an issue of the Bruins not wanting to keep him or the player tiring of the team. It was a matter of dollars and cents, or the Bruins’ lack of it. Boston simply didn’t have the salary cap space to fit Iginla into its budget.
Boston’s misfortune becomes Colorado’s fortune, even though it’s costing the team one. In Iginla, the Avalanche get an aging-but-still-productive player who can provide hard-nose leadership to a rising young team that seeks to leapfrog the loaded Los Angeles Kings, ChicagoBlackhawks and St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference to get a shot at the Cup. Now 37, Iginla scored 30 goals and 31 assists for the Bruins in 78 games.
“In the NHL it’s hard to pick which team is going to win, but you want to be on a contender and I think at this
Manny Malhotra takes his face-off skills to Montreal.
stage of my career that is very important,” Iginla told Sportnet. “I know Boston, they have a great shot, they’re a great team and they work very hard and they’re committed. Unfortunately, it didn’t end the way we wanted it to this year in Boston, but they’ll be right back there and have a great shot again and I realize that. But it wasn’t really a full option and Colorado, to me, is a young, dynamic team and they’re just getting better.”
The Montreal Canadiens made a lesser but no less important free agent signing that the team is banking will help them get beyond the Conference Final next season. The Habs inked 34-year-old center Manny Malhotra to a one-year, $850,000 contract.
The Indo-Canadian Malhothra is a role player, but a very good one. He’s one of the NHL’s best face-off men and provides locker room leadership to a team that saw its captain, Brian Gionta, move on to the Buffalo Sabres. Malhotra is also one of the league’s best feel-good stories. He suffered a horrific left eye injury when he played for the Vancouver Canucks in 2011 that many thought would be career-ending.
With reduced vision, he made the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers on a tryout and was later promoted to the parent club, the NHL’s Carolinia Hurricanes. He had seven goals and six assists for the ‘Canes in the 2013-14 season.
Brandon Montour, left, jumped from 18th-round USHL pick to 2nd-round NHL pick (Photo/Britta Lewis)
Feel-good stories were also abundant at the draft. Brandon Montour was all smiles when the Anaheim Ducks selected the defenseman from the United States Hockey League’s Waterloo Black Hawks in the second round with the 55th overall pick.
Montour, who’s Canadian First Nation, was beaming because little more than a year ago he selected by Waterloo in the 18th round of the USHL draft, the league’s 276th overall pick. What happened between the USHL and NHL drafts? Montour was awarded both the USHL Player of the Year and Defenseman of the Year in 2014.
He tallied 14 goals and 48 assists in 60 games for the Black Hawks, tops among USHL defensemen and ninth overall in the league in scoring. He was sixth among USHL players with a plus-35 rating.
Montour attended the Ducks’ prospects camp last week, but it will be a while before fans see
Mark Friedman hopes to join Montour in NHL after college (Photo/Britta Lewis)
him performing in Anaheim. He’s committed to play college hockey at the University of Massachusetts. The USHL is the nation’s top junior league and a prime hockey feeder to American colleges and universities.
“Brandon is truly a special player,” Waterloo Head Coach P.K. O’Handley said on the team’s website. “Even more than his tremendous natural abilities and instincts, our coaching staff, Brandon’s teammates, and certainly Black Hawks fans appreciate the tremendous effort that was evident anytime he was on the ice.”
Montour had company from Waterloo at the draft. Teammate Mark Friedman, a defenseman, was chosen by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 3rd round with the 86th overall pick. He scored 10 goals and 30 assists in 51 games last season for the Black Hawks. Friedman has signed a letter of intent to play hockey for Bowling Green State University, the school that produced former Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Dan Bylsma.
Should Friedman reach the NHL after college he’ll be part of a small but growing contingent of Jewish players in the league. CalgaryFlames forward Mike Cammalleri, Phoenix Coyotes forward Jeff Halpern, Nashville Predators forward Eric Nystrom, and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Trevor Smith were among the NHL’s Jewish players last season.
Armada’s Daniel Walcott hopes to make leap from college club hockey to NHL.
The New York Rangers feel they got a diamond in the rough in defenseman Daniel Walcott, a defenseman selected in the fifth round with the 140th overall pick. Like Montour, Walcott, who played last season for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, was an under-the-radar player who took an unusual route to the draft.
Prior to joining Armada, Walcott, a 19-year-old Ile Perrot, Quebec, native, was playing U.S. college hockey – but not NCAA Division I, II or III. He was playing for Lindenwood University near St. Louis, Mo., a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association – club hockey.
Founded in 1991, the ACHA has 431 men’s and women’s teams spanning five competition divisions in 49 states. Teams like Navy, ArizonaState University, New York University, Florida Gulf Coast University, and San Jose State University are ACHA members.
Walcott, played organized travel team hockey in Canada when he was younger but stopped to play football and hockey at school. When his parents divorced, Walcott moved to Chicago where he attended high school for a year before accepting a scholarship at Lindenwood.
“They offered me a spot. I decided to take it because it’s university (hockey) and I always wanted to play there. Unfortunately, it’s not high quality. It’s not NCAA hockey, it was just club hockey,” Walcott told Yahoo Sports’ “Buzzing the Net.” “My assistant coach and (Armada coaches) were in contact, and my name came up. They invited to camp. I decided to come here because I live at home, basically. It was one of the major keys to the decision. Also, I wanted to get seen by scouts and here is a much bigger opportunity for that.”
Indeed. The Rangers looked at Walcott’s single season body of work in the QMJHL and decided he was worth drafting. In 67 games, Walcott scored 10 goals and 29 assists.
“I’m a two-way defenseman,” Walcott told “Buzzing the Net.” “I bring a lot of offense and I can play defense, too, and shutdown top lines. I can be in-your-face and physical. I give my heart out every game – a lot of character.”
Rick Zombo, Lindenwood’s hockey head coach and a former St. Louis Blues defenseman, said all Walcott needed was an opportunity to showcase his ability.
“He put all the work in and he got his opportunity, he was prepared and made the most of it,” Zombo said on the university’s website. “I’m very proud of Daniel and I fully expect him to make the most of his new opportunities.”
Walcott attended the Rangers prospects camp this week with fellow 2014 draftee Keegan Iverson, a forward for the Western Hockey League’s PortlandWinterhawks who was chosen in the 3rd round with the 85th pick by the Blueshirts. Also at camp was Anthony Duclair, a high-scoring forward with the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts. The Rangers chose Duclair in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft with the overall 80th pick. The speedy forward registered 50 goals and 49 assists in 59 games for Quebec in 2013-14.
Rounding out the 2014 draftees are Joshua Ho-Sang, a forward for the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires, who was taken in the first round with the 28th pick by the New York Islanders, and Jaden Lindo, forward for the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack who was taken in the fourth round with the 173rd overall pick by the Penguins.
The 2014 National Hockey League Draft concluded Saturday with alums of the SkillzBlack Aces youth hockey teams doing the squad’s smiling Afro-man logo proud.
Three Skillz veterans were chosen in the draft Saturday, joining Windsor Spitfires forward Joshua
Barrie Colts and Skillz alum Brendan Lemieux.
Ho-Sang, who was taken Friday night in the first round with the 28th overall pick by the New York Islanders. The draft began Saturday morning with the Buffalo Sabres choosing Brendan Lemieux, a Skillz alum who’s a forward for the Ontario HockeyLeague’s Barrie Colts, with the first pick in the second round, the 31st overall pick.
While elated to be selected by Buffalo, Lemiuex, the son of former NHLer Claude Lemieux, was disappointed that he wasn’t chosen in the first round, where some mock drafts projected him. Lemieux tallied 27 goals, 25 assists and a whopping 145 penalty minutes in 65 games for Barrie during the 2013-14 season.
“I expected to be a first round pick and never really looked at the second round,” Lemieux told Yahoo Sports. “But that being said, things have a way of working out.”
The Skillz Black Aces and Black Mafia teams began as Toronto-based summer youth hockey teams coached by Cyril Bollers and comprised of elite, NHL draft-eligible players born between 1995 and 1996 – and almost all of them black. As the program became successful, kids of all colors began filling out the rosters.
A torn ACL didn’t stop Pittsburgh from drafting Skillz alum Jaden Lindo.
Alums include Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defenseman Darnell Nurse, the Edmonton Oilers’ 2013 first-round pick last summer; Kitchener Rangers forward Justin Bailey, a BuffaloSabres second-round pick; forward Stephen Harper of the Erie Otters; and Bellville Bulls defenseman Jordan Subban, the Vancouver Canucks’ fourth-round pick and the younger brother of Montreal Canadiensdefenseman P.K. Subban and Boston Bruins goaltending prospect Malcolm Subban.
Now add Lemieux, Keegan Iverson, and Jaden Lindo to the list. Iverson, a forward for the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks, was scooped up by the New York Rangers in the third round with the 85th overall pick. He registered 22 goals, 20 assists and 85 penalty minutes in 67 games for the Winterhawks. Last week, the Minnesota-born Iverson was among 42 players invited by USA Hockey to attend the U.S.National Junior Evaluation Camp, an audition for a roster spot on Team USA for the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation WorldJunior Championship tournament.
“Pretty exciting stuff,” Amy Iverson, Keegan’s mother, said in an email message Saturday.
Portland and former Black Aces forward Keegan Iverson.
Iverson barely had time to celebrate being drafted. He boarded a plane Sunday for the Big Apple to attend the Rangers prospect camp, which runs June 30 to July 4 at Madison Square Garden Training Center.
“With the way the game is going you’ve heard every GM say we want to get bigger and stronger and faster, and that heavy style; well that’s the type of game (Iverson) plays,” Gordie Clark, the Rangers director of player personnel said on the team’s website. (Portland) had a really good team with five really high-skilled players that got most of the ice time. So I think with more ice time available next year (Iverson’s) numbers will go up.”
Iverson didn’t attend the draft at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, preferring to watch at home in St. Louis Park, Minn., with his family. Lindo wasn’t in Philadelphia, either. The forward for the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack was trying to watch the draft on television at home in Ontario, Canada.
Frustrated with the broadcast’s lag in listing drafted players, Lindo switched on his tablet to get more up-to-date results. That’s how he learned he was chosen by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the sixth round with the 173rd overall pick. Lindo was surprised about being selected because he suffered a torn left ACL that curtailed his 2013-14 season at Owen Sound.
The power forward who lists Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds and Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward as role models, collected 9 goals, 9 assists and 41 penalty minutes in 40 games for the Attack.
“When I saw my name, I just screamed,” Lindo told me. “My mom jumped up and hugged me. I feel amazing, Pittsburgh’s a good organization. I’m going to work harder than before so the (knee) rehab goes well.”
The Penguins foresee Lindo becoming a Simmonds-like NHL power forward.
“Jaden Lindo is big, good along the wall, heavy on pucks, strong, good on the forecheck…great low game,” Randy Sexton, the Penguins co-director of amateur scouting said on the Penguins official website. “He’ll chip in with some offense, very reliable defensively.”
Any comparisons to Ward and Simmonds, who led the Flyers with 29 goals last season, is fine with Lindo.
“I try to model my game to theirs,” he told the Penguins website. “They’re both strong, physical players. I’m a big, strong winger. I like to use my size and strength to my advantage. I’m physical. I like to separate men off the puck and create room for my teammates.”
The National Hockey League’s 2014 midterm draft rankings are out and players of color populate the list from top to bottom. Forward Josh Ho-Sang of the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires placed highest – listed as the 18th best North American skater. Forward Keegan Iverson of the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks ranked 64th among draft-eligible North American players.Forward Jaden Lindo of the OHL’s Owen SoundAttack was graded as the 96th-best North American player. And Cordell James, a forward for the OHL’s Barrie Colts, ranked 126th among North American skaters.
NHL scouts ranked Windsor’s Josh Ho-Sang as the 18th-best North American skater.
Samuel Bennett, a forward for the OHL’s KingstonFrontenacs topped the list of North American skaters, with 26 goals and 66 points so far this season. Kasperi Kapanen, a forward for KalPa of Finland’s SM-liiga, heads the list of draft-eligible European skaters. He has four goals and four assists.
The draft will be conducted June 27-28 at the Wells Fargo Center, home of the PhiladelphiaFlyers. Last year, eight minority players were chosen in the draft. Some hockey experts think this year’s draft could exceed that number.
Some people believe that the offensively-gifted Ho-Sang could be a first or second round pick. He has 19 goals and 32 assists for the Spitfires in 42 games. Craig Button, director of scouting for Canada’s TSN, ranks Ho-Sang 33rd among North Americans and European draft-eligible players.
“I like him as a player,” Chris Edwards, a scout for the NHL’s central scouting bureau told The Windsor Star. “He’s highly-skilled and has a chance to be a good pro.”
Bob Boughner, Ho-Sang’s coach at Windsor, agrees but also noted that the young player still has some work to do.
Owen Sound’s Jaden Lindo ranks 96th among North American players.
“You can’t teach his skill, but he still has to learn to conform a little and make guys around him better,” Boughner told The Star.
Ho-Sang, who’ll turn 18 on Jan. 22, still has some growing up to do. he was scratched for one game this season for what Boughner termed “internal discipline problems.” Ho-Sang told The Star the benching stemmed from being late for a practice.
Portland’s Keegan Iverson occupies the 64th slot among North American skaters. (Brian Heim/Portland Winterhawks).
“I know it could (hurt my draft ranking), but that’s not what bothers me,” he told the newspaper. “It’s the 22 players (teammates) in that room that I let down.”
Barrie Colts’ Cordell James ranks 126th on NHL draft list. Barrie Colts (Terry Wilson Photography)
Button ranks Lindo the 76th best player available. Lindo has nine goals and nine assists in 35 games for the Attack. Iverson, who didn’t make Button’s list, has 10 goals and 11 assists for Portland. James has tallied two goals and three assists in 39 games for the Colts.
Hollywood and the Canadian film industry love turning sports stories into movies – especially fact-based, against all-odds, underdog-to-overachiever athletic tales.
“Remember the Titans” chronicled a Virginia high school football team overcoming racial barriers to become champions. “Pride” captured the story of the U.S.’s first all-black competitive swim team. “CrookedArrows” spun the real-life-inspired tale of a Native American youth lacrosse team. Heck, even Disney couldn’t resist turning the story of the Jamaican Bobsled Olympic team into the comedy “Cool Runnings.”
But when it comes to making feature films or documentaries about the rise of blacks in ice hockey, it seems to be a challenge convincing the entertainment powers that be that it’s a worthwhile venture. That hasn’t stopped Kwame Damon Mason, Joe Doughrity and George Fosty from trying.
For years, the three men have separately been knocking on the doors of film and television industry-types on both sides of the border to get them interested in supporting, funding, and eventually airing their individual hockey film projects.
“It’s a tough sell,” Doughrity told me recently. “When I’ve had meetings at studios about it, they think it’s a great story but hockey is the fourth or fifth sport. It’s not the NFL, the NBA or Major League Baseball.”
Hockey documentary-maker Joe Doughrity.
It’s not like hockey is an unknown quantity to showbiz folks. The sport has starred or played a prominent role in many a film, from the 1970 tear-jerker “Love Story” to Paul Newman’s classic “SlapShot” to director John Singleton’s “Four Brothers.”
Television and film producer Jerry Bruckheimer is a pick up hockey regular in L.A. And Academy Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., has been known to suit up for games. Still, getting a black hockey project green-lighted has been a slow slog.
Doughrity, a Detroit transplant who moved to Los Angeles to pursue a movie industry career, has been searching for backing to finish the documentary he started on the Detroit Rockies, an all-black Midget AA team that shocked the hockey world by winning a Can/Am tournament in Lake Placid in 1995. The young Detroiters outscored their U.S. and Canadian competition 35-8 on the way to capturing the title.
The Rockies’ story is compelling enough that Doughrity is working with Fox Television Studios on a pilot that uses the team as a springboard to explore the passion for the game and the resilience of the people of Detroit. He’s also working towards a feature film about the team.
“It’s been happening for a couple of years now,” Doughrity said of the television pilot. “On the feature film side, a pretty well-known producer named Mike Karz, he’s done a bunch of Adam Sandler films, he’s spearheading the feature film version. I can’t tell you anything definitively about a start date, who might be in it, because it’s all in its infancy.”
Still, the slow pace of the projects hasn’t diminished Doughrity’s excitement or drive to get the Detroit hockey story on the big or small screen.
“I love the story,” he said. “It will help make black kids feel comfortable playing the sport because they get it from both sides: they get it white kids who don’t think we play hockey, they get it from black kids who don’t think we play hockey. I want to make something cool about being black and playing hockey.”
Mason, a Toronto resident, recently launched an online fundraising drive on to support
Kwame Damon Mason interviewed hockey great Herb Carnegie, left, before he passed away in March 2012.
his documentary: “Soul on Ice: Past, Present & Future.” For his project, Mason has interviewed some of the game’s black trailblazers, including the late Quebec Aces legend Herb Carnegie, who was regarded as one of the greatest hockey players never to reach the NHL; current players such as forward Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals; and follows the budding career of JadenLindo, a right wing for the Ontario Hockey League’sOwen Sound Attack. Lindo, 17, will be eligible for the 2014 National Hockey League draft this summer.
Mason hopes to have cameras rolling at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on June 27-28 to chronicle how Lindo fares at the draft. But until then, he’s out to raise $40,000 via the international crowd online fund-raising site Indiegogo to help keep film production going.
Mason has gone all-in on his project. He set aside his job in radio two-and-a-half years ago to devote all his time to conducting interviews, raising money, and trying to persuade entities like the Canadian Broadcasting Company to air the documentary when its hopefully finished by next September.
“I’m just being a starving artist right now and putting everything into the project,” he said. “It’s a perfect time for it, more blacks are coming into the league,” Mason said. “It’s not a new phenomenon with blacks playing in the NHL. But I think there needs to be this attention or understanding about the history of it because, as they say, you can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’re coming from.”
Kwame Mason profiles Owen Sound’s Jaden Lindo in his documentary.
Fosty and his brother, Darril, are equally passionate when it comes to trying to generate studio and investor interest in expanding their documentary which is based on their 2004 ground-breaking book, “Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey Leagues of the Maritimes, 1895-1925.”
The book and documentary trace the roots of modern hockey, from the slap shot to butterfly-style goaltending, to an all-black league comprised largely of runaway U.S. slaves who settled in the Canadian Maritimes.
“It’s not been easy at all,” George Fosty told me. “You walk in with a hockey history, and a black history on top of it, add a Canadian history element to it, that’s three strikes and you’re out of it already. They’re going to say ‘Somebody in Iowa is not going to be interested in this.'”
But he and other filmmakers say that perception is slowly fading as movie and TV executives are taking note that the changing complexion of hockey reflects the changing racial and ethnic demographics of the United States and Canada. in other words, movie-goers and TV audiences are becoming browner.
Fosty says recent conversations that he’s had with Canadian television executives about the possibility of making “Black Ice” a made-for-TV movie make him feel encouraged that the tide may finally be changing for him, Doughrity, Mason and their projects.
“We’re rounding third and heading home,” Fosty said. “These films will be reality, they will be made. Now do you want to work with us or stay on the sidelines? That’s the big question in the meetings we have with industry people today.”