Changing On The Fly

Changing On The Fly

Changing On The Fly dives deep into social justice issues in hockey, looking at themes such as colonialism, sexism, and racism on the ice. The podcast aims to bring together interviews with athletes, sports scholars, and hockey commentators whose work aims to create radical social change, both inside and outside the arena.

  • 39 minutes 59 seconds
    Hockey Has a Reckoning Moment

    The hockey world, especially at the NHL level, has been extremely quiet on racial justice issues for too many years - until now. The Black-led uprising for Black Lives Matter following the police murder of George Floyd in May 2020 finally prompted an outpouring of statements from the NHL and several high profile players. We have never seen anything like this in professional hockey before.

    To help us make sense of the moment, we hear from two of the finest journalists reporting on sports and social movements. First, we caught up with Hemal Jhaveri, a columnist for USA Today's For The Win, and a frequent commentator on race issues in hockey. Then we hear from Dave Zirin, sports editor of The Nation magazine and host of the Edge of Sports podcast.

    We asked both our guests what hockey players and the NHL have gotten right, what they haven't gotten wrong, and why we're seeing this unprecedented support for #BlackLivesMatter in hockey now.

    24 June 2020, 5:12 pm
  • 49 minutes 24 seconds
    Matt Hern and the Creative Beauty of Hockey

    Happy new year! This is our first episode of 2020, and it's nice to have you with us for a new decade of hockey and resistance :)

    Our esteemed guest on the show today is Matt Hern. Matt lives in Vancouver, where he’s an activist, scholar, and writer. While he writes on a variety of fascinating topics ranging from free schools to global warming to parenting, he’s one of the most exciting and engaged radical sports philosophers that I know.

    Matt put out a book back in 2013 called “One Game at a Time: Why Sports Matter” that I would highly recommend to everyone who loves this podcast.

    In this interview, we talk about masculinities, risk, and the beautiful creativity of hockey. Enjoy!

    **If you like this podcast, then support us!

    16 January 2020, 5:00 am
  • 32 minutes
    Hockey Has a Racism Problem, Courtney Szto is Trying to Fix It

    We are at a watershed moment in hockey history right now. Many of us know that hockey has had a racism problem for a long time, but now the conversations are coming to the surface in ways that they never have before.

    And Courtney Szto is one of the most important people driving those conversations. She's our guest on this episode of Changing on the Fly, and we got to talk about everything from Hockey Night in Punjabi to the changing face of hockey today.

    Follow Courtney Szto on Twitter

    Like this podcast? Then support us on Patreon!

    16 December 2019, 9:00 am
  • 33 minutes 24 seconds

    It's official. Don Cherry, the long time host of Hockey Night in Canada, has been fired. FINALLY. It comes after his most recent racist tirade (far from his first) on live TV against immigrants in Canada.

    We break down Don Cherry and his penchant for biggotry with Kristi Allain. Kristi teaches in the department of sociology at St-Thomas University in Fredericton, NB, and has penned several articles and studies on Cherry's hate-spewing rhetoric. Find her on Twitter @Kristi_Allain.

    Plus we hear some of the words of sports commentator Shireen Ahmed via a beautiful piece she wrote for the Globe and Mail.

    If you like this podcast, then support us!

    Music on this podcast by Steam, Talib Kweli, A Tribe Called Quest, and Propagandhi. Our theme music is by Tshizimba.

    11 November 2019, 9:27 pm
  • 54 minutes 19 seconds
    Decolonization, Reconciliation & Hockey w/ Chief Wilton Littlechild

    Wilton Littlechild is a Cree chief from Maskwacis, Alberta. He is a lawyer, a former hockey player, a residential school survivor, and more recently he was one of the commissioners of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

    He joins us as a special guest on this episode of Changing On The Fly to talk about his own life story, how we can use hockey to promote nation to nation dialogue and understanding, and how we can move towards decolonizing sport, particularly through the Calls to Action of the commission.

    Later in the show, we also break down the St-Louis Blues' pitiful visit to the White House, and how hockey players are allowing themselves to be foolish pawns in Trump's desperate efforts to normalize his presidency.

    ** Like this podcast? Then support us!

    Music on this episode by: A Tribe Called Red, The Tragically Hip, KRS-One, The Sugarman 3 & Talib Kweli. Our theme music is by the one and only Tshizimba.

    25 October 2019, 5:00 am
  • 37 minutes 8 seconds
    The State of Women's Hockey w/ Erica Ayala

    Welcome back to Season 2 of Changing on the Fly! Our guest on this episode is Erica Ayala. Erica is an NWHL analyst, broadcaster, and an expert on women’s hockey. We talk here about the women’s hockey strike in Sweden, the Dream Gap tour in women’s hockey in North America, and so much more.

    Follow Erica on Twitter @elindsay08

    If you like this podcast, then support us!

    Read Hemal Jhaveri's article about Auston Matthews here.

    30 September 2019, 4:00 am
  • 23 minutes 36 seconds
    Fred Sasakamoose: An Indigenous Hockey Trailblazer

    This is our last episode of Changing On The Fly for season 1! We'll be back with season 2 in the fall.  So as we head out for the summer, we leave you with this very special episode.

    Fred Sasakamoose is a Cree elder from the Ahtahkakoop Cree reservation in central Saskatchewan. He famously became one of the first Indigenous people to ever play in the NHL, putting on a Chicago Blackhawks jersey and playing 11 games for the team in the 1953 season. But the road to there was paved with trauma, tragedy, and resilience. Fred, like so many other Indigenous people of his generation, is a survivor of Canada's Residential School system. He learned to play hockey at St-Michael's Indian Residential School, but also suffered great abuse there. Still, he kept up with his passion, and went on to make it to the highest level for a hockey player.

    Fred was awarded the Order of Canada in Ottawa in May 2018, and I got to sit down with him after the ceremony so that he could share his beautiful story with all of us. And here it is.

    This story was originally produced and aired on NPR's Only A Game in September 2018.

    ** If you like this podcast, then support us on Patreon!

    15 June 2019, 9:00 am
  • 36 minutes 30 seconds
    Pucks, Punks, and Politics w/ Propagandhi

    On today’s episode, we’re finally bringing you part 2 of a 2 part series called Pucks, Punks, and Politics - conversations with punk rockers on hockey, radical politics, and the art of getting loud. Our first part of this series was with Chris 2 from Anti-Flag, and if you missed that you can go back and listen to Episode 10.

    Today’s episode is with Jord Samolesky, the drummer of the seminal Winnipeg punk band Propagandhi. Aside from being a very busy touring musician for the last few decades, Jord is also a dedicated human-rights activist in his home town, and joined me for a discussion to talk about Propagandhi’s latest album, how to stave off impending climate doom, and why he just can’t cheer for the Winnipeg Jets.

    **If you like this podcast, then support us! Visit our Patreon page, and donate even as little as $1/month:

    We also discuss developments in the ongoing saga that is women's professional hockey in North America, including the very powerful #ForTheGame statement of boycott.

    Thanks for listening!

    28 May 2019, 1:36 pm
  • 54 minutes 15 seconds
    From #OneLeague to #NoLeague: The Future of Women's Pro Hockey in Canada

    On episode 11 of Changing On The Fly, we tackle the devastating news that the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) is shutting down its operations after 12 seasons. The announcement from the league came just one week after the Clarkson Cup championship match, and the day before many players from the league were set to fly overseas to Finland for the women's world hockey championships. Bad timing to say the least.

    We break down and analyze what this all means with two of the most passionate voices in women's hockey media. 

    Shireen Ahmed is a writer, public speaker, and co-host of the feminist sports podcast Burn It All Down.

    Erica Ayala is a New York-based child advocate, sportswriter and  analyst covering the National Women’s Hockey League.

    ***If you enjoy this podcast, then support us! Hit us up on our Patreon page for even as little as $1/month! 

    Also, be sure to check out the fantastic episode that The Last Stretch Podcast did also on the closing of the CWHL. Get it here, or through the Upford Network!

    16 April 2019, 2:36 pm
  • 56 minutes 16 seconds
    Drop Pucks, Not Bombs with Anti-Flag

    Chris Barker (aka Chris #2) from the long-standing Pittsburgh punk band Anti-Flag joins us on this episode to talk hockey, punk, and politics! Chris is a busy guy, and is often found playing bass and singing for Anti-Flag, recording album after album, and touring the world playing to hundreds of thousands of fans. But while he's not on stage, he looks for every opportunity he can get to play or watch hockey. Chris came on the podcast to talk about his working-class Steel City, the anti-fascist & anti-war politics of Anti-Flag, and why hockey AND punk rock mean the world to him. He's a Penguins fan, I'm a Habs fan, but we set aside our differences in the name of our mutual love: PUCK ROCK!

    **If you like this podcast, then support us! Visit our Patreon page, and donate even as little as $1/month:

    In the later part of the podcast, we also discuss the first ever NHL broadcast in Cree, the Round Table on Racism in Hockey in Kingston, and the devastating news of the CWHL closing down.

    1 April 2019, 6:59 pm
  • 54 minutes 50 seconds
    Hockey Riot in Canada

    A History of Le Smashy-Smash

    There have been at least 8 recorded hockey riots in Canadian history. While often dismissed as simply drunken hooliganism, these events actually reveal important social & class tensions, and we can learn a lot from them. On today's episode of Changing on the Fly, we walk you through a brief history of hockey riots, starting with the Maurice Richard Riot in Montreal on March 17, 1955, and ending with the most recent, the Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot of June, 2011.

    Our guests on the program today are Dr. Jenny Ellison, Curator of Sports and Leisure with the Canadian Museum of History, and co-editor of the anthology "Hockey: Challenging Canada's National Game", as well as Franklin Lopez, independent journalist and founder of the anarchist video collective Submedia.

    If you like this podcast, then support us! You can chip in as little as $1/month at

    Music on this episode is by Rancid, Delhi Sultanate, The United Steelworkers of Montreal, and our theme music is by Tshizimba!

    18 March 2019, 8:16 pm
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