According to a report from TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger, the NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA head Don Fehr are set to lead discussions today amongst the players about a potential protest or walkout-type situation like we saw yesterday in the NBA.
Check it out:
Yesterday was a historic day in sports history with the NBA effectively shutting down after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court in a show of protest against the issues of police brutality and racial inequality in the wake of Jacob Blake's shooting in Kenosha, WI. Several other NBA teams followed suit, to the point where the entire league elected to postpone games. Some MLB teams followed the Bucks' lead, but no one in the NHL elected to do... well anything really. The league held an embarrassingly short and hollow "moment of reflection" prior to Game 3 of the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning, but that was as far as the NHL went with regards to action.
It remains to be seen what comes from today's meeting between the NHL and the NHLPA if anything, but it's worth noting that there are two games on the schedule with the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders hitting the ice at 7pm ET and the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights at 9:45pm ET. I'd imagine that the league will issue some kind of statement and re-affirm its commitment to the Hockey Diversity Alliance led by outspoken NHL stars like Evander Kane and Matt Dumba, but other than that I would expect little in terms of action or substance from the NHL.
The fact of the matter is that the NHL is a business. More than that actually, it's an entire industry. I don't know about you, but I don't set my moral compass based on anything that an industry or business states publicly. I'm not looking to the NHL as some beacon of virtue, to stand up for what's right and to make the world a better place. I look to the NHL to provide me with entertainment and to take my money as payment for that entertainment. Nothing more, nothing less.
If you're looking for real action, it has to come from the players. After all, that's exactly how things have played out in the NBA. The NBA didn't decide to postpone games. It was forced to do so by the actions of the players. Maybe I'm wrong here, but I can't ever see the NHL "going dark" and shutting down its operations to raise awareness unless forced to do so by the players themselves.
Oh to be a fly on the wall in today's meeting...