The NHL will "go dark" for the next two evenings as the league's players have staged a walk out protest in solidarity with the NBA and its players decision to do the same yesterday evening.
This is of course in reaction to the NBA's decision to postpone/cancel games yesterday 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. Yesterday the NHL held a "moment of reflection" prior to Game 3 of the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning's series, but to be frank it rang hollow and empty. Today's news though is a historic moment for the sport. And while there's denying the impact of the league's Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA) plea to cancel games, the impetus for tonight's protests was reportedly the leadership of Canada's sole playoff team: The Vancouver Canucks.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that it was the Canucks who were the "driving force" behind today's protest.
Check it out:
Interesting, especially when you consider that the Canucks are, as I said, the lone Canadian team left in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. While there's no NHL team in Milwaukee as there is in the NBA and MLB, you would have thought that an influential American team like the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers or Colorado Avalanche would have provided the biggest push. The Avalanche after all feature HDA member Nazem Kadri in their lineup. In any case, it appears as though the Canucks have taken up the cause for the rest of the league.
Maybe we shouldn't be surprised though, the Canucks have made a bit of a habit of surprising people this offseason. This young, upstart team has dispatched the veteran Minnesota Wild and the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues so far this season and now they're taking a strong stance against racial injustice. Maybe we're seeing the changing of guard from one generation in the NHL to the next right in front of our very eyes?