Vegas Golden Knights’ Max Pacioretty (67) and Vancouver Canucks’ Tanner Pearson (70) battle for the puck during second period NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff action in Edmonton on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

NHL to postpone Thursday, Friday games amid protests over racial injustice

Reports say move was led by the Vancouver Canucks

The National Hockey League has suspended all playoff games scheduled for Thursday (Aug. 27) and Friday (Aug. 28).

In a joint statement released Thursday afternoon, the league and the players association said they “recognize that much work remains to be done before we can play an appropriate role in a discussion centered on diversity, inclusion and social justice.”

The move follows the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on Sunday, an incident that kicked off a new surge of Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S. The demonstrations come during a year that has seen ongoing protests since the end of May, after a video went viral of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling for several minutes on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man, who later died. The officer was subsequently charged with murder.

According to reports, the move by the NHL to cancel the games was led by the Vancouver Canucks. Multiple other professional sports leagues postponed games Wednesday (Aug. 26), including the NBA, WNBA, and MLS. Some MLB players also chose not to play.

Vancouver was scheduled to play the Las Vegas Golden Knights, in Game 3 of their best of seven series, on Thursday evening. The statement noted that all four games initially scheduled to be played on Thursday and Friday would be rescheduled to start Saturday (Aug. 29) and the remainder of the second round of playoffs would be adjusted accordingly.

The pause in play comes after the Hockey Diversity Alliance called on the NHL to suspend play tonight “to allow players and fans to reflect on what happened and to send a message that human rights must take priority over sport.”

Calls for the league to suspend play have come from both inside and outside the NHL. Minnesota Wild defenceman Matt Dumba, who was the first NHL player to take a knee before the start of a game earlier this summer, and San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane, one of relatively few Black players in the league, have asked for play to be stopped.

In a tweet posted prior to the cancellation, Kane said it was “incredibly insulting” that the NHL did not follow the lead of other professional sports leagues. In lieu of suspending play, the NHL held a “moment of reflection” before one of its Wednesday games.

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

NHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich School District set to review its boundaries

Goal is to correct imbalances in school populations

New crop of hand-crafted heats popping up across Saanich

Community arts program promotes wellness, sends message of caring from people of all ages

Oak Bay couple honoured for 35 years volunteering

Mayor awards distinguished Oak Leaf to Bert and Doris Dinsmore

Hospital foundation president praises generosity of Peninsula residents

Karen Morgan said support during COVID-19, financial and otherwise, has been touching

South Island Transportation Strategy looks to reduce reliance on personal vehicles

EV charging stations, bike lockers, new park-and-ride stalls among solutions in Capital Region

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read