NHL Players Worked With The Hockey Diversity Alliance To Cancel Games Thursday

On a day where many of the active sports leagues stopped to address yet another Black man shot by police, play in the NHL’s two Canadian bubble cities continued on Wednesday. The decision to play while others stopped to demand societal change through a high-profile wildcat strike angered some hockey fans and, apparently, some NHL players who have reportedly pushed for the league to stop play on Thursday.

According to reports, the NHL postponed games on Thursday night, a day after merely holding a moment of reflection at some of their Wednesday games.

On Thursday afternoon, rumblings started in the afternoon that the league would see games postponed as a result of player action. It soon became clear that at least one team had voted not to play on Thursday, a day after the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks started a player movement to cancel the NBA slate as they ask for more direct action from the league and owners in regard to social justice issues.

Much of that movement appears to be driven by players like Evander Kane and Matt Dumba, the latter of which spoke eloquently about racial injustice while in the bubble with the Minnesota Wild earlier this summer. Neither player are still in the bubble, but are part of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, which apparently pushed for players to understand the significance of the moment and not merely continue play on Thursday after they were invited by players in the bubbles to participate in a conference call.

Kane tweeted about the movement on Thursday, stressing that it’s players, not the league or anyone in charge of organizations, pushing to make this action a reality.

It’s a frustrating turn for many fans and clearly players like Kane, who watched the NHL plow forward with games at a decidedly decisive time for many. It’s not clear how long the discontinuation of play will last in the NHL, but it certainly started later than in other leagues for reasons that will be discussed by many moving forward.