The NHL has postponed all four of its playoff games scheduled for Thursday and Friday in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Wisconsin last weekend.
The players requested the postponements and the league supported the decision, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association said in a joint statement.
The New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers were scheduled to play in Toronto and the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights were slated to square off in Edmonton on Thursday.
A Tampa Bay Lightning-Boston Bruins game in Toronto and a Colorado Avalanche-Dallas Stars contest in Edmonton on Friday also are off the schedule.
The NHL’s decision came after the NBA started a string of postponements with three games called off on Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play Game 5 of their first-round series against the Orlando Magic. Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the WNBA also postponed some games Wednesday, while the NHL went ahead with its three playoff contests.
The NHL’s move to postpone came after a group advocating for diversity in hockey called on the league to suspend Thursday’s games.
San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane said the Hockey Diversity Alliance felt a suspension of play would send “a clear message that human rights take priority over sports.”
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