EDMONTON, ALBERTA – In a joint statement, the NHL and NHL Players Association issued a statement just now saying all of today’s and tomorrow’s playoff games, one of which included the Avalanche, will be postponed. The games, including Game 4 between the Avalanche and Dallas Stars, will happen on Sunday, a source told Colorado Hockey Now.
The league has not yet set a time for Game 4 between the Avs and Stars. It will be held at Rogers Place here in Edmonton.
“After much discussion, NHL Players believe that the best course of action would be to take a step back and not play tonight’s and tomorrow’s games as scheduled,” the statement said. “The NHL supports the Players’ decision and will reschedule those four games beginning Saturday and adjust the remainder of the Second Round schedule accordingly. Black and Brown communities continue to face real, painful experiences. The NHL and NHLPA 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.
We understand that the tragedies involving Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others require us to recognize this moment. We pledge to work to use our sport to influence positive change in society.
The NHLPA and NHL are committed to working to foster more inclusive and welcoming environments within our arenas, offices and beyond.”
The NHL and NHLPA faced a lot of criticism Wednesday, including from some of its own players and broadcasters, over playing games that night – one of which included the Avs.
Avs center Nazem Kadri, one of a handful of players as part of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, indicated there was a little bit of discussion among the players about taking a stand and not playing Wednesday, but didn’t say much more and the game was played. Avs coach Jared Bednar said no players came to him expressing a desire to sit out the game. Had they done that, he said, he would have addressed the matter with the team.
UPDATE: Players from the Avs, Stars, Golden Knights and Canucks stood together this afternoon in a hotel room in Edmonton and pledged solidarity to Black Lives Matter and the Hockey Diversity Alliance. Kadri, who stood in front of the group, along with players such as P.E. Bellemare and Ryan Reaves – two other players of color still in the playoffs – said “in order to make serious change, you have to take action.”