NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 1, 2020
The league and several teams release statements against racism, Henrik Lundqvist talks about his future, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The league released a statement sharing the sentiment expressed by their teams and players calling for racial justice and speaking out against “racism, hatred, bigotry and violence.”
Statement from the National Hockey League: pic.twitter.com/F0AagVAg4e
— NHL (@NHL) June 1, 2020
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs released a statement on Twitter yesterday speaking out against racism. Leafs star Auston Matthews, whose mother is from Mexico, shared his thoughts on Twitter.
“As a Latino American it is impossible for me to understand and fathom what others endure,” Matthews said. “My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones and who have endured pain and suffering due to hateful racist attitudes and beliefs. The world must unite not divide. We need to stand together in support of justice, love and peace for all. We need change.”
THE SCORE: Tampa Bay Lightning forward Mathieu Joseph hopes the protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis will lead to positive societal changes.
“It is not enough to be non-racist and events unfolding today have proven that. But violent protests are not the answers or a good way to be anti-racist … we need to focus on the solution. On making a change in the way we educate children.”
DKPITTSBURGHSPORTS.COM: Thirteen teams joined the league released statements yesterday addressing the nationwide protests and discussions over racial inequality sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. They include the Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks, Vegas Golden Knights, Washington Capitals, and Seattle’s NHL expansion franchise.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane called upon white athletes last week to take a stand against racial injustice. It looks like his message was heard by the league and individual players, particularly given the protests unfolding across America. Over the weekend, Sharks captain Logan Couture and Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler also spoke out.
I daresay we’ll see more teams and players add their voices to a growing chorus of condemnation against racism, bigotry, and violence in society. Perhaps this also signals a significant step toward addressing those issues within the sport at every level.
NEW YORK POST: Henrik Lundqvist told a Swedish newspaper he believes he can still play a few more years in the NHL. The long-time Rangers starting goalie fell into a third-stringer role this season behind Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev.
Lundqvist, 38, said he understood the situation but intends to fight for his place in the Rangers’ net. He will become an unrestricted free agent next summer and there’s speculation the Rangers could buy out his contract. Lundqvist said he’s not thinking about that, focusing instead on his training.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lundqvist will have an opportunity to win back the starter’s job when his Rangers take part in the 24-team playoff tournament set for this summer. A strong performance should put to rest any talk of a contract buyout, perhaps instead sparking talk of Georgiev hitting the trade block.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Terry Jones examines the economic benefits to the city of Edmonton if it’s selected as a host city for the playoff tournament, particularly in the Ice District section around Rogers Place.
TVA SPORTS: A Pittsburgh Penguins conditional first-round draft pick will be affected by the Penguins’ qualifying-series matchup against the Montreal Canadiens. The Penguins included a conditional first in the package they sent to the Minnesota Wild to acquire winger Jason Zucker in February. The Penguins could decide to hold onto their 2020 pick if they’re eliminated by the Canadiens, as it would be part of the eight placeholder picks in the 2020 draft lottery.