The Hockey Diversity Alliance has maintained a powerful voice in the NHLs fight against racism throughout the United States of America. The HDA has assisted the National Hockey League in their decisions to postpone matches during the playoffs, requesting their opinions & potential policies to guarantee systemic racism is ended.

Influencing the decisions of NHL corporate isn’t something to be taken lightly, which the Hockey Diversity Alliance understands. The HDA responded to the NHLs request to provide legal assistance, two phone calls were held with representatives from the Toronto & Edmonton Bubble. The HDA and these reps discussed which steps are needed next to stop systemic racism, which the Alliance provided 48 hours to complete their discussions.

Revival behind the NHLs commitment towards African American lives came after Wisconsin Law Enforcement murdered Jacob Black, a protestor standing for the Black Lives Matter Movement. The NHL responded by postponing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for two days. Shortly afterwards, the Hockey Diversity Alliance promised that their implementing grassroots programs for African American players & guarantying that Black Executives will grow throughout the corporate division.

Another influential subject that was discussed between the Hockey Diversity Alliance & Bubble Representatives included an onslaught of malicious emails that’d be sent to the organization, which extends toward tweets on Twitter. How these two parties will stop the attack of racist remarks will be challenging, as disposing hateful supports isn’t possible.

An official press release was issued on August 29th from the HDA, stating three requests for the NHL Corporate Division to follow. Those requests are listed below:

  • Increase the amount of African American Executives in the National Hockey League to 3.5% by the 2024-25 season.
  • Use NHL funding to implement Anti-Racism & Unconscious bias educational programs, making it mandatory for all employed personnel under the NHL to start learning. This must begin before the 2020-21 season.
  • Provide the Hockey Diversity Alliance with hockey development programs that introduce Anti-Racism & Unconscious bias educational programs to minor hockey leagues throughout North America.
  • Support social initiatives that target the abolishment of racism towards African American, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Indigenous Communities.

The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs has seen an NBC Sports Analysts lose his position as a broadcaster. This follows after Mike Milbury issued sexist remarks on August 20th during a Washington Capitals & New York Islanders game. His sentiments applied towards woman, prompting an immediate onslaught of backlash via social media platforms like Twitter & Instagram. After 72 hours of minimal responses from Mike Milbury, he announced that he’d be stepping down from NBC Sports. This Sports Analyst was forced into leaving the role, allowing his former employer to avoid more significant backlash.

The sexist remarks stated by Mike Milbury were issued when discussing competitive advances of the Bio-Secure NHL Bubble with Brian Boucher. It was evident that Boucher was uncomfortable with the statements made by Milbury. The conversation began when Brain Boucher evoked that the Bio-Secure NHL Bubble created a terrific environment for teams, allowing for their cohesive skillsets to flourish without thousands of fans screaming from every director. Mike Milbury’s response wasn’t professional, with the former NBC Sports Analyst stating any woman wouldn’t disrupt the concentration of these men.

Mike Milbury was referencing that woman are nothing more than distractions to professional hockey players, prompting the National Hockey League to condemn the sentiments made by NBCs broadcaster.

Former Controversy with Milbury

The National Hockey League has faced multiple issues with Mike Milbury in 2020. His approach towards broadcasting with NBC Sports has changed since the NHL resumed their seasonal games. Two former instances of unprofessional behaviour from Milbury came during a live broadcast with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and another with the Boston Bruins. Mike Milbury determined that Defenseman Jake Muzzin from the Maple Leafs was faking his injury to prolong the clock, which would later be proven untrue. Muzzin suffered a notable injury.

Mike Milbury’s 2nd instance of unprofessional behaviour in 2020 was targeted towards Tuukka Rask, the Goaltender for the Boston Bruins. Milbury believes that Rask was selfish to leave the Bruins & the NHL Stanley Cups to ensure his families safety. The making of comments about a woman being nothing more than objects was the final nail in Milbury’s coffin.

August 8th marked the date when the Toronto Maple Leafs would lose their placement in playoff contention to the Columbus Blue Jacks. This qualifier series didn’t favour the Toronto Maple Leafs after a prolonged postponement from competing, which came to all NHL teams amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. An influx of criticism has come toward Sheldon Keefe, Toronto’s Head Coach. Those inside the NHL Coaching Community feel this criticism is unwarranted amongst analytic critics. It prompted John Tortorella, the Head Coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, to come towards Keefe’s defence.

John Tortorella held a press conference less than 24-Hours after entering the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He evoked that the discussions being held regarding Sheldon Keefe’s capabilities in coaching are foolish. Negative criticism towards Keefe comes after the Toronto Maple Leafs couldn’t score a single goal in the 5th game of their SCP Qualifier Series. It marks one of the most prominent losses for the Maple Leaf’s since entering new leadership with Sheldon Keefe.

Tortorella’s Official Statement

The Blue Jackets Head Coach evoked that Sheldon Keefe & his coaching staff have done a formidable job with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’d note Sheldon’s terrific job in strategizing the Maple Leaf’s into an impressive team in the National Hockey League. John Tortorella than mentioned that everyone speaking poorly against Sheldon Keefe isn’t aware of what’s genuinely involved about hockey and that analytic critics shouldn’t talk about the NHL when their knowledge is limited. These are some of the strongest sentiments made by Tortorella in recent years.

The fierceness of John’s statements continued, with the Head Coach mentioning his anger & concern towards fellow members in the NHL Coaching Community. John Tortorella finished his remarks by clarifying he’ll support Sheldon Keefe from now on, and all Head Coaches targeted wrongly by unknowledgeable critics. It should be explained that the Blue Jackets Head Coach made these statements directly to the analysts that review his weekly performances. It shows that John Tortorella genuinely finds these remarks towards Sheldon Keefe unneeded, considering it a possible attack against all future coaches. The increase in lack of knowledge with professional hockey will prompt a continued influx of criticism against coaches that are performing diligently in the NHL.

The Edmonton Oilers have lost all hope of winning the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which follows after the Chicago Blackhawks destroyed their dreams on August 7th. Their goals of obtaining the Stanley Cup had barely begun, with the Edmonton Oilers losing in the 4th Game of their Qualifying Series against the Blackhawks. Feelings of shame have become evident amongst Oiler Players, who competed in their Hub City of Edmonton before being forced out of the Playoffs.

Darnell Nurse, a defenceman with the Edmonton Oilers, emphasized that none of them is happy with themselves for not having the skillsets required to win this series. Darnell understands that the loss is significantly disappointing for fans of the Edmonton Oilers, who hadn’t seen their home-based hockey team acquire a Stanley Cup since 1990.

During the global pandemic period, the Edmonton Oilers turning over a three-decade downfall would’ve been desired by fans. These professional hockey players with the Edmonton Oilers will now watch competing teams play on their home turf for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The NHL Corporate Division confirmed that Edmonton would host the Playoffs following COVID-19’s implications onto America.

The Fans React

Supporters behind the Edmonton Oilers expressed their shock & sadness towards their home team losing an opportunity to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Most would remark that after one of their best seasons in three decades, the postponed season prompted by COVID-19 brought a disappointing end to the Oilers 2020 Season.

Fans have also reacted to the inevitable restaurants & bars that’ll be forced to shut their doors after the Edmonton Oilers lost a position in the Stanley Cups. Edmonton civilians won’t likely attend their local bar or restaurant to watch the game, which paves massive implications onto these dining locations prevalent financial burdens. Kelly’s Pub in Edmonton have pre-emptively announced that they’re likely to close from the Oilers losing against the Blackhawks. An estimated two thousand jobs in Downtown Edmonton have now disappeared in a blink of an eye.

Financial Analysts in Edmonton & Alberta have clarified that the $60 Million in economic growth that the Oilers could’ve brought to their city is now lost. It’s now up to Vancouver & Toronto to obtain a position in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with both teams having also not been victorious in decades. Hopeful change is still in the air.

The 2nd Game for the Stanley Cup Qualifiers has prompted the suspension of Drake Caggiula from the Chicago Blackhawks. Caggiula was competing against the Edmonton Oilers when checking into Tyler Ennis, making a direct contract with his skull & dropping the forward. The NHL Department of Player Safety found this checking overly aggressive, enforcing a two-game suspension onto Drake Caggiula. Most NHL analysts believe that Drake Caggiula’s check on Tyler Ennis allowed the Chicago Blackhawks to obtain victory at Six to Four.

Occurring at the Edmonton Rogers Place Arena, this incident unfolded at 7:42 in the evening throughout the 2nd Period. Drake Caggiula took his anger out on Tyler Ennis after the Oilers Forward forced the puck “Out-of-Play” and delayed the game. Caggiula would check his right shoulder into Tyler Ennis’s head, subsequently not receiving a penalty. The lack of enforcement prompted the NHL Department of Player Safety to penalize Drake Caggiula, guarantying on some level that his lesson is learnt.

The Chicago Blackhawks Head Coach, Jeremy Colliton, spoke to TSN Reporters after the game concluded. He’d note to Drake Caggiula didn’t intentionally strike the head of his forward, Tyler Ennis. The Head Coach didn’t want to enforce punishment through league organizations, as inadequate checking is inevitable throughout professional hockey. Jeremy Colliton did suspect that an organization would take action regarding his statements.

This marks the 1st suspension in Drake Caggiula’s career. The actions he took guaranteed a 2nd victory for the Chicago Blackhawks, allowing them one-step closer into the Stanley Cup Tournament. Unconventional strategies are typically evoked by players when this competing for the Stanley Cup, risking game suspensions for the overall team victory. The difference here is that Drake Caggiula has never implemented this strategy throughout his four-year career in the National Hockey League.

The Trade

NHL Analysts were shocked that Drake Caggiula aggressively attacked the Edmonton Oilers, the 1st team that employed his skillsets in the National Hockey League. He’d debut on October 12th, 2016 for the Edmonton Oilers & compete under the first line-up until the 2018 Season. That’s when he’d be traded towards the Chicago Blackhawks following a hand injury. Analysts speculate that Caggiula feels resentment towards his former employers for the unexpected trade.