UPDATE 2:54 p.m.: The postponements could extend to Friday, according to reporter Eric Engels. He is hearing Friday’s Bruins-Lightning and Stars-Avalanche contests are expected to be postponed.
The NHL has postponed the two Stanley Cup playoff games scheduled for Thursday evening follow the players’ decision to refuse to play, according to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan. The decision comes a day after NBA, WNBA, MLB, and MLS players forced their respective leagues to halt a significant number of games in the aftermath of Jacob Blake’s shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
It’s been an unprecedented 24 hours in professional sports. It began with the Milwaukee Bucks refusing to play against the Orlando Magic, and that set the dominos in motion. The other two NBA playoff games were subsequently postponed. That was followed by the Milwaukee Brewers electing not to play Wednesday evening against the Cincinnati Reds, in solidarity with the Bucks. The Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Dodgers came to similar decisions and their games against the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants, respectively were postponed.
Additionally, the WNBA players elected not to play after initially planning on in-game moment. The evening wrapped with MLS players forcing their league to postpone five of six games and tennis star Naomi Osaka refusing to play in her Western & Southern Open semifinals matchup.
The NHL played through Wednesday evening, and received significant criticism for the decision. San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane criticized that decision, and announced Thursday afternoon that the Hockey Diversity Alliance was requesting the league suspend Thursday’s playoff schedule.
Important to note that it was players in the bubble reaching out to Kane and Dumba to come on their call. Today has all the feeling of a players-led initiative. https://t.co/bagLL7UZhB— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) August 27, 2020
The planned schedule was for Game 3 of two different series. The Philadelphia Flyers were scheduled to face the New York Islanders in Toronto and the Vegas Golden Knights were set to face the Vancouver Canucks in Edmonton.