From allegations of abuse against former coaches to hockey players stopping thefts, it’s been a heck of an interesting week around the NHL. I attempt to parse through it all in this Thursday’s edition of Links, News and Notes.
- Since coming forward with allegations of racial harassment against former Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters, Akim Aliu has transformed into a trailblazer trying to make the NHL a more inclusive league. He met with Gary Bettman and Bill Daly earlier this week to discuss the issues ingrained in hockey culture, and based on Aliu’s response, it seems like it went well. The road ahead will be long, but it’s encouraging to see that the NHL, at least in the moment of the media spotlight, seems open to being proactive.
Met with NHL. Hoping for big change. Thanks everyone for the support. #TimeToDream— Akim Aliu (@Dreamer_Aliu78) December 3, 2019
- Part of this proactivity, as mentioned in Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts, could be the NHL finally adopting a “Code of Conduct”. It’s absurd enough that they don’t have a code already, given that they’re the last of the Big Four North American sports leagues to adopt one. The goal will be to take pressure off teams to conduct their own investigations, draw clear ethical lines, and overall make players and staff members more informed of what not to do.
- An update from Monday’s Links, News & Notes: Marc Crawford has been placed on temporary leave following Sean Avery’s allegations of physical abuse against the coach. Former Vancouver Canucks player Harold Druken also came forward with allegations, calling Crawford “the worst human being [he’s] ever met”. Current and former Senators spoke differently about the team’s former associate coach, all expressing positive experiences.
- Robin Lehner had his say on the general topic of coaches being put under scrutiny for their past actions in an interview with The Athletic (paywall). To summarize, Lehner draws from his personal experiences to believe that everyone deserves a second chance, while also defending people of their need to publicly apologize.
- There was also a ‘regular’ coach firing this week, with the New Jersey Devils firing John Hynes after a sluggish start to the season (record of 9-13-4). Hynes was behing the Devils’ bench since 2015, and will be replaced in the interim by Alain Nasreddine.
- The Carolina Hurricanes haven’t had much trouble getting pucks in the net this season, but Jaccob Slavin’s creative way ended up getting called back, as the puck went through the side of the net. Not something you see everyday.
- The Sens broke their losing streak yesterday, but Mark Borowiecki has stolen the spotlight during this road trip, breaking up a theft when the team was in Vancouver. He didn’t spare any details in his full storytelling — he impressively managed to stop the thief with one arm, while preserving his bag of baby supplies in the other. He’s really living up to the BoroCop nickname.