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[Article] Canucks will ‘follow the league rules’ on Pride Tape and specialty jerseys


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Canucks will ‘follow the league rules’ on Pride Tape and specialty jerseys


The NHL has banned teams from using specialty jerseys or alterations to gear like Pride Tape for any on-ice activities, including practices and warm-ups.


Thanks to a ruling by the NHL, the Vancouver Canucks won’t be wearing any specialty jerseys on the ice in the 2023-24 season.


That means no First Nations Celebration jerseyor Diwali jersey. No Chinese New Year jersey, Hockey Fights Cancer jersey, or military appreciation jersey. And, of course, that means no Pride Night jersey.  


The latter become a hot-button issue last season when several players, including the Canucks’ Andrei Kuzmenko, refused to wear a Pride Night jersey for warm-ups with the rest of their team. 


In response to these actions by a small subsection of their players, the NHL chose to do away with all specialty jerseys for warm-ups. In a memo sent to teams last week, the NHL clarified that this means any on-ice activity, including practices, and extends not just to specialty jerseys but any alterations to gear.


That means Pride Tape, the rainbow-coloured hockey tape that many teams have used in warm-ups as part of their Pride Night celebrations. Notably, Pride Tape has never been mandated by any team and plenty of players have opted out of using the tape on their own sticks. Now, however, players are not even allowed to voluntarily use Pride Tape.


Some players have even used Pride Tape during games to show their support for the LGBTQ community, including former Canuck Travis Dermott, who typically uses a few inches of Pride Tape on the handle of all of his sticks.


Several players across the NHL have expressed their disapproval of this blanket policy, including Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid.  

"This organization, with Pride, will always support that."


As for the Canucks, general manager Patrik Allvin said that they’re planning on abiding by the NHL’s ruling.


“Decisions like that, that’s something we follow the NHL, what they recommend,” said Allvin. “I think this organization has done a lot of good things in the community…we will continue to do that. But we definitely follow the league rules and what they’re telling us to do.”


Canucks captain Quinn Hughes expressed his support for Pride Night last season and made it clear that even if they’re barred from showing that support on the ice this season, the team will continue to support Pride Night off the ice.


“I preached it before, last year in this locker room, this organization, with Pride, will always support that,” said Hughes. “It starts at the top of the organization with the Aquilinis on down. Whether we’re wearing the tape or the jerseys, it’s something that we’ll always support. We may not be doing anything on the ice but we’ll still be doing things off the ice to support it.”


Free agent signing Ian Cole is the Canucks’ union representative with the NHLPA and he told Postmedia's Patrick Johnston that the Canucks’ support for Pride Night and other community initiatives was a big reason why he signed in Vancouver.


“I know the reputation that this organization has,” said Cole. “When I came here, it was a really great selling point of this organization — how they approach these things…I think it is very important.”


Cole clearly was not happy about the NHL’s decision to ban specialty jerseys and Pride Tape but said there’s little he or the other players can do.

“I think that the NHL wants zero controversy, which inevitably gave them controversy,” said Cole.


“Unfortunately, they are the iron fist there and what they say goes…They’re the ones that make the rules. Unfortunately, as employees, we don’t get a ton of say in it. But I really respect and like what the Vancouver Canucks have done.”


You Can Play project and Pride tape criticize NHL's policy


The makers of Pride Tape released a statement in response to the ban. 

“The Pride Tape team is extremely disappointed by the NHL's decision to eliminate Pride Tape from any league on-ice activities,” read the statement. “We hope the league — and teams — will again show commitment to this important symbol of combating homophobia.”


The You Can Play project likewise released a statement calling out the NHL for this policy.


“It is now clear that the NHL is stepping back from its long-standing commitment to inclusion, and continuing to unravel all of its one-time industry-leading work on 2SLGBTQ+ belonging," said You Can Play. "We are now at a point where all the progress made, and relationships established within our community, are in jeopardy.”


Daily Faceoff’s Matt Larkin asked NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly why the NHL went as far as barring players from choosing to show support for the LGBTQ community with Pride Tape.


“Game/practice restrictions don’t interfere with players’ ability to support in other settings,” said Daly. “In fact, we encourage them to. [We] just don’t want to put other players in a tough spot simply because they don’t choose to join.”


Daniel Wagner 



Edited by RWJC
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Damn those Diwali jerseys must be worth a fortune now


Swift moves by the  NHL to abandon its corporate social responsibility strategy. Again just following the status quo is what the NHL is good at.

Even something important such as celebrating human equality and diversity, the NHL will crumble over some bad press.



Edited by LucBourdon28
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Lost some respect for this team. I'm willing to bet it's going to be more than boos raining down on Bettman at his next public appearance- it's probably going to be garbage. Appropriate as he is garbage. Is the league going to allow the F-slur to be used on ice because it's going backwards.


Snowflakes always melt before the power of the rainbow. 

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This is ridiculous and also full of hypocrisy.   What a missed opportunity.   Instead of doing away with this, they could instead make it mandatory to support these things, or given each team their chance to make their own choices, and at the very least, had a statement that these things would continue, because of their importance, but in the future anyone who chooses not to participate, don't have too, but no longer will be allowed to post a statement,  on any media platform, and make it clear their support to the LGBTQ community and You can Play, and that any "no comment" would be the response required by any media.  


Personally think anyone who doesn't participate, wouldn't be dressed at all, and that their paycheque's for that game, would be sent to that specific things locally at a grassroots level to whatever that night is dedicated too. 


Make it company policy.   That would have be the correct action.     These guys say "they support them" in their statements, let them show their support with their wallets, it's a win win for everyone.   Show some balls Bettman.  Do the right thing. 


It's totally ok to blasphemy the uniforms with an ugly TD branding, because well that's extra revenue.   Bettman finally got me to a point where I could respect him.   A few years ago saying "over my dead body" when asked about the possibility of selling advertising spaces on uniforms like Europe does.   In response to Adidas branding.    F!cking brutal, point blank lied.   Get covid was tough, but like taxes, these things rarely if ever, get rolled back, and usually grow.  

Like Burke used to do, but has decided not to get into it with bigots anymore, i'd challenge anyone who's a devout Christian, meaning they follow both testaments, to explain how the most inclusive human ever to walk this earth,  Christ, a man that changed the way the world operated, "love thy enemy, like you'd love your family", there is absolutely nothing Christian about this at all.  And it's hypocrisy calling your self Christian, yet not following HIS teachings, not someone else from an old testament book that was talking about how to avoid getting raped by two criminals, locking doors and bribing with goats.    That's a story about being smart, and keeping your family safe ... wow.  


Pretty clear and simple, "Book of John" is considered the simplest and easier of reads, and something even a newbie Christian can digest over a weekend.    The old Testament is full of stories that aside from a history lesson, doesn't really translate well to modern times, other than a lesson.   Don't want liquid gold poured down your throats?  Don't act a certain way.  Other religions have changed their views over time.   The Mormons used to think black people had the "Mark of Cain"  ... they changed that in the 70's because obviously that was a terrible interpretation.  


Not only are some players using this as a platform to spread homophobia and create divisiveness, they are sinning and going against the religion they follow, knowingly or not.  That's how I see it anyways.   Burke is absolutely correct.    We've seen how strict, righteous thinkers in the middle east put folks with a vagina in a a box, and as a second class citizen.  Some won't even let them read it's that bat shit crazy.   Wake the f!ck up people.  1000 years it will take according to "experts" for that region to catch up to the rest of the world as a result.   Little things like making policy firm when it comes to inclusion matters, we no longer live on a planet that can afford not to love "thy enemy".   Vagina's, skin colour, where people put their wieners...it's like kindergarten level in places that we as stockholders in the human race owe them our help, and this sort of thing does make a step in the right direction.   Instead a step backwards. 


Freedom's of course are important.   It's still a workplace, and they have a responsibility to the fanbase, and as a company, to be kind, and not put people in boxes because of their brain chemistry, and DNA.    The thinking, is really no different than judging folks based on the colour of their skin, or physical features.    If this rubbed anyone the wrong way, it's rubbing your own biases.   Know it can be tough changing viewpoints, especially of the parent tapes if the belief systems don't align with inclusiveness.   Personally have seen progress with each generation, still a lot of work to do though.   

Edited by IBatch
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33 minutes ago, IBatch said:

Personally think anyone who doesn't participate, wouldn't be dressed at all, and that their paycheque's for that game, would be sent to that specific things locally at a grassroots level to whatever that night is dedicated too. 


if you think they would take any sort of fine (ie no paycheque) for not showing support, then you've part of the problem.

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8 hours ago, Steamer4GM said:

Let me see if I got this straight


I'm assuming this decision coming from 'the league' starts with the board of governors (the owners) and Weasel Boy Bettman yes?


These cretins sit around all year in their little billionaire's cabal thinking of more and more ways to print money yet, so fucking terrified are they of taking an actual stand on a simple and, frankly, outdated social issue, that they're willing to throw away massive sums of merchandising profits from multiple various theme night jerseys and more?


Simply to appease an incredibly small number of big tough athletes who don't want to feel pressured into conforming with the evil plot of those who seek to be able to love who they choose without fear of discrimination and worse?


I guess I get it. If Putin's thugs are threatening to harm player's families for embracing Western ideals, give a guy a pass and don't let a big issue be made of it. If somebody is diehard homophobic and doesn't wanna partake, fair enough. Give him a pass. If Petey suddenly adopts a fervent anti-war stance in his personal life, don't make him wear the jersey on military appreciation night. Big deal.


But a league wide ban (including practices WTAF) seems like an incredibly over-the-top and short-sighted response to the few bumps these Pride night activities ran into last season.


Disappointing is such an understatement


No wonder Pro Sports and Heavy Metal are two of the last hold outs on homophobia. Tons of lip service (no pun intended) all around the edges but it's still don't ask don't tell at their cores lest one be ostracized from the tribe.


I'm sure I'm wrong, but I don't recall hearing about a single openly gay NHL player in my lifetime (mid 50's) and only one NFL player whose coming out made headlines for weeks or months. That adolescent locker room nonsense really digs in its heels I suppose


So ridiculous




I'm sure I'm missing points outside of my own perspective on this one so apologize for ranting. Just really thought that, as a people, we'd moved much further along on the paths of compassion and courage than what this says to me. 


Makes me feel old and embarrassed to be one of us

I'm sick to death of this loud, vocal minority dictating stuff like this because corporations don't want to deal with the commotion this minority causes when they throw a tantrum........which is all the time.  How long are we going to let this small group dictate our lives?

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9 hours ago, Ribs said:

rainbow tape is so terrifying

What next? NHL Unicorn cull?


They're so disconnected.


I can't believe they don't see how this is a huge step backward in any kind of progress toward inclusiveness. "Some people don't like it so....."



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1 minute ago, -dlc- said:

What next?


NHL Unicorn cull?


I can't believe they don't see how this is a huge step backward in any kind of progress toward inclusiveness. "Some people don't like it so....."

The sad part it's not the fans complaining. It's certain players complaining using religion as an excuse.

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9 minutes ago, Ghostsof1915 said:

The sad part it's not the fans complaining. It's certain players complaining using religion as an excuse.

It is sad....there are places of worship to go to where everything lines up according to religion. Out here in the world it's about all of us and different beliefs. The belief that all people should be able to live their lives free of fear and discrimination is as more important. But sure, some people are uncomfortable so let's make it about them. It gets confusing that some don't follow all the aspects of their religion but pick and choose when it's convenient.

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