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Duclair Expects NHLPA To Try To Reverse Warm-Up Jersey Ban This Off-Season



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

While the San Jose Sharks designed another specialty jersey as they prepare to celebrate Black History night, they will not be able to wear it on the ice.

Anthony Duclair is one of many players looking to change that after the NHL banned specialty warm-up jerseys this offseason after controversy sparked from players, like the San Jose Sharks’ James Reimer, refusing to wear Pride jerseys last year.

”That was weird,” Duclair said of the league’s decision. “That was a head scratcher.

“I obviously don’t agree with it at all, but obviously, a night like tonight, or any night that we celebrate, should be celebrated properly, and I think having those specialty jerseys for whatever event it is, the boys embrace it.

“It sucks that we can’t wear it, but I’m still going to do my best to get it and donate it somehow, trying to raise funds that way, but I would definitely like to see a little bit of improvement for next season in trying to bring those specialty jerseys back.”

Duclair Finds NHL Specialty Night Bans ‘Puzzling’

The San Jose Sharks winger is just one of many players who seek to make a change on the matter.

When the NHLPA has its annual meeting with the league over the summer, the topic of bringing specialty jerseys back could very well be near the top of the agenda.

“That is a hot topic that they need to bring up, for sure,” Duclair said. “I’m not the only one.

“With breast cancer awareness, Indigenous nights, and you know, we have so many cultures in this league and so many guys who support different initiatives. Everything is personal to them just like myself, Givani [Smith] and Justin [Bailey], this is a personal night for us.

“You want to represent, and at the same time, you want to support other guys that support other initiatives, so we want to come together and be one, and it’s nights like tonight where the jerseys can be beneficial for.”

Preview/Lines #58: Duclair, Bailey & Smith Talk Importance of Representation, Celebrating Black History in Hockey

Other players around the league have already taken action following the rule changes made this summer.

Travis Dermott defied the NHL’s ban of Pride tape and put some on his stick in a game at the beginning of the season.

He ended up not receiving a punishment from the league, instead getting the ban lifted and opening the door for other players to do the same throughout the season.

Hoffman on Why He Used Pride Tape

Despite an initial ban, Marc-Andre Fleury wore a custom goalie mask in honor of the Minnesota Wild’s Indigenous heritage night.

Fleury, whose wife is of Native Canadian background, did not receive a punishment for defying the new rule.

“I think that was awesome,” Duclair said. “Especially him being a future Hall of Famer, I think that goes a long way with going against the league and wearing wearing the helmet.

“Obviously, that was for his wife, too. So, family-related is personal to him, so obviously, he should. And why not?

“We’re trying to grow the game and that’s exactly how you do it. So you’re kind of taking a step backwards if you’re not stepping up in these kinds of situations.”

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