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SJHN Daily: NHL Nixes Themed Jerseys in Warm-Ups, Sharks Release Development Camp Schedule



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

NHL teams will no longer sport specialty jerseys in warmups.

These specialty jerseys, unfortunately, became a recurring headline throughout the past NHL season. San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer, in addition to Ivan Provorov, and Eric and Marc Staal, refused to wear the NHL’s Pride-themed jerseys during their team’s respective Pride Nights.

BREAKING: Reimer Declines To Wear Pride Jersey

This is the first season in which the NHL’s specialty jersey initiative have received public pushback from players.

In addition to Pride celebrations, NHL teams host Military Appreciation and Hockey Fights Cancer-themed events which will also no longer feature players wearing specialty jerseys in warm-ups. Teams will still be allowed to design and auction off specialty jerseys, they just won’t be put on display by its players during warm-ups.

In an interview with Sportsnet following this Board of Governors decision, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman shared his frustration with the media attention these boycotts caused. He said that players or teams refusing to wear these jerseys undermined the cause of the themed nights, and nixing the specialty jerseys all together would help.

“This way, we can keep it focused on the game,” said Bettman. “On these specialty nights, we’re going to be focused on the cause.”

ESPN senior writer Greg Wyshynski, however, brought up this contradiction with the BOG’s decision:


While I agree players refusing to wear themed jerseys does undermine the cause, I feel removing specialty jerseys (such as the Pride-themed ones) further shows hesitance from the NHL to take a stand on social justice issues. And not allowing players to show support for these causes eliminates another avenue for players to take stands on issues they and the NHL see as important.

It feels like the NHL is taking the path of least resistance to avoid controversy. And that’s disappointing.


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