Notes and quotes about hockey folks.
Another sign of how far people of color have come in hockey: Four black players were traded by the close of the National Hockey League’s trade deadline Monday.
The Buffalo Sabres shipped forward Chris Stewart to the Minnesota Wild Monday for a 2017 second-round draft pick.
The trade potentially reunites Duclair, currently playing for the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, with Max Domi, a Coyotes 2013 first-round draft pick who plays for the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights.
Duclair, Domi and Sam Reinhart, a Sabres 2014 first round draft pick, combined on a line for Team Canada that dominated the competition on Canada’s way to a Gold Medal at the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. Don’t be surprised to see The Duke and Domi as high-scoring pups who reinvigorate the Desert Dogs next season.
What do these trades say about minorities in hockey? Growth. It wasn’t so long ago when there weren’t even four black players in the NHL. Today, there are nearly three dozen. Some of them are fixtures on their teams while others are call-ups from the minor leagues. The trades are a testament not only to the quantity of players of color in the league but to their quality and skill level as well.
Congrats to the Philadelphia Flyers and the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation for hosting a fun and successful 2015 Willie O’Ree Skills Weekend last weekend. The event involved kids from the NHL’s “Hockey is for Everyone” programs.
O’Ree, the NHL’s first black player, is a role model for “Hockey is for Everyone” kids and for many of grownups playing on NHL teams.
“He’s my elder,” Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds told reporters. “I treat him with respect and let him know I have a lot of admiration for him. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be playing this game today. I know that.”
And finally, congrats to Cyril Bollers, coach and president of Skillz Hockey, for his work as assistant coach for Team Ontario’s Gold Medal-winning hockey team at the Canada Winter Games, which ended Sunday.
Ontario beat Team Alberta 3-1 Sunday in the championship game played in Prince George, B.C. The Ontario squad finished the Under-16 tournament with a 6-0 record.