The Chargers started the all-black route by playing against the Panthers, creating NHL history

Daniel Walcott (Daniel Walcott) is already very excited to participate in his first NHL game. When he saw how his debut took place, he became even more excited.

On Monday night, the Tampa Bay Chargers started three black forwards in the regular season final against the Florida Panthers, which is rare in NHL history-if not the absolute first. Walcott, Mathieu Joseph and Gemel Smith fought together for the first duel, and they didn’t know they would start the game together until a few minutes before the game started.

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said: “First, for some reason, they all entered the NHL.” “They deserve to be here and work hard. To keep them together, they have a little bit of chemistry. In Moving forward in the league, you hope that this is no longer a story and will become the norm. This is a beautiful story. Those guys are really cool moments.”

Florida won the game 4-0. The teams will meet in the first round of the NHL playoffs starting this weekend.

Watch | Bolt makes history an all-black line to Panthers:

The Tampa Bay Lightning made NHL history by launching three black forwards in the regular season final against the Florida Panthers on Monday night. 0:46

Although hockey and its teams have contributed to increasing the diversity of the sport through various side programs in recent years, about 3% of NHL players are black, some of which are funded by the league.

The Panthers even applauded the starting lineup. Florida State forward Anthony Duclair (Black Du) is black. He said he noticed this in the locker room before the game and was moved.

“It’s nice to see,” Duclair said. “The way the NHL moves forward is really great for those guys. I believe it will be a special night for them.”

It is not clear that these three black forwards have appeared on the ice many times in any professional league, but this has happened-at least in the minor leagues.

Earlier this season, in the United States Hockey League, top members of the Los Angeles Kings in Ontario, California, wore the all-black series of Akil Thomas (Akil Thomas), Quinton Byfield (Quinton Byfield) and Derwent Smith. Pelly (Devante Smith-Pelly). Thomas is one of the top players of the Kings. Byfield ranked second in the 2020 NBA Draft and is the tallest black player selected in NHL history. Smith Paley was the Washington Capitals playoffs when he won the Stanley Cup in 2018. hero.

Thomas told reporters in March that his father, Khalil Thomas, had once participated in a team that was led by five black players (other than the goalkeeper) among the minors.

“Hopefully one of these days, we will see this happen,” Akil Thomas said.

‘A step in the right direction’

Smith is the fifth game of the season, and Joseph will participate in all 56 games in Tampa Bay in 2020-21.

“Great, buddy,” Joseph said. “A step in the right direction. It’s fun to make some progress, and it’s great to see, and I’m so happy to be part of it….Anyone of color in this league wants to show me to our family or others Thank you very much for the hard work of the coaching staff.”

Walcott said he hopes young black kids interested in hockey will find hope in things like this on Monday night. He said he received a message from Cooper on Sunday night that he is likely to make his debut, but did not tell his teammates.

Walcott said: “The emotional whirlwind has come for a long time.” “It’s great to be in the starting lineup…. Coop did something very special here to promote it to young children.”

Watch | CBC Sports’ Rob Pizzo remembers 9 unforgettable black NHL moments:

Willie O’Ree broke the color barrier of the league in 1958, and there have been many first records since then. Rob Pizzo leads you through the 9 trailblazers of “Black History Month”. 1:52

Source link