NHL announces postponement of playoff games Thursday and Friday

Aug 26, 2020; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Colorado Avalanche right wing Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (41) celebrates a goal during the third period against the Dallas Stars in game three of the second round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL and NHL Players’ Association has announced that all playoff games Thursday and Friday will be postponed in support of social justice and anti-racism issues happening in the United States.

“Black and Brown communities continue to face real, painful experiences,” the joint statement reads. “The NHL and NHLPA recognize that much work remains to be done before we can play an appropriate role in a discussion centered on diversity, inclusion and social justice.”

The discussions began early Thursday morning after the Hockey Diversity Alliance, led by current and former black NHL players, suggested the league does not continue the games tonight involving Philadelphia, the New York Islanders, Vegas and Vancouver.

“We understand that the tragedies involving Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others require us to recognize this moment. We pledge to work to use our sport to influence positive change in society.”

The Avalanche, who played Game 3 against the Dallas Stare on Wednesday, were scheduled to continue the series Friday. With games being pushed back two days, Colorado will likely play Game 4 against the Stars on Sunday — when it was originally scheduled to play Game 5.

The NHL and NHLPA will alter the remainder of the second round schedule as needed.

“The NHLPA and NHL are committed to working to foster more inclusive and welcoming environments within our arenas, offices and beyond.”