NHL suspends playoff games scheduled for Thursday and Friday

The players from the eight teams agreed to postpone their scheduled matchups until the weekend.

The NHL playoff games scheduled for Thursday and Friday are postponed. The league announced it will move all four second-round games to the weekend, as a protest against racism and police brutality.

This is a player-driven decision in response to the police-involved shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reports that more than 100 NHL players participated in a conference call with San Jose Sharks’ forward Evander Kane and Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild, who are both a part of the Hockey Diversity Alliance.

The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders were scheduled to play Game 3 of their Eastern Conference second-round series. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks says the two teams were planning on taking the ice before the Vancouver Canucks players put the idea forward to postpone the games.

Vancouver was supposed to play Game 3 of its series against the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the late Thursday game. Brooks added that the Canucks played a big part in the players electing not to play.

The NHL received backlash after the NBA, WNBA, MLB, and MLS all decided to postpone games on Wednesday. The Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, and Colorado Avalanche all took the ice for their scheduled matchups.

The league confirmed the postponement, saying the NHL pledges to “work to use our sport to influence positive change in society.”

LeBrun says the league will most likely scheduled three games on each of Saturday and Sunday and then resume normal scheduling for the conclusion of the second round.

Kane praised his fellow players for their decision: