The Montreal Canadiens have not confirmed whether all of the team’s players will wear special jerseys during warm-ups for Pride Night on Thursday against the Washington Capitals.
Head coach Martin St. Louis and players made available to the media after Wednesday’s practice said there had been a meeting on the matter. However, St. Louis declined to go into detail and said he would answer “questions tomorrow (Thursday) when we are ready to answer them.”
St. Louis added that it was a night that the team “takes very seriously.”
Forward Jonathan Drouin said the players would be free to decide to wear it or not. Drouin spoke about cultural differences worldwide, including the situation in Russia, where laws prohibit LGBTQ+ “propaganda.”
The Habs did not make forward Denis Gurianov available to media, despite requests from reporters in attendance to shed light on his situation.
A small group of NHL players have refused to wear Pride jerseys during warm-ups this season, including Ivan Provorov of the Philadelphia Flyers, Andrei Kuzmenko of the Vancouver Canucks, James Reimer of the San Jose Sharks, Eric and Marc Staal of the Florida Panthers and Ilya Lyubushkin of the Buffalo Sabres.
Some teams have changed or cancelled plans for similar nights.
On Tuesday, the Toronto Maple Leafs ultimately decided not to wear their Pride jerseys during warm-ups, opting instead for rainbow tape on sticks and a sticker on helmets. Goalie Ilya Samsonov did not make these additions to his equipment.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on April 5, 2023.