The New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers were scheduled to play in Toronto and the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights were scheduled to meet in Edmonton on Thursday.
A Tampa Bay Lightning-Boston Bruins game in Toronto and a Colorado Avalanche-Dallas Stars contest in Edmonton on Friday are also out of the schedule.
The NHL’s decision came after the NBA began a series of postponements with three games canceled on Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play Game 5 of their first-round series against the Orlando Magic. Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and WNBA also postponed some games on Wednesday, while the NHL continued its three playoff games.
The NHL’s decision came after a diversity hockey group called on the league to suspend Thursday’s games.
Here is the full statement:
After much discussion, the NHL players believe the best course of action would be to step back and not play tonight’s and tomorrow’s games as planned. The NHL is supporting the players’ decision and will be rescheduling those four games starting Saturday and adjusting the rest of the second round schedule accordingly.
Black and brown communities continue to face real and painful experiences. The NHL and NHLPA recognize that there is still a long way to go before we can play an appropriate role in a discussion centered on diversity, inclusion and social justice.
We understand that tragedies involving Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others force us to recognize this moment. We are committed to working to use our sport to influence positive change in society.
The NHLPA and the NHL are committed to working to foster more inclusive and welcoming environments in our arenas, offices and beyond.