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Lightning Round: NHL condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, concerned over players well being

Chicago does the expected with their GM search.

NHL: FEB 26 Stadium Series - Lightning at Predators
NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 26: Nashville Predators forward Michael McCarron (47) challenges Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) for the puck behind the goal during the Stadium Series NHL game between the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning, held on February 26, 2022, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NHL has condemned Russia for their invasion of Ukraine, and are suspending business relationships in Russia, effective immediately. This includes Russian social media sites, sponsor partnerships, and considerations for future NHL tournaments.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have a large contingent of Russian players. The NHL is concerned for their well-being as they’ve allegedly been subjected to hate rhetoric. Per the NHL’s statement, “We also remain concerned about the well-being of the players from Russia, who play in the NHL on behalf of their NHL Clubs, and not on behalf of Russia. We understand they and their families are being placed in an extremely difficult position.”

Hockey Agent Dan Milstein, who is Ukrainian-American, raised concerns recently over “real threats” to his Russian clients to the NHL and NHLPA the morning before the announcement.

This comes alongside the IIHF suspending all Russian and Belarusian national and club teams from their events, including removing Russia as the host of the upcoming 2023 Men’s World Juniors. As well, FIFA is suspending all Russian teams from their tournaments until further notice.

There are calls in motorsport for the FIA to bar all Russian drivers, sponsors, and teams, which could have impacts in their top series, Formula One. Nikita Mazepin, who drives for Haas F1, is the son of an oligarch who is paying a significant portion of the team’s budget to drive for the lone American team.

All these calls and actions are being taken in order to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and damage their international stature in the forms of social and economic pressure.

In other news, you might have remembered my Lightning Round relating to Lightning Executive Mathieu Darche getting an interview for the Chicago GM job. In my article I said this:

“My thinking on this exercise is that the baseball guy [Jeff Greenberg] is just to show people Chicago can think outside the box, [Mathieu] Darche might only be there to show Chicago that they know who the best organizations look like, and then they’re going to pick their guy [Kyle Davidson] which was the plan all along. This is how most of these things go, I’ll be surprised if they prove me wrong.”

Guess what Chicago chose as their GM? Kyle Davidson, the the guy they wanted all along. He must be a very impressive guy to go up against at least three championship-winning managers and win. There was a big PR push by Chicago in this process as the team is trying to regain trust from the fans who have lost faith in the organization following the multiple sexual assault scandals, and owner Rocky Wirtz’s tirade last month.

Akil Thomas of the LA Kings designed these Black History Month jerseys for his team with the apparel company he co-founded, Zale Apparel. If you remember years ago when the 22-year-old was in the OHL, we covered him starting his business from scratch with personalized designs on his equipment and an emerging logo.

And finally, it appears Ken Holland and the Edmonton Oilers didn’t bother to tell Brendan Perlini that he was getting put on waivers, so his mom, Vicki, did it for them after learning about the news on the team’s Twitter. (We originally had a screencap of his mom’s words here but she took them down, so we did too.)