The Seattle Kraken NHL team have officially pledged to disrupt racism on and off the ice by taking the #GetUncomfortable pledge created by the Black Girl Hockey Club non-profit. The 32nd team in the NHL is the first organization to take the pledge. The team is committed to push back against the deep rooted norms that is hockey culture and create a game that is accessible to everyone.

“The Kraken have a passion for the sport of hockey as does Black Girl Hockey Club and we are aligned with the mission to disrupt racism on and off the ice,” says Leiweke. “We are committed to making our great game accessible to everyone. It will require challenges to the norm and commitment throughout our sport.”

Renee Hess is the founder of the BGHC, who has been working for two years to “prevent exclusion in hockey based on race, gender, sexuality or ability in the face of institutional racism, financial gatekeeping and program access.”

“Like every hockey fan, it’s exciting to see the teamwork and team mentality need to win a Stanley Cup,” says Hess. “It’s one big reason I love this game — players on the same wavelength through all the rounds of the playoffs. What we want to do with the “Get Uncomfortable” campaign is unravel that part of the hockey culture that makes team more important than each individual deserving to be treated with respect and equality.”

Black Girl Hockey Club
Disrupting Racism 'On and Off the Ice'
Get Uncomfortable Campaign Pledge

In their short time, the Black Girl Hockey Club provides education, scholarships, and community spaces that will give Black women access to hockey. Their first scholarship recipient was Canari from Winnipeg to help her continue her passion for hockey!

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been quiet following their promise to increase representation, fight racism, and be a diversity leader in the hockey community. As the home team of one of the most diverse cities in the world, I would’ve thought this would have been a no-brainer.

Also yesterday, the Arizona Coyotes renounced their fourth round pick, Mitchell Miller, after public pressure sparked by media coverage and an open letter from Joni Meyer-Crothers, the mother of Miller’s bullying and abuse victim Isaiah.

The Coyotes have been a PR mess since the beginning of this completely avoidable scandal, initially saying they knew of Miller’s past and trusted that he was on the way to recovery. Then, they tracked back after the letter from Joni Meyer-Crothers was shared, and it came out that they had never reached out or responded to the family of the victim for an accurate description of the story.

Once it became apparent that Miller had further bullied Isaiah for two years after the trial and never apologized for any of his racist attacks, the Coyotes came to realize they could not move forward with their blunder and renounced their rights Miller.

Miller has still refused to apologize.

Shireen Ahmed is a vital voice in the sporting community who gave her thoughts on the Mitchell Miller Debacle. Her perspective on the lack of accountability and lack of foresight that it took for this story to happen in the first place was really enlightening.

Ahmed on Coyotes' decision to cut Miller: There had to be a way to help both young men

Various Hockey Branches

Further updates to the Karjala Cup. Axel Rindell will be the only Leafs prospect on Team Finland following the release of their official roster. COVID-19 is spreading around Europe again and a lot of players and teams have had to decline sending their players to the event.

Update: 4 Maple Leafs prospects are set for the Karjala Cup so far.

In North America, the OHL and AHL are hoping to start in February.

OHL and AHL announce first possible season start dates in February

Micah Blake McCurdy has (at long last) figured out how to isolate scorer bias in shot locations. This means every building in the league have been counting shots and where they’ve come differently from each other, creating biases in the data. The New York Rangers are easily the biggest perpetrators over the past decade plus, but where the Leafs have been is also quite interesting.

Henrik Lundqvist has had the most “help” from the bias in peoples models of expected goals against. The discrepancy has shown Lundqvist of having a harder job than he’s actually had. The NYR scorers gave Lundqvist 149 expected goals of boost (with the rest of the league going the other way by 17 goals for a net of 131.7 since 2007. That’s about 10 goals per season or an overall 2.6% easier workload than we thought.

Frederik Andersen was on the other side of that equation, but to a much diminutive degree. Andersen has saved 26.2 more goals over expected than previously thought thanks to the Leafs scorers tending to place shots further away than they should be (among other things).

TL;DR: I’m ready for robot scorers.

Swedish Leafs prospect Pontus Holmberg can’t stop scoring, he’s up to four goals and seven points in only 12 games. For comparison, he had seven goals and 17 points in 52 games in the same league on the same team (Vaxjo has improved massively around him).

Not so fast, Habs.

Auston Matthews is an investor in Swedish Marsblade roller skates. Matthews put a best guess estimate of US$1-1.5 million into the company.