Anti-mask protesters have been... a thing, during the pandemic. Thus far, hockey has been somewhat free from association with it (except some side-eyeing the Lightning celebrations). But on Friday there was news that the Vancouver Canucks’ long time anthem singer, Mark Donnelly, was going to sing O Canada at an anti-mask rally.

COVID-19: Canucks anthem singer Mark Donnelly to perform at anti-masker rally — Vancouver Sun

This particular rally, which includes a march at 1:30 p.m. and an onstage singalong to close the event, is seasonally inspired. An event poster shared on Facebook by organizer Ryan Kulbaba declares: “We oppose government orders and will gather for the holidays!”

British Columbians remain under stay-at-home orders and a mask mandate. Residents have been instructed to avoid social gatherings of all kinds and sizes as health officials work to suppress the second wave of COVID-19.

Kulbaba has been involved in several protests against COVID-19 restrictions. At an anti-mask demonstration in November, Kulbaba urged attendees to shop without masks and film their interactions with store managers.

The Surrey resident was also the lead organizer behind the B.C. Freedom Mega Rally, a two-day event outside the art gallery in October.

Kulbaba’s latest event drew a headliner. Donnelly, likely the city’s most recognizable anthem performer, will be singing ‘O Canada’ at noon and performing again just before 4 p.m., according to the rally’s itinerary.

Donnelly confirmed to Postmedia that he will sing at the controversial event.

Shortly after news broke, the Canucks’ owner sent this:

We wish Mark Donnelly the very best of what he deserves.

In other news, the NHL and NHLPA continue to have discussions about how and when they will play the next season. There wasn’t a whole lot of news, but we have started to hear some details coming out:

Friedman: This has been the most challenging time of Bettman’s career

NHL now targeting mid-January return to the ice

LeBrun: NHL pushes season start to mid-January, intends on playing 56 games

So the details you can find there: there are discussions of a 52 to 56 game season, with games starting January 15th. Training camps would therefore start right after New Years. The idea would be for the season, finishing with the Cup Finals, ending before the Summer Olympics takes up all the time of the NBC broadcasting and coverage.

There was an amazing interview with Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, Semyon Der-Arguchintsev:

The Faceoff: Semyon Der-Arguchintsev interview

There were some interesting bits, but the star of the show was SDA’s brother who interview-bombed him.

Gillian Kemmerer (GK): We’ll go with that. Tell me a little about your family, because I know that you’re not the only hockey player under the same roof.

Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (SDA): Yeah, I have a brother. He used to play in the KHL too, but he’s not playing professionally anymore. I always tried to learn from him. I watched a lot of his games when I was young, and he would tell me what to do and show me things on the ice. It was helpful.

(Voice from the same room): His brother is a legend.

GK: Who was that? Your dad?

SDA: No, it was my brother.

GK: Put him on the phone, please.

Alex Fedoseyev (AF): Hello, my name is Alex. Nice to meet you.

GK: Hi, Alex. Tell me something funny about your little brother.

AF: There are no funny stories about this guy, because he’s not funny. And no jokes about him, nothing. He’s not an interesting guy.

GK: The implication here is that you are much more interesting, obviously.

AF: Oh yes, that’s true. You can write it like that. People in North America and Canada are unlucky because they didn’t see me. Tell all of the presidents, all of the coaches in the NHL, they have to watch my game.

Joe Miller got his first point of his USHL career, a nice set up on a PP goal:

One meme to finish the day.


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