By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• Seems Henrik Lundqvist took offense to being characterized as silent on the issue of gay rights in Russia. He offered up a pair of tweets on the subject in response to a fan’s criticism this morning. They translate as: “If you had done any kind of research, then you would know where I stand on the issue. To me, all people have equal rights. Similarly, they have the right to choose WHEN, WHERE and HOW to express their opinions.” That’s pretty much what I wrote on the subject yesterday. No one is under any obligation to take a stand on the discriminatory laws enacted ahead of the Sochi Olympics, but the spotlight fell on Lundqvist’s silence because of his previous efforts on behalf of the You Can Play Project. Fair or not, he has to understand that people are going to expect some kind of moral consistency from him. And this is just the beginning, both for him and other NHLers with Olympic aspirations. The heat on this subject is only going to intensify as the Games approach, and the reputation of our sport as a comparably progressive bastion of thought is going to be put to the test. Probably best though not to focus on the silent and instead praise those who speak up.
• Paul Bissonette just offered up a graduate-level course on dealing with an internet troll. This is a whole lot of awesome.
• Following up on yesterday’s story about a trio of University of Nebraska-Omaha hockey players involved in an ugly racial incident: the team announced last night that it booted two of the players from the squad and suspended the third indefinitely pending further investigation. Top marks to UNO officials for addressing this quickly and forcefully.