NHL Trade chatter on the Boston Bruins and around the NHL continues to percolate.
Before we get into that though, let’s address not only Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov and the ‘religious’ stance he took against Flyers ‘Pride Night’ during pregame warmups Tuesday night, but also the stance his head coach John Tortorella took postgame.
First of all, it’s Provorov’s right here in the United States, unlike in his native Russia, to exercise his right to freedom of speech and what he perceives to be religious beliefs. However, as too many these days seem to be unable to grasp, that doesn’t mean he can say or do whatever he wants without consequences or backlash. He is in a more (but not as much as it should be lately), inclusive culture now, so if he wants to be a bigot and use religion and his position as a pro athlete to defend it, then defend it like a man and face the certain fallout and media/fan scrutiny from his stance that will surely continue.
Now onto Tortorella’s response to Provorov’s stance post-game.
Agree or disagree with him, controversial Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella has always told it sees it and whether on hockey or life matters, never pulled any punches. He can definitely be abrasive but he’s always honest, and straight-forward. For that I respect him. However, Tortorella’s stance in defense of Provorov, rubbed me the wrong way and reeked of hypocrisy.
This was Tortorella in 2016 when former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the National Anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality:
“If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game.”
OK, so then why was Provorov still able to play in the Flyer’s 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks?
Tortorella was asked if he considered benching the defenseman after he protested during warmups and immediately said no, before going on to explain his take on the situation:
“With Provy, he’s being true to himself and his origin,” Tortorella said. “It has to do with his belief and his religion. It’s one thing I respect about Provy: He’s always true to himself, so that’s where we’re at with that.”
Seems a bit hypocritical no?
As ESPN NHL Insider Greg Wyshynski pointed out Tuesday night, citing a story he wrote in 2020 in the COVID bubble, John Tortorella did soften his stance against kneeling and Colin Kaepernick because of all that had come to light on police brutality that summer. Doesn’t that make him look like more of a hypocrite now? How could he be pushing for inclusiveness then but defending someone who’s not supporting it now?
Boston Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm is having a Norris Trophy-worthy season and his teammate, and sometimes blue line partner, Charlie McAvoy continues to be amazed by Lindholm.
As my colleague Joe Haggerty pointed out, Boston Bruins center David Krejci deserved every bit of appreciation he’s received over the last few days surrounding his 1,000th game. Krejci is easily one of the most under-appreciated pro athletes in Boston sports over the last 15 years, and the Bruins don’t win the 2011 Stanley Cup without him.
The Boston Bruins recalled rookie center Joona Koppanen on Tuesday.
National Hockey Now
PHI: Our man in Philly, Sam Carchidi, has more on the fallout from Ivan Provorov‘s stance against Philadelphia Flyers Pride Night.
PGH: Are the Pittsburgh Penguins and Jaromir Jagr working a path for No. 68 to go to the rafters?
NYI: Can the NHL really tell us they’re all in on concussion prevention and safety after New York Islanders forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau was allowed to keep playing on Monday?
WSH: If Washington Capitals winger Anthony Mantha isn’t traded by the March 3 NHL Trade Deadline, this puck scribe will be stunned.
DET: Could the Detroit Red Wings really trade captain and potential UFA Dylan Larkin before the NHL Trade Deadline?
VGK: Should the Vegas Golden Knights try to raid the Vancouver Canucks on the NHL trade market?
SJS: Could San Jose Sharks forward Kevin Lebanc be moved before the NHL Trade Deadline?
Canada Hockey Now
MTL: The rash of injuries hitting the Montreal Canadiens is causing an even bigger youth movement.
More and more, it appears that Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat will be traded, but who are the interested teams?
Sportsnet Insider Elliotte Friedman believes the Boston Bruins are one of the teams looking to acquire Horvat, but general manager Don Sweeney wants to know Horvat will sign an extension. Apologies for not being able to find the video, but I’ve sent out texts and emails trying to confirm this.
A couple of tidbits from the intermission of @sportsnet #Leafs broadcast…Elliotte believes Bo Horvat could go to #NHLBruins "long term"…Also, he believes Pasta's contract will have an AAV of $10.75 million, while Stewart said it would be $11 million.
— Zig Fracassi (@ZigSportsVoice) January 18, 2023