Earlier this month, the NHL issued new guidelines related to the colored tape that many players have used on their sticks to raise awareness of certain causes. Pride Tape was perhaps the highest-profile example of this phenomenon, but players and teams have also used tape to raise awareness for cancer and indicate support for the military — and, apparently, all of these gestures are now in violation of league rules.
As Defector’s Ray Ratto succinctly phrased it, “in trying to defend the chimerical value of uniformity the league has created a policy that defends only some forms of uniformity, in this case a blatantly retrograde one.”
Now, we’re about to see what might happen to a player who runs afoul of the league’s revised tape policies. As The Athletic’s Ian Mendes reports, the league is looking into Travis Dermott’s use of Pride Tape on his stick when his Arizona Coyotes played the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, October 21.
Does the league have plans for Dermott? A spokesperson for the NHL told The Athletic, “We will review it in due course.”
Pride Tape co-founder Jeff McLean told The Athletic that Dermott had recently ordered tape from the company, and that the defenseman planned to use it throughout the season. The Athletic also cited several other NHL players — specifically, Scott Laughton and Jon Merrill — who said that they were considering taking similar measures.
How the NHL responds to Dermott’s use of Pride Tape — if they opt to do so at all — could speak volumes about how they plan to enforce this new policy, and what it could mean for players in the months to come.
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