Three Majors and a Minor
Willie O’Ree’s number being retired kicks us off on the first episode of ‘Three Majors and a Minor’. Photo: James McCarthy/Hockey Hall of Fame

When I began writing this I had a working title of 3.1 Thoughts, a play on Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts blog and podcast. Now Elliotte seems like a pretty easy going dude and I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded the play on words, but to save ourselves the hassle I had a quick rewrite. So instead of welcome to 3.1 Thoughts, it’s welcome to Three Majors and a Minor.

Anyway, the way this is going to work is I’m going to give three major thoughts and one minor thought about the world of Hockey. Think of them as penalties. Three five minute majors and one two minute minor. Let’s get started.

Five minute major to the Boston Bruins. 

The Boston Bruins announced on Tuesday that they will retire Willie O’Ree’s number 22 on February 18th as they host the New Jersey Devils. So far so good right!?! WRONG!

My problem with this is simple… WHAT THE HELL TOOK YOU SO LONG! O’Ree broke the color barrier becoming the first-ever black hockey player in 1958 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018. He paved the way for players like the Subban Brothers, Anthony and Chris Stewart, and Nazem Kadri to name but only a few.

There is still a lot more to be done in the hockey world when it comes to minorities. This was obvious when I visited the Honda Center and Staples Center in January 2020. California is highly populated with minorities yet looking around I failed to see one (excluding my wife and kid). That’s why it’s even more important to celebrate players like O’Ree who paved the way despite the abuse he received.

Five minute major to Toronto Maple Leafs.

Emma touched on this during her recent Off the Ice piece. What are the Maple Leafs thinking putting Joe Thornton with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner!?! Considering the young talent available the fact they think this is going to work is baffling!

Now don’t get me wrong ‘Jumbo’ Joe is a future Hall of Famer and he has shown in the past to have a team-first attitude. But it’s the past! There’s a reason nobody with a chance of making the playoffs wanted him at the trade deadline last year. 

His best years are not just behind him but fading fast in the rearview mirror. Whatever the Maple Leafs are hoping for from this experiment let’s hope they realize it won’t work before opening night. For Scott’s sake at the very least!

Five minute major to the Dallas Stars

The season has not even started yet and you’re causing problems. C’mon Dallas! Be-fucking-have!

If you haven’t heard, the NHL had 27 positive COVID cases of which 17 came from the Dallas Stars. This means last year’s Stanley Cup finalists won’t start their season until January 19th at the earliest. Games against the Florida Panthers on Thursday and Friday along with Sunday’s repeat of 2020’s Stanley Cup Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning have all been postponed.

Copyright of the National Hockey League

They returned to practice on Tuesday behind closed doors but there has been no word on when these games will be rescheduled. The league left a period at the end of a shortened season for such instances and it looks as if they are having to use it earlier than expected. Thanks, Dallas!

Minor Penalty to Evander Kane

Evander Kane filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday and cited in the documents that he may not play this season due to health reasons. Let me prefix this by saying I hope Evander gets the help he needs. He is one of those players you love having on your team but hate playing against. 

However, I hope the San Jose Sharks are aware of the possibility he won’t play this season. If not, finding out two days before your opening game is not considered ideal. Either way here’s hoping Kane can get through this and come out better on the other side.