The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames have demonstrated help for Ukraine and its wrestle to repel Russia’s invasion, however how far will Alberta’s NHL golf equipment and their followers go when league star Alex Ovechkin is of their buildings?
The Washington Capitals are in Calgary on Tuesday and Edmonton on Wednesday.
Ovechkin has traditionally been a vocal supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Capitals’ captain’s Instagram account contains a photograph of himself standing beside Putin.
When Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, Ovechkin instructed reporters “please, no extra conflict.”
When requested about his relationship with Putin, Ovechkin stated “he’s my President, however I’m not in politics. I’m an athlete.”
Opinion: Sooner or later, Ovechkin and his hockey-playing countrymen must decide a facet
There are practically 370,000 Albertans of Ukrainian origin, based on a 2016 Statistics Canada census, which is the second-largest inhabitants amongst Canada’s provinces and territories.
The Edmonton Oilers’ help of Ukraine was emphatic Saturday when Oilers’ helmets bore stickers of Ukraine’s flag and a males’s choir sang each the Ukrainian anthem and O Canada earlier than a recreation in opposition to Montreal at Rogers Place.
A Ukrainian people ensemble will carry out at Rogers throughout Wednesday’s recreation in opposition to the Capitals “to share Ukrainian tradition with Oilers followers and assist sing the nationwide anthems,” the Oilers stated.
“The Edmonton Oilers stand in solidarity alongside the folks of Ukraine,” Oilers Leisure Group vice-president Tim Shipton stated Monday in a press release.
“Alberta is residence to greater than 345,000 folks of Ukrainian heritage, and their tradition and traditions are a major a part of the material of our group right here in Oil Nation.
“As we noticed throughout Saturday’s residence recreation, Oilers followers had been very respectful in exhibiting their help for Ukraine.”
Rogers Place’s spectator coverage doesn’t tackle flags or banners particularly, however limits the dimensions of indicators and doesn’t allow “inappropriate language” on indicators.
“For the enjoyment of all friends, indicators should roll up underneath a seat and be displayed solely throughout warm-up or breaks in play,” the coverage states.
What folks put on isn’t restricted both. Followers are allowed to put on costumes, together with masks whereas of their seats, so long as they’re not distracting different followers.
Alberta’s provincial authorities on Friday donated $5-million to the World Ukrainian Congress for non-lethal civilian defensive tools similar to helmets and bulletproof vests, and one other $5-million to the Canada-Ukraine Basis for humanitarian support.
Almost 160,000 folks in Edmonton are of Ukrainian descent whereas simply greater than 90,000 reside in Calgary, based on the 2016 census.
Ukrainian-Canadian opera singer Stephania Romaniuk was scheduled to sing the Ukrainian anthem at Calgary’s Saddledome earlier than Monday evening’s puck drop between the Oilers and Flames.
Ukrainian colors additionally flooded Calgary’s enviornment throughout O Canada earlier than a recreation in opposition to Montreal final week.
No pro-Ukrainian parts are deliberate for the Flames’ residence recreation in opposition to the Capitals on Tuesday, nevertheless.
As for followers sporting Ukrainian jerseys or waving that nation’s flag on the Saddledome, a Flames spokesman referred to the world spectator coverage on what’s allowed into the constructing for video games.
Whereas indicators can’t be “distasteful in nature or content material” and flags can’t impede views of the ice, there are not any particular guidelines in opposition to sporting jerseys or displaying flags.
Proceeds from Calgary’s 50-50 draw Monday go to Ukrainian humanitarian aid.
Cash from Edmonton’s progressive 50-50 draw Monday to Wednesday will go to the Canada-Ukraine Basis.
– With a report from The Related Press