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Duck Tales: The Handshake Links Edition

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Doing double duty!

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Anaheim Ducks at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

First of all, congratulations to the Nashville Predators. I am throwing my support behind you guys. Please beat Sidney and Co - they already have enough hardware! I had a feeling that the Ducks’ Stanley Cup run was going to end here, but I wanted to be wrong, of course. The Ducks remind me of the Vancouver Canucks of the early 2010s, or the current Washington Capitals - lots of talent and firepower, regular season success, but lacking the qualities needed to really go the distance. (But wasn’t that Vancouver-Chicago rivalry fun?)

Anyhow, I’m not really interested in doing a traditional Handshake Line post, mostly because there’s only one Predator I really want to talk about: Mr. Pernell Karl Subban. He’s the Serena Williams of hockey - consistently excellent and consistently disrespected. While there are certainly many fans who appreciate Subban’s personality and talent, he has been subject to absurd amounts of antiblackness (Habs fans in blackface and kinky wigs, being called a ‘clown’ by Mike Milbury, Habs management regarding him as a ‘locker room distraction,’ etc).

Not convinced? Even though 45 is the US president, it’s 2017 and no one is going to explicitly say that they resent that Subban is black, joyful, and successful. But when there are fewer than two dozen black players in the league, and Subban is a harmless guy who is subject to frequent negative attention, one begins to draw conclusions. And what Norris Trophy winner is consistently asked to prove his bonafides? In a league where athletes have faced sexual assault allegations and struggle with substance abuse issues, the NHL has chosen to turn a charming, charismatic guy who donated millions to a children’s hospital into a villain, and it’s a shame. Don’t let them steal your joy, PK! (And beat Sidney Crosby).

Here are the links:

DUCK TALES

  • Puck Daddy’s shady Ducks eulogy. [Puck Daddy]
  • All signs point to a contract extension for Cam Fowler. [NBC Sports]
  • Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen are likely to miss the start of the season for the Ducks. [NHL.com]
  • Should the Toronto Maple Leafs consider a trade for Sami Vatanen? [Tip of the Tower]
  • Bob Murray feels like the Ducks’ championship window is still open. [CBC]

AROUND THE NHL