Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid had some choice words for the NHL over its decision to schedule a game after the emotional memorial service for former teammate Colby Cave.
“Some days are about a little more than just about hockey,” the Oilers captain said after his team's 5-0 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
Several hours before puck drop, the Oilers attended and participated remotely in the service for Cave, whose tragic and sudden death on April 11, 2020 rocked the hockey world. Cave, who was 25 at the time of his death, died after suffering a brain bleed.
“The performance wasn’t there tonight, but today is about Colby, his memorial and his celebration of life,” McDavid said. "You’re asking a lot from guys, to sit through something like that, remember your teammate, see what the whole family is going through, and be expected to perform that night. I’m not sure what the league was really thinking there.”
The criticism is somewhat unexpected from McDavid, who throughout his entire career has usually let his playing do the talking. Not this time.
“It’s a hard day for the Cave family. It’s a hard day for Emily and her family,” McDavid said. “It’s a hard day for the Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins organizations ... you’d like the NHL to maybe think that one through a little bit.”
Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse echoed McDavid's feelings, saying it was an experience unlike he's ever had before.
“Nope, I haven’t been through something like that,” Nurse told reporters. “You watch that ceremony this morning and play at night, nope. I’ve never done that before. It was tough, for sure, but we’ve got to show up a little better.”
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