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The Prevalence of Black Players in the NHL


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#1 OFFLINE   Dr Miller

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:23 PM

According to Webster’s dictionary, black, as a race, is defined as “relating to individuals with African ancestry.”   In addition, we must add that these individuals must have two black parents. If one parent is not black, then the politically correct term is “bi-racial.”For example, since I was born in the United States with two black parents, I am classified as an African-American or Afro-American.   In the same sense, an individual with two black parents born in Canada would be called an African-Canadian or Afro-Canadian.   The Afro term is not used as much anymore because Afro was term dealing with the 1970s hairdo called the Afro.


Being an African-American hockey fan is akin to being an African-American Republican.  Basically,there aren’t very many of us, and this bothers me.  Why is this? Well, for starters, hockey is a very expensive sport which is more prevalent in wealthy, Caucasian or white areas. In many African-American communities, there aren’t any hockey rinks within hours.  You cannot expect children to gain interest in a sport without the right resources.   I would argue that there is the same issue with tennis and the same issue with golf.


Due to this dilemma, I am on a quest to expose African-American communities to the NHL. One way to do this is to endorse African-Canadian superstars such as Right Winger, Wayne Simmonds, from the Philadelphia Flyers.  Let’s face it, I am from Pittsburgh, so I have been bred to hate the Philadelphia Flyers. However, I have to get credit where credit is due.   Simmonds deserves credit for yesterdays 6-5 win in regulation over the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Simmonds scored two goals, one assist, and had an epic battle with Tanner Glass (see the fight below)

 

 

 

So how many black players are in the NHL and where are they
originally from?  This is not an easy question, but my answer excludes the following races: Bi-Racial, Jamaican, Nigerian,and Barbadian.


1.  Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia Flyers; born in Canada)

 

2.  Devante Smith-Pelly (Anaheim Ducks; born in Canada)

 

3.  Kenndal McCardle (Winnipeg Jets, born in Canada)

 

4.  Evander Kane (Winnipeg Jets, born in Canada)

 

5.  Trevor Daley (Dallas Stars; born in Canada)

 

6.  Mark Fraser (Toronto Maple Leafs; born in Canada)

 

7.  Derek Joslin (Vancouver Canucks; born in Canada)

 

8.  Ray Emery (Chicago Blackhawks; born in Canada)

 

9.  Ryan Reeves (St. Louis Blues; born in Canada)


So, there it is.  The answer is nine, active black players, none of which are American born.  Most research sites will argue that there are a total of 26 active black players; however, I would argue that we should only counted players that fit the above definition of black, not mixed races.  In most other demographic reports, mixed races are counted separately.  For example, players like: Jerome Ignilia, Greg Mauldin, and Robbie Earl were not counted in my research because they do not fit the definition of “black.”


Here is some more history for you.  Signed in 1958, Willie O’Ree was first black player in the NHL.  The first black player inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame was Grant Fuhr.  Yes, both O’Ree and Fuhr were both Canadian born players too.   Go figure.

 

So my quest continues, not only to make hockey more prevalent in America, but to make hockey more prevalent to African-Americans.


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#2 OFFLINE   JR Ewing

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:36 PM

a] One of the difficult aspects of this is to determine how narrowly we set the definition of who is or is not a black player, no differently than how we try to establish who is a native/Indian player. I understand why you're trying to define the term, though. Regardless, it's a number which is, unfortunately, too low. Thinking of my own team, the Oilers, right off the top of my head, I can remember Fuhr, Anson Carter, Georges Laraque, and Sean Belle (recently in their AHL system). I'm obviously not 100% sure of the parentage of Sean Brown and Joaquin Gage, but applying the standard set in your post, I imagine it would be more accurate to say they're bi-racial.

b] Anything that can be done to grow the sport in every community is great, in my books, and should be undertaken. Hockey's a fabulous sport, and exposing to more people only brings in more fans and (later) players.

c] Decent tilt between Simmonds and Glass!

 

JR

 


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#3 OFFLINE   Dr Miller

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:26 PM

Thanks. My specialty is writing provoking articles. I would love to write for thr NHL.
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#4 OFFLINE   JR Ewing

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:29 PM

My memory these days... Trying to think of players from the Oilers, and completely forgot Theo Peckham.

 

JR


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#5 OFFLINE   Tashimojo

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:32 PM

I didn't realize that all of those guys were born in Canada.
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#6 ONLINE   CoyoteQ

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:35 PM

I didn't realize that all of those guys were born in Canada.

Remember Z4Defence?  She always says "I'm not black...I'm dark Canadian". lol


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#7 ONLINE   Big Chief Tomahawk

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:54 PM

Remember Z4Defence?  She always says "I'm not black...I'm dark Canadian". lol

  :Crylol:  Like Johnny Oduya....


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#8 OFFLINE   Munchausen

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 08:50 PM

Bi-racial isn't a shield that limits the flak that a player would get from racists. Those schmucks follow the 20 generation rule to the hilt. Dr. Miller, there is the stench of racial purity in your post. Darwin already proved we're all of African decent. So as far as I'm concerned the only limiting factors that should be applied to the NHL are ability and dedication. It's a bit pie in the sky but a man's got to dream, don't he?


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#9 OFFLINE   Dr Miller

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:40 PM

I didn't realize that all of those guys were born in Canada.

 

Yeah, there are Afro-Canadians.


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#10 OFFLINE   Dr Miller

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:42 PM

Bi-racial isn't a shield that limits the flak that a player would get from racists. Those schmucks follow the 20 generation rule to the hilt. Dr. Miller, there is the stench of racial purity in your post. Darwin already proved we're all of African decent. So as far as I'm concerned the only limiting factors that should be applied to the NHL are ability and dedication. It's a bit pie in the sky but a man's got to dream, don't he?

 

I agree with you, but I was looking at this from the true prospective of what black means.  Since I am black, I would know.  LOL!  Afro, African, whatever the prefix, it is just another "politically correct" scheme.  Thanks for sharing!


This point has been edited by Dr Miller: 26 February 2013 - 02:49 PM

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#11 OFFLINE   BlackIceProject

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 12:57 PM

For a complete list with photos and stats, check out the Black Hockey Players Wall of Fame.  It shows every black player who has been drafted by or played in the NHL. 


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