To be fair, Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid doesn’t get paid $12.5 million a season to spread social and hockey news and solve the world’s problems. He’s the best player in the game right now and his day-to-day focus isn’t on anything other than trying to win the game.
However, shrug Earlier this week, unrestricted free agency wing Evan de Kane’s weakness and made it clear that he welcomes Kane to his team, McDavid appeared to be turning a deaf ear to serious issues that matter to many. , needlessly dismissive.
On the surface, Kane is a good fit for the Oilers. From a strictly on-ice perspective, you can understand why the former San Jose Sharks star thrives next to McDavid and/or Oilers star Leon Dresser. The fact that he might give them the best front line in all of hockey must sound great to McDavid & Co. They’re desperate to win the game, get Edmonton back on track, and get help in that regard, wherever it comes from, could make sense for them.
But we’re not living in a bubble, and we can’t put things aside just because we’re reluctant to talk about them. Kane’s unfavorable past history is a factor, whether McDavid or others like it or not. His rumored ability to cause rifts in a team’s locker room with his egocentric behavior hasn’t gone away. His actions in submitting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card demonstrate his selfishness on a human level. It doesn’t matter whether he has the virus or not; the fallout from his wrongdoing could devastate San Jose’s roster in the coming weeks.
Kane is not a 16-year-old who never interacted with the media and team management before doing what he did. He is 30 years old. He is a mature man and has been for many years. However, he never really had to suffer for his life choices. He just moved on from team to team, doing well from an individual standpoint but never being part of the winning team. also, He is still under investigation by the NHL Another possible violation of the league’s COVID protocol. If Kane has learned his lesson, he must have an odd way of showing it.
That’s what McDavid should consider before speaking out about Kane joining the Oilers. Of course, the Edmonton publicist could have helped McDavid before he made any comments about Kane, guiding him to say something innocuous in front of the microphone and camera. But speaking so bluntly that makes Kane look like he’d be accepted if he signed with Edmonton, McDavey perpetuates a closed-off hockey culture that only cares about what players can do on the NHL’s scoring chart.
But we are no longer a place to celebrate and preserve that culture. The world has changed. We need to make players fully aware that they are operating in a different environment than their predecessors. You can’t just endorse someone’s hockey skills, especially if that means ignoring the damage they’ve done on the ice. We are now working hard to be a voice for the underrepresented.
Stars of any sport no longer have free passes. If you have problems as a citizen, being an elite athlete no longer allows fans, media and teammates to ignore your wrongdoing. And in a hockey-crazy city like Edmonton, Kane’s history can’t be ignored. If he signs with the Oilers, he’ll be the biggest microscope of his NHL career.
McDavid has always had the opportunity to backtrack on his recent comments about Kane, and he should have used his platform to express regret that he wasn’t more nuanced in his wording. If Kane does become an oiler, McDavid’s comments could haunt him again. He didn’t want to be called the best player in the world, and he also endorsed a notoriously negative force trying to lure it into an Edmonton jersey.
McDavid has to show he’s more sensitive than that. That’s real leadership, not scoffing at legitimate questions.