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Media Meltdowns

Hockey Magazine Denies That It Ever Released A “Diversity Issue” With Zdeno Chara On The Cover

Zdeno Chara on the cover of The Hockey News
Cover image: The Hockey News

Six-foot-nine Zdeno Chara, newly a Washington Capital, is on the cover of the latest issue of The Hockey News. He’d be an anodyne choice had the magazine not originally announced this as its “2021 Diversity Issue.”

This theme choice seemed to reference the issue’s interviews with former player Anson Carter and NHL executive Kim Davis, who are both black, although the Slovak and Tall communities apparently won top billing. The other current NHL players featured in the issue—Steven Stamkos, Morgan Rielly, Dylan Larkin, Travis Konecny and Neal Pionk—are all white.

The Hockey News deleted the announcement tweet after about 45 minutes and released a statement via Notes App, explaining that the new issue is actually themeless and was never meant to be a Diversity Issue at all.

In the statement, the publication blamed the initial tweet on “internal miscommunication,” and there indeed has been some curious internal confusion over the name and contents of the issue if its listing in the Hockey News store is any indication. A cached version of the product page from Feb. 14 shows it was called the “2021 Diversity” issue, and the description of the issue in that version doesn’t mention the interviews with Carter or Davis. In fact, the current URL still ends in “2021-diversity-7402.” This miscommunication would seemingly go beyond one errant tweet.

At some point this morning, the issue was renamed “2021 Zdeno Chara” in the store. The teaser had also been edited to include the sentence, “What Black Life Matters means to the NHL with the NHL’s Kim Davis and NBC Analyst and NHL great Anson Carter.”

The issue is now simply called “2021 Feb/March.”

Much better. Now that that’s dealt with, The Hockey News can focus on spelling Travis Konecny’s name right.