Jet Magazine is usually not one in which you’ll find much hockey talk, but the Winter Classic is such a big to-do that even the purveyors of the latest news on Lil Wayne’s Grammy hopes and a Black History quiz took the time to cobble together a brief preview on Dustin Byfuglien’s participation in the Jan. 1 super-event, in a brief entitled, “Dustin Byfuglien Stars in NHL Winter Classic.”
“Stars?” Let’s not go too crazy.
He will be the only player of color in the Classic, which is the second regular season outdoor NHL game played in the United States.
“There aren’t too many that are played outdoors, and to be a part of that is something special,” Byfuglien tells Jet Magazine. “It’s not going to be a normal hockey game … you just never know what to expect out of a game like that.”
A team player, Byfuglien is active in the community as well. He visits various charities and speaks with young African-American hockey players that are looking to follow in his steps.
“You just have to tell them to stick with it and when you’re out there working with them, you just have to have fun and make sure they’re having fun.”
How insightful. I have no link for you to prove that I’m not making this up, so feel free to pick up a copy of Jet later this month and read the four paragraphs I opted not to transcribe.
Of course, Byfuglien isn’t the first “player of color” to play an outdoor NHL game. Georges Laraque, who played in both the Heritage Classic as a member of the Oilers in 2004 and last year’s Winter Classic as a member of the Penguins, and has every right to be pissed that his involvement wasn’t worth mentioning for the editors of Jet in previous years.