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Flyers' Laughton plans to use Pride tape despite NHL ban

Len Redkoles / National Hockey League / Getty

Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton wants to use Pride tape despite the NHL's new ban, and he doesn't appear worried about how the league might punish him.

“You'll probably see me with the Pride tape on (Pride night)," Laughton said Wednesday, according to PHLY Sports' Charlie O'Connor. "I don't know, I didn't read really what it said, if it's a ban or something, but I'll probably have (the tape) on (my stick).

"We'll see what they say, but it's not going to affect the way I go about it. If they want to say something, they can."

Laughton added: "I'll use the tape - if I have to buy it myself, I will. Go about it that way."

Many NHL players and others in the hockey world have criticized the league since it confirmed Tuesday that it's prohibiting the use of the rainbow-colored tape that often accompanies Pride night celebrations.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly said Tuesday he wished "the players had the right to do more" in the wake of the decision. Calgary Flames blue-liner Rasmus Andersson said the ban "sucks" and lamented that it's not just Pride nights but also "Hockey Fights Cancer" events that'll be affected.

Longtime NHL executive Brian Burke wrote Wednesday that he's "deeply disappointed" in the league's efforts to "protect a select few who do not want to answer any questions about their choices." Burke added that he hopes the NHL reconsiders its decision.

In June, the league banned the wearing of theme night jerseys of any kind during pregame warmups for this season. It made the move in response to seven players refusing to wear Pride night jerseys for various reasons during the 2022-23 campaign.

The first player to do so was Ivan Provorov, who at the time was Laughton's teammate with the Flyers. Philadelphia traded Provorov to the Columbus Blue Jackets in early June.

Laughton helped organize the Pride night during which Provorov's refusal took place. The Canadian oversaw several initiatives connected to the event along with fellow Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk.

Last season, Laughton was Philadelphia's nominee for the King Clancy Trophy, which recognizes players who exemplify leadership on and off the ice and also make significant humanitarian contributions to their communities.

The Flyers' next Pride Night is scheduled for January 10, 2024.

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