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Weekend Brunch: Avalanche lose, Will Butcher Impresses and J.T. Brown takes a stand

J.T. Brown is proof there are a few NHLers we can be proud of

In a league that embraces - and encourages - conformity, J.T. Brown continues to show he’s not afraid to stand out. The Tampa Bay Lightning forward has shown to be one of the most socially conscious players in the NHL and he’s gaining a lot of fans as a result.

Prior to the game against the Florida Panthers Saturday night, Brown decided to take a stand and raise a single fist in the air during the singing of the national anthem - a symbol of support for the protest against social inequality.

This isn’t something Brown decided to do on a whim. He’s spoken about spending the last few weeks struggling with the idea and speaking to as many people as he could. He talked to fellow athletes, teammates and even veterans in an effort to be respectful with his ideas. There are those who don’t agree with the protest but support Brown and his right to be heard.

“I wanted to do something to show my support,” Brown said. “There are some issues that we have to talk about, so in my mind I’m just trying to bring a little more awareness and any type of conversation that we can get started would be great.”

He wants to start a conversation in a sport that tries to hide from political issues - and he should be commended for it. He’s spoken out about the NFL protests in recent weeks and has received death threats and racial slander on social media as a result. J.T. Brown deserves better.

This isn’t a star player. Brown is a guy who struggles to stay in the lineup so to stand out - and stand up - takes a lot of courage.

On the Ice

There was a game yesterday - though Avs fans probably want to forget about it. The team came out flat and dropped a 4-1 decision against the New Jersey Devils. To make things worse, Avalanche draft pick Will Butcher led the way with three points. If you missed the game - it was at noon, what the heck?! - we have a full recap here.

On the bright side, the Rampage won their season opener, so that’s something to be excited about right?...right?

It looks the Avalanche aren’t the only team that are struggling with the idea of trading one of their best players. Elliotte Friedman spoke last night about the fact that Kyle Turris and the Ottawa Senators seem to be having difficulty getting close in contract talks, leading to speculation that Turris is likely to be traded at some point this season.

Washington Capitals forward Nathan Walker made history yesterday by being the first Austrailian born player in the NHL. Not only that, but he scored a goal in his debut.