You want to do something to get the league moving on player protection.. write to Air Canada thanking them for their stance .. write to Molson asking them to do the same .. Hell, start an online petition asking for Molson to do the same as Air Canada.
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Air Canada, one of the NHL's largest financial corporate backers, is threatening to withdraw its sponsorship if the league doesn't take "immediate" and "serious" action on headshots, QMI Agency has learned.
In a strongly worded letter addressed to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Wednesday, Denis Vandal, Air Canada's director of marketing/communications, expressed concern over recent incidents of headshots and concussions.
The letter came in the wake of Tuesday night's controversial hit by Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara on Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty at the Bell Centre. Following a telephone hearing Wednesday with NHL VP Mike Murphy, there was no punishment for Chara.
"We are contacting you (Wednesday) to voice our concern over (Tuesday night's) incident involving Max Pacioretty and Zdeno Chara at the Bell Centre in Montreal," wrote Vandal. "This is following several other incidents involving career-threatening and life-threatening headshots in the NHL recently."
Vandal noted the controversial issue is becoming bad for Air Canada's brand.
"From a corporate social responsibility standpoint, it is becoming increasingly difficult to associate our brand with sports events which could lead to serious and irresponsible accidents; action must be taken by the NHL before we are encountered with a fatality.
"Unless the NHL takes immediate action with serious suspension to the players in question to curtail these life-threatening injuries, Air Canada will withdraw its sponsorship of hockey."
Not only does Air Canada own the naming rights to Toronto's Air Canada Centre, it's believed they're a major corporate sponsor behind all six Canadian teams. Air Canada's head office is also located in Montreal.
Vandal copied all six Canadian NHL governors with his letter.
"As a strong supporter and sponsor of NHL Hockey in Canada and several U.S. cities, Air Canada is very concerned with the state of hockey today," Vandal noted.
"While we support countless sports, arts and community events, we are having difficulty rationalizing our sponsorship of hockey unless the NHL takes responsibily to protect both the players and the integrity of the game."