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Penguins notebook: Daley lauds film on black hockey history

| Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, 10:09 a.m.

As Trevor Daley raced around the ice at TD Garden during Wednesday's 5-1 loss to Boston, a television audience tuned into the NHL Network's airing of “Soul On Ice: Past, Present & Future,” a documentary on a subject of great importance to the Penguins defenseman.

The documentary, which features Daley, details the history of black hockey players and the many trials and tribulations they experienced through the years.

“I was on the other end of a not-good situation many a time,” Daley said. “If it can shed some light for a kid that's coming up that didn't have to go through what I had to go through, I think it's going to do a good deed.”

“Soul On Ice” came to fruition after almost four years of work from first-time director Kwame Mason. The film debuted in America at a Washington screening in January but reached the masses for the first time Wednesday night.

Daley watched it for the first time Wednesday morning on his computer.

“The documentary was done really well,” he said. “I know they worked really hard on it. … I know I did my thing about three or four years ago.”

A variety of former and current players share their stories. One of Daley's experiences made headlines.

As a 19-year-old captain of the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 2003, Daley quit the team after he learned his coach, former star NHL goalie John Vanbiesbrouck, used a racial slur in reference to him while speaking with other Greyhounds players at a billet residence.

Teammates supported Daley's departure. Vanbiesbrouck resigned as coach and general manager in the fallout.

Asked if he and Vanbiesbrouck revisited the event, Daley answered: “No. Past it.”

A portion of the documentary that focuses on upcoming black players features Jaden Lindo, an Ontario native selected by the Penguins in the sixth round of the 2014 draft.

Lindo, a 20-year-old right winger, has 13 goals and 11 assists with the OHL's Owen Sound Attack this season.

Migration begins

Likely in an effort to make room on the roster for the impending return of centers Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bonino, the Penguins reassigned defenseman Steve Oleksy and center Oskar Sundqvist to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Thursday.

Oleksy spent less than 24 hours with the Penguins, arriving in Boston just a few hours before Wednesday's loss. He was a healthy scratch but served as insurance for the Penguins, who headed to Boston with just six defensemen on the roster.

Sundqvist earned his first NHL point in the loss with an assist on Tom Kuhnhackl's goal. Sundqvist appeared in 10 games during his first stint in the league.

Rumble Wilson

Winger Patric Hornqvist gets in more shoving matches and nose-to-nose confrontations than anyone on the Penguins roster. Defenseman Kris Letang occasionally allows his emotions to boil over during tense games. And defenseman Ian Cole takes pride in an antagonistic on-ice demeanor.

Yet the team's last two major penalties for fighting belong to 23-year-old winger Scott Wilson, who dropped his gloves for the second time this season Wednesday to scrap with the Bruins' Landon Ferraro.

By no means imposing at 5-foot-11 and 183 pounds, Wilson views himself as a fitting candidate to fight when the Penguins need a rallying cry. Who he battles mostly boils down to opportunity. Wilson said there's never animosity.

“I'm not that type of guy really on the ice,” he said. “I was just trying to get the guys going. We don't have too many fighters on the team. When somebody can step up, I think guys appreciate it.”

Bill West is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at wwest@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.

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