Canes reflect on season, NHL's response to social issues

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's been a week since the Carolina Hurricanes came home from Toronto and ended one of the strangest NHL seasons. They're finally getting some time to reflect on everything that's gone on this year.

"It was almost like you were in an offseason and then had to get going again," Jordan Martinook said. "It was definitely different that way because you're coming back and you're not coming back to exhibition games and training camp and the feeling out part of it. Throughout the entire year just everything that went on, Coronavirus, obviously what we're dealing with now, it's something that I don't think anybody expected."

Martinook said it was a learning experience and looks forward to a normal hockey season next year with fans in attendance.

"I think everybody is trying to navigate it the best they can," he said. "Obviously, we are learning from everything. Hopefully we don't have a pandemic again that affects the hockey season and hopefully we can come back and play in front of fans and do what we do in front of full buildings which is obviously what we like to do."

Being out of the bubble the Canes are now wondering if they would've sat out any of their games after seeing the NBA, WNBA and MLB take stands against social injustice Wednesday night.

"There would be no question," Jordan Staal said. "I'm sure there would be some guys talking about it. It's a hard situation honestly. It would be very hard. I don't really know what I would feel if I was in that situation and if those players talked about it a ton or they left it alone or what the scenario was. My focus is on the game when I'm walking into that room - that's No. 1.

Martinook said he's become more aware of social issues.

"I think everybody is just trying to make our way through this," he said. "Trying to learn. Obviously, six months ago, I probably wasn't fully aware of it and I'm sure most people weren't. It's terrible the way that we had to learn about it is the way that we have. I think the NHL is probably in the same position. The NBA went the way they did, and the NHL is going to definitely have to address it and we'll see where they take it."

Martinook said he plans to do his part by teaching his son some of the lessons he's learned this year about social injustice.

"I have a son that I'm definitely going to try to teach the lessons that I'm learning daily about this to him and try and build him to not think anything about it," he said. "It's definitely a hard situation to gravitate around so, I'm, we're all just trying to do our best."
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