Lightning start all-Black forward line in game against Florida Panthers


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa Bay’s Daniel Walcott, Mathieu Joseph and Gemel Smith — made NHL history on Monday when forming the Lightning’s starting forward line against the Florida Panthers.

They are believed to be the first all-Black forward line in league history.

In addition to their three Black players, Tampa Bay also has two Black coaches, video coach Nigel Kirwan and goaltending coach Frantz Jean.

Earlier this year, the Kings’ AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, had an all-Black line for the first time in the history of Ontario in the AHL when Akil Thomas, Quinton Byfield and Devante Smith-Pelly started.

The Lightning will take on the Florida Panthers for the first time in a playoff series. The NHL has yet to announce the postseason schedule.

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