NHL postpones Senators vs. Maple Leafs in wake of Ottawa shootings
The NHL has postponed Wednesday night's game between the host Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs in the wake of the shootings that took place in Ottawa on Wednesday morning, the league announced.
Ottawa police confirmed that gunmen fired shots at multiple locations across the Canadian capital: the National War Memorial in the northeast of the city, and Parliament Hill in the north. The police said there was no shooting near the Rideau Centre, a shopping center to the east of the other two sites, contrary to earlier reports. The three sites are all located within a mile of one another.
One person at the War Memorial, a Canadian solider standing guard, was hit and was taken to a hospital. A local journalist told CNN that a person was left lying motionless on the ground after shots were fired in the Parliament Building. Police have confirmed the soldier died of his injuries.
Bob Zimmer, a Member of Parliament, tweeted that a "lone gunman" at the building was deceased. The police confirmed that one male suspect has died.
Parliament and several other buildings were placed in lockdown after the attacks.
Maple Leafs players were safe at their hotel during the shootings, and they were also placed on lockdown. Toronto winger Joffrey Lupul said the following on Twitter:
Surreal scene outside of our hotel right now. Lot of very brave police officers we should all be very proud of.— Joffrey Lupul (@JLupul) October 22, 2014
From the NHL's announcement:
The National Hockey League wishes to express its sympathy to all affected by the tragic events that took place this morning in downtown Ottawa.
The league said the date and time of the rescheduled game will be announced later.
The Maple Leafs released a statement on Wednesday afternoon.
“The Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of all affected by the tragic events in downtown Ottawa today. The Club supports the National Hockey League’s decision to postpone tonight’s scheduled meeting with the Ottawa Senators.
"We have been witness today to some terrible events but are thankful to those brave men and women for their tireless service in protecting everyone’s safety.”
The motivation behind the attacks is unclear. On Monday, a man who had been reportedly "radicalized" by violent Islamists was shot to death by authorities after he hit and killed a Canadian soldier in the province of Quebec, but there is currently no indication that the attacks are connected.
The terror threat level in Canada was raised from "low" to "medium" last Friday.
In 2013, the NHL canceled the Boston Bruins' home game against the Senators on April 15 in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings earlier that day. The cancelation came several hours after the attacks were perpetrated.
- Ben Estes