Montreal Canadiens forward Denis Gurianov will not partake in warmups for Pride Night after choosing not to wear a themed jersey, the team announced on Thursday.
The decision is related to family reasons, per Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis. The Canadiens will be wearing a Pride-themed warmup jersey.
The Canadiens also released a statement ahead of their annual Pride Night celebration, reaffirming the club-wide support for the evening.
Gurianov’s absence from warmups makes him the latest in a string of players and teams to opt out of wearing Pride Night jerseys.
Previously, Sabres defenceman Ilya Lybushkin, Canucks forward Andrei Kuzmenko, and Maple Leafs goalie Ilya Samsonov said they would not wear their respective team’s Pride jerseys — or decal in the case of Samsonov — in fear of a Russian law that prohibits citizens from showing solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community — though there is dispute, including from the NHL, as to how much material threat there is for Russian NHLers. Others, including Flyers defenceman Ivan Provorov, Sharks goaltender James Reimer, and Eric and Marc Staal, both of the Florida Panthers, have cited religious beliefs as the driving force behind their decisions.