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Islanders Placing Ho-Sang on Waivers Creates a Bigger Conversation

24-year-old Josh Ho-Sang was one of 43 players placed on NHL waivers Sunday.


There was a total of 43 players placed on the NHL waivers wire on Sunday. The Minnesota Wild topped the waiver list with a total of 10 players, followed by the Montreal Canadiens with nine. One notable name from the Canadiens waiver list was the teams 25th overall pick from 2015, Noah Juulsen. However, one specific name on Sunday’s waiver list generated quite an internet buzz — New York Islanders prospect, Joshua Ho-Sang.

Related: Last Chance for New York Islanders Joshua Ho-Sang?

No Camp Invite?

The Islanders 28th overall draft choice in 2014 has always been subject to controversy about his progressive personality within a conservative hockey community. Despite showing signs of offensive prowess at the both the AHL and NHL levels, he has largely been a two-way player that has spent most of his career in the minors.

What I really found interesting about Ho-Sang’s demotion in this instance was that the Islanders did not even invite him to camp. The fact that they did not even allow him a chance to prove himself in training camp comes as bit of a surprise after he signed a two-way contract extension in late October 2020. Even if the Islanders knew he wasn’t close to a roster spot, his uninvite begs the question: Why?

More specifically, why even sign him to a one-year deal in the first place?

Joshua Ho-Sang

Public Reaction

Beyond the question of why is the underlying differences between Ho-Sang and a large majority of other hockey players. The Torontonian is of Chinese, black Jamaican, and Russian-Jewish heritage, but so what? He has always been blessed with excellent/natural hockey ability, but often criticized for his outspokenness, lack of defense, or questions regarding his ability as a teammate. Somehow, his ‘different’ background became correlated with his gregarious personality which was seen by some as a career limitation. As such, he has always been a polarizing figure that spurred on a bigger conversation than just hockey.

RELATED: Islanders Sign Mathew Barzal to New 3-Yr Deal

The proof is in the reaction. Ho-Sang was trending on Twitter shortly after being placed on waivers. Without grossly overgeneralizing, the consensus seemed to be calling on another NHL team to give him a chance. Further, given the persistent divisiveness happening throughout North America, there were also undertones of injustice intertwined within the reaction.

Some fans went even further, criticizing the NHL for tolerating the actions of New York Ranger Tony De Angelo or Nashville Predator Nick Cousins, while seemingly condemning Ho-Sang.

More to the Story?

Whether or not he is being victimized, it could as simple as his game still not being ready for the NHL. With or without recently signed Mathew Barzal, the Islanders are very good hockey club. Fact is, only the team and Ho-Sang know what is actually going on in this situation. Perhaps the organization felt he needed to commit more defensively and was clear that he would not be on the roster this season despite signing him to another year. Maybe, but, it still begs the question of why?

If there are injustices being done, perceived or otherwise, they will surface at some point. For now, Ho-Sang still has a career ahead of him. It would be a shame if this truly is his last chance at the NHL because it does not even appear to be that – a chance that is. If it is his last North American professional chance, a player with his talent should be able to find a spot in any European league he chooses.

Rightly or wrongly, at this time, he may just want to play hockey and get the right opportunity without causing more attention. Personally speaking, he deserves that at minimum.

NEXT: Canadiens News and Rumors: Drouin, Byron, Waivers, More

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