In a show of support for the country, the Viter Ukrainian Folk Choir sang the Canadian national anthem in both English and Ukrainian prior to puck drop between the Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals on Wednesday.
The Oilers have also been wearing a sticker of the Ukraine flag on the back of their helmets to show support for the country. Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24. The province of Alberta counts roughly 345,000 people of Ukrainian descent.
Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has historically been a vocal supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Please, no more war. It doesn’t matter who is in the war — Russia, Ukraine, different countries — I think we live in a world, like, we have to live in peace and a great world,” Ovechkin said last month.
The Axios Ukrainian Men’s Ensemble sang the Ukrainian national anthem before the game between the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens last Saturday, too.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 6, 2022
The Oilers also had a multi-day 50/50 in support of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation that eclipsed $1.6 million.
Earlier this month, the Winnipeg Jets had a Ukrainian choir sing the country’s national anthem prior to a game against the Montreal Canadiens.
“During this devastating time of unrest, True North and the #NHLJets express heartfelt support for Ukraine and for more than 180,000 Ukrainian-Canadians living in Manitoba,” the Jets wrote on Twitter.
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk shared in a statement last week that the team will begin playing the anthem prior to its home games for the rest of the season.
“I am a proud and patriotic Canadian, born and raised in this special country,” Melnyk wrote. “I am also a proud Ukrainian, the son of parents who were both born in Ukraine. The steadfast will and determination that is my heritage has attracted the admiration and respect of people around the world.”
The Calgary Flames had Ukrainian-Canadian opera singer Stephania Romaniuk sing the Ukrainian national anthem prior to their game against the Oilers on Monday as well.