Arizona Coyotes' Travis Dermott uses Pride Tape after NHL's ban

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott became the first NHL player to use Pride Tape on his stick in defiance of the NHL's ban of its use during warmups and games this season.

Dermott wrapped the top of his stick with Pride Tape, a rainbow-colored stick tape that's used in support of the LGBTQIA+ community, during the Coyotes' 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks at home Saturday night.

The NHL announced in June that teams were no longer allowed to wear "specialty" jerseys during warmups, practices or games. The unilateral ban followed a season in which several players refused to take part in warmups when their teams wore Pride Night jerseys due to their personal or religious objections.

Before this season started, the NHL further clarified that on-ice player uniforms and gear worn in warmups, official team practices and games cannot be altered to reflect "specialty" theme nights. That included the use of Pride Tape on sticks.

Previously, NHL players would wrap their sticks with the tape and then auction off the game-used gear for charity. The league said the current ban on Pride Tape was to prevent teams and players from using it as an "end around" to violate the new uniform policy.

Dermott used the tape during the team's home opener. The Coyotes will be the first NHL team to hold a Pride Night this season when they host the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 27.

The Coyotes told ESPN that they had heard nothing from the NHL regarding punishment for Dermott or the team.

An NHL spokesperson told ESPN there wasn't any announcement from the league's hockey operations department regarding Demott's use of Pride Tape. The NHLPA had no further information, either.

Dermott had previously used Pride Tape as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He told ESPN's Kristen Shilton in 2021 that he has "some family that is involved in the LGBTQ community. So, I'd like to step forward and in the future take part in supporting them more vigorously."

Jeff McLean, one of the co-founders of Pride Tape, said they continue to send Dermott shipments of the tape because "he's always been kind enough to regularly use" it.

"He sent me a text to get topped up because he had run out. We're always more than happy to support Travis," said McLean, who previously said he was disappointed by the NHL's ban on Pride Tape.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has said that the league's new policy has been "terribly misunderstood and mis-portrayed" and that the NHL still encourages "specialty nights where groups of all different types are honored and consciousness is raised."