Colby Cohen - Providence Bruins
Colby Cohen - Providence Bruins (Credit: Providence Bruins YouTube Clip)

Casual hockey fans may not recall Colby Cohen from his junior, college, or NHL career. But after his words this week about the ugly pro-Palestinian protest outside Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, we’re betting a lot more people might remember his name.

Colby Cohen Discusses Playing for Bruce Cassidy's Boston Bruins
Colby Cohen Discusses Playing for Bruce Cassidy’s Boston Bruins (YouTube Clip – Nasty Knuckles Podcast)

Like millions of Americans, the Villanova, Pennsylvania-born Cohen, who is Jewish, saw the clip of that protest and it disgusted him. Sloan-Kettering is also home to a pediatric hospital, so the protests and horrible shouts of “Shame, shame, shame on you! You supported genocide too!” were heard by all of the children inside. And like millions of Americans, regardless of religion, Cohen was not silent about what he saw.

“Scum Of The Earth”

In a post on X on January 15, Cohen pulled no punches in describing exactly what he thought of those protesters.

Hard to imagine indeed. Or, it should be hard to imagine. Sadly, in today’s world where everything is about the “oppressed” and “oppressors,” those who consider themselves part of the “oppressed” will justify any behavior.

But Cohen received a lot of support for calling it like it is.

Not Afraid To Speak Out

Of course, Cohen’s blunt but accurate words about the protest at Sloan-Kettering do not surprise anyone who knows him. As a current NHL and college hockey color analyst for Westwood One and ESPN, he is not afraid to speak out about many topics but particularly when it comes to Jewish people, antisemitism, and Israel.

Cohen vocally opposed the recent IIHF ban on Israel’s men’s and women’s hockey teams. Fortunately, the IIHF received enough pressure from opponents of that ban that they recently rescinded it. Cohen congratulated Israel but also the organizations that put pressure on the IIHF for its clearly antisemitic actions.

A Hockey Career Studded With Achievements

Cohen may not have played long in the NHL, but his amateur and professional hockey career is marked by some pretty impressive achievements. The defenseman was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the second round of the 2007 NHL Draft (while he was playing for Boston University). He only played one season for Colorado who then traded him to the Boston Bruins. Cohen was on the roster (though did not play in the playoffs) for the 2011 Boston Bruins Stanley Cup championship team.

In his amateur career, he won a silver medal with the United States in the World U-17 Hockey Challenge.

Cohen might be most proud of his college career with Boston University. In his sophomore season, he scored 32 points, second among BU defensemen, and had a +24 plus/minus rating, good for fifth in the country. When BU advanced to the Frozen Four, Cohen was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player when he scored the game-winning goal with a slapshot in overtime of the national championship game against Miami … on a pass from his defense partner Kevin Shattenkirk.

Colby Cohen scores the national championship-winning goal in overtime in the 2009 Frozen Four
Colby Cohen scores the national championship-winning goal in overtime in the 2009 Frozen Four (Credit: ESPN YouTube Clip)

But all of his on-ice achievements aside, Cohen is a man of principle. And he is not afraid to speak those principles for everyone to hear.

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