The NHL is following the MLB, NBA, WNBA and MLS' lead ... with the league officially postponing games following the Jacob Blake shooting.
"After much discussion, NHL Players believe that the best course of action would be to take a step back and not play tonight’s and tomorrow’s games as scheduled," the league announced Thursday.
The decision comes after several players -- including Matt Dumba and Evander Kane -- criticized the league's response to the boycotts sweeping the sports world.
The NHL says they support the players' wishes ... and will make up the games starting Saturday.
NHL continued ... "Black and Brown communities continue to face real, painful experiences. The NHL and NHLPA recognize that much work remains to be done before we can play an appropriate role in a discussion centered on diversity, inclusion and social justice.
As we previously reported ... the NBA kickstarted a massive movement on Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks elected to stay in the locker rooms in protest ... and have since agreed to continue the season.
"We understand that the tragedies involving Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others require us to recognize this moment," the NHL added.
"We pledge to work to use our sport to influence positive change in society."