Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Wednesday, 04.22.2015 / 12:01 AM

By Gina McCarthy -  / - NHL Green Slapshots™

Conserving Water in a Changing Climate – for our Health and for Hockey

Gina McCarthy is the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In January 2010, the NHL chose my hometown of Boston to host the Winter Classic.  It was a great day all around—not only did my Bruins win that game with a thrilling OT victory, but the NHL also chose my backyard, Fenway Park, to launch their NHL Green Initiative.  Since then, the NHL has been putting points on the board by greening operations and committing to protecting our environment.

Since 2011, the NHL has restored more than 30 million gallons of water to streams and rivers and has improved water efficiency for indoor and outdoor rinks. This season, NHL’s Gallons for Goals program replenished more than 6.5 million gallons of water to rivers.  Whether it’s turning on our faucets to take a drink, or skating on frozen ponds and outdoor rinks—water is a precious, finite resource that’s vital not only for our health, but also for recreation.  

But today, we’re facing new threats to our water resources, including resource risks from a changing climate.  So we need to be more vigilant than ever in water conservation, and EPA is leading the charge.  

EPA’s Clean Water Rule aims to protect streams and wetlands vulnerable to pollution.  These water resources provide habitats for the wildlife and recreation we enjoy; and most importantly, they provide drinking water for 1 in 3 Americans across the country.  

Being vigilant in protecting water resources means we must be mindful of climate impacts.  For example, in Southeast Florida where the 2015 NHL Draft will take place, sea levels are predicted to rise nearly two feet in our children’s lifetimes. Rising seas are already pushing contaminated salt water into the region’s drinking water.  

And any Bruins fan knows that this winter, Boston was pummeled by over 100 inches of snow, the snowiest season in Boston's history.  It was a costly, frustrating, and dangerous situation for so many Bostonians.   If that’s not a climate change signal-flare, I don’t know what is.  When climate change amplifies risks from extreme weather, we all pay the penalty.  A few months ago, I got to hang out with pro skiers and snowboarders at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado, where climate impacts hit home.  Shorter, warmer winters mean a shorter season to enjoy the winter sports we love, and an economic burden for communities that depend on winter sports and recreation.

Those are just a few examples of how climate change impacts our everyday lives.  The good news is, together, we can do something about it—that’s why EPA’s is proud to partner with the NHL.

I think Stanley Cup Champion goaltender Mike Richter put it best when he said, “It is imperative that we take the time to understand these issues and make the effort to become strong environmental stewards. The future of our sport, and your local pond hockey game, depends on all of us.”

When we conserve water, fight climate change, and build a sustainable future—we’re not just protecting our families; we’re also boosting economic growth.  When cities invest in updating old water systems to include ‘green’ infrastructure, our water is cleaner, our communities are more resilient to climate impacts, and people and businesses save energy and money—it’s a win-win-win.

For more information on Earth Day, visit:

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Posted On Friday, 03.20.2015 / 5:02 PM

By NHL Green -  / - NHL Green Slapshots™

Every Day is World Water Day at the NHL

On this World Water Day we ask our fans to join us in conserving water.

Water flows as a life source for hockey, starting with the frozen ponds and lakes where players learn the game, to the ice making and resurfacing processes of arenas and local community rinks. Hockey as we know it wouldn’t exist without the freshwater resources where players learn the game. Life as we know it wouldn’t exist without the freshwater that serves as our drinking water, provides habitat for fish and wildlife and is crucial for agriculture and economic development.

Read on to find out how we're addressing our water footprint.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 12:00 PM

By NHL Green -  / - NHL Green Slapshots™

The Science Behind Outdoor Rinks

Three winters ago, geographers at Wilfrid Laurier University launched a project called RinkWatch with a simple plan: ask people who have a rink to pin its location on a website’s interactive map, and report the skating conditions throughout the winter. So far, reports have come in from over 1,500 rinks from across North America (and a few from Scandinavia, too). The scientists pool this data and use a geospatial and numerical modelling techniques to work out what rinks are telling us about the weather.

Why do this? Because scientists warn that winters are becoming shorter and milder, and that the backyard rink may soon become an endangered species. The team is monitoring the health of outdoor rinks, tracking their numbers and conditions, and learning how changes in the environment are affecting them.

Read on to learn more about RinkWatch and how you can help preserve the great tradition of outdoor hockey.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.22.2015 / 3:06 PM - NHL Green Slapshots™

Nationwide Arena, GCCC Designated 'Greenspots'

Nationwide Arena, home of the Blue Jackets and host to the 2015 NHL All-Star Game, and the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC), host to the 2015 NHL Fan Fair, are committed to sustainability. The two venues are now designated GreenSpots within the City of Columbus.

“We congratulate the NHL, Columbus Blue Jackets and Nationwide Arena, for joining our efforts towards making Columbus a green community that is beautiful, healthy and prosperous. Welcome to the GreenSpot family,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman.

The City of Columbus launched the GreenSpot program as a way to recognize area residents, businesses and community groups who are working to use resources in a responsible manner that will conserve and protect them for future generations.

Designated as GreenSpot locations, Nationwide Arena and the GCCC pledged more than 35 sustainable actions including:

• Conserving and protecting water by keeping loading areas and dumpsters clear of litter, by watering only when necessary and by installing water efficient fixtures;

• Conserve energy by performing an energy audit, converting to energy efficient lighting, turning off equipment when not in use and performing regular maintenance on HVAC systems;

• Reducing waste by establishing a recycling program, performing a waste audit, tracking their waste and purchasing supplies in bulk;

• Informing and engaging their employees and customers about opportunities for green efforts and actions; and

• Greening transportation by installing bike racks, encouraging employees to walk or bike to meetings, encouraging teleconferences and providing special parking for lower emission vehicles.

GreenSpot is a fun way to learn about sustainable actions, product discounts, and events. Touting more than 10,000 homes, business and nonprofit members, GreenSpot provides a way for making green commitments. Created by Mayor Michael B. Coleman in 2008, the program continues to grow with a GreenSpot Kids, GreenSpot Backyard Conservation, GreenSpot Business Initiative, and GreenSpot Neighborhood programs. Learn more at

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.30.2014 / 1:10 PM

By NHL Green -  / - NHL Green Slapshots™

Nationals Park the sustainable site of 2015 Classic

On January 1, the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals take the game outdoors, on a rink constructed above the infield at Nationals Park. The ballpark plays host to the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic (1 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, TVA).

The NHL is committed to preserving the tradition of outdoor hockey. Our sport was born on frozen ponds and relies on winter weather.

The Winter Classic is a celebration of hockey’s roots. The site selected for the 2015 Winter Classic, has been recognized as a leader in sustainable design.

Read on to discover the greener side of D.C.'s Nationals Park.

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Posted On Monday, 06.02.2014 / 4:00 PM

By NHL Green -  / - NHL Green Slapshots™

Devils Revitalize Park Damaged by Superstorm Sandy

The New Jersey Devils and PwC US have teamed up with the New Jersey Tree Foundation and Essex County to plant new trees as part of their “Pucks for Parks” initiative.

Through “Puck for Parks,” the Devils and PwC are working together to enrich New Jersey communities by helping sustain the environment and provide green space for generations. The multi-year program was created in 2013, with a commitment by the Devils and PwC, including the help of Devils staff, PwC partners and staff, and community volunteers, to plant at least two mature trees in a New Jersey park or green space for every Devils win during the 2013-14 regular season. Depending on the environmental needs of each location, additional trees and vegetation of various sizes will also be rooted, including along coastal and river areas to help prevent erosion.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 9:40 AM

By NHL Green -  / - NHL Green Slapshots™

Sabres Green Team hosts Great American Clean-up

Sabres Fans -- now is your chance to help make your community a better and brighter area to live in!

On May 3, join the efforts of the Buffalo Sabres Green Team and others as they clean up the South Buffalo BOA community. The meeting place is 266 Hopkins Street. Check-in is at 9 am with clean-up continuing 9:30-11:30 am. Lunch will be provided at the completion of the event. Modern Disposal and Buffalo Recycling and WNY Maritime Charter School will also be coordinating this effort.

Join the Sabres Green Team here!

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 11:15 AM

By NHL Green -  / - NHL Green Slapshots™

Off ice, Kings and Sharks battle to protect the planet

The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks are familiar playoff foes. The clubs met last season in the Western Conference Semifinals, with the Kings advancing in seven hard fought games. They meet earlier this year, in the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

On Sunday, the Sharks dealt the Kings a second consecutive lopsided loss to open the series with a 2-0 lead. The series now intensifies as the Kings return home tonight, welcoming the Sharks into the STAPLES Center, which will be glowing green to celebrate Earth Day.

While the strong play of the two California rivals will be on center stage tonight, the equally strong commitments of both clubs to a more sustainable business and lifestyle will be on display all month long.

Continue reading to find out how the Sharks and Kings are defending the planet.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 11:06 AM

By Andrea Rutt -  Special to NHL Green / - NHL Green Slapshots™

Rock and Wrap It Up Thrives at Rexall Place

Freezer space at Edmonton’s Food Bank became a little more limited last Wednesday as over 1,200 pounds of prepared hamburgers, sausages, pastas and chicken were donated through Rock and Wrap It Up. The program, in partnership with the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF), Northlands and Dominion Sports Service (DSS), assists in the fight against hunger by donating prepared, but unserved food from Oilers, Oil Kings games, and other events at Rexall Place.

From this donation alone, Edmonton’s Food Bank will be able to provide over 950 meals for its agencies – an opportunity local non-profit groups jump at to ensure their clients are fed.

“The food that we received today is great quality food; it’s diverse food that we don’t usually see coming to the Food Bank and we’re going to be turning that over to some soup kitchens who will be serving it to people who will be very thankful for those gifts,” said Marjorie Bencz, Executive Director of Edmonton’s Food Bank.

DSS’s food preparation team is quick to flash freeze and label any remaining food after events at Rexall Place to ensure it meets health codes. Food donations have ranged anywhere from chicken and steak to pizza and chili, and provide a hearty meal for those in need.

“This particular program has meant that donors have had to make a big commitment to its success,” said Bencz. “They’ve made sure that the food is put in food-safe containers, it’s flash frozen, brought to the Food Bank and that it’s safe throughout the whole process.”

With the addition of Wednesday’s drop-off, a total of 5,747 pounds of food have been donated so far this season, creating 4,416 meals for Edmonton’s less fortunate. And it isn’t over yet. With an Oil Kings playoff run right around the corner and a slew of summer concerts on the horizon, donations are sure to grow in support of Edmonton’s Food Bank.

“The Oilers Foundation is incredibly proud to share in the success of Rock and Wrap It Up,” said Natalie Minckler, Executive Director of the EOCF. “To think that all this food could have gone to waste rather than benefit other people, it’s clear this program is win-win for everyone involved.”

Since its inception in 2010, a total of 21,938 pounds of food have been donated, providing 16,930 meals to Edmonton’s Food Bank. To learn more about Edmonton’s Food Bank and how you can help in the fight against hunger, please visit

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.12.2014 / 10:00 AM

By NHL Green -  / - NHL Green Slapshots™

Alberni Valley Bulldogs a green leader in B.C.

Within the past few years, champions of the environment have emerged in the hockey world at all levels of the game. The mission and message of the League’s environmental platform is echoing throughout youth, college, junior and professional leagues and teams in communities large and small across the continent. The NHL is proud to inspire this sustainability movement and is pleased to profile those who are making a difference in their community.

As a prime example, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs ( hockey club is proving to be a green leader by endorsing and educating their young fans on ecologically sustainable practices.

For a second straight season, the Bulldogs have partnered with Alberni Clayoquot Regional District to promote the 3R's (reduce, reuse, recycle) in local elementary schools.

“The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been inspired in part by the NHL Green program,” said Adam Hayduk, the Assistant Coach/Assistant General Manager of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in an e-mail to the League last week.

The hockey club, which plays out of Alberni Valley Multiplex - Weyerhaeuser Arena on Vancouver Island, B.C., is a member of the British Columbia Hockey League. Several Bulldogs alumni currently play NCAA Division 1 hockey, while two alumni have recently made it to NHL rosters: Harry Zolnierczyk (Pittsburgh Penguins) and David Dziurzynski (Ottawa Senators).

This season, the Bulldogs helped introduce the Waste-Free Lunch Challenge. Thirteen players were trained on recycling techniques, and were sent into classrooms to demonstrate how students can make a difference by reducing the amount of waste generated from their school lunches.

“As players, we understand the importance of being role models for the community and for younger kids,” said Bulldogs second-year defenseman Kurt Gosselin. “We like to get involved as much as we can to make a difference in the community that has given us so much.”

Every day school lunches are a major source of waste in British Columbia – the average student’s lunch generates a total of 30 kilograms of waste per school per year, or an average of 8,500 kilograms of waste per school per year.

“It is our goal once again to reach out to 25 different elementary and middle school classrooms,” said Hayduk. “There are so many great local initiatives already in play to reduce, reuse, and recycle. However, the Waste-Free Lunch Challenge will give students an opportunity every week to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our local landfill. It’s a great way to make a positive impact.”

Andy Daniel, the Regional District's Manager of Environmental Services, believes the Bulldogs bring to the program many great qualities. “They are exceptional speakers and are seen as leaders by youth within the community. The Bulldogs players and organization are genuinely interested in the environment and making a difference within the community.”

NHL Green is proud of the steps the Bulldogs are taking and applaud them as green leaders in the hockey community. We invite hockey clubs of any and all levels to share their environmental pursuits, challenges and success stories with us. Please e-mail us at

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