U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (Ill.) is a firm believer in a direct link between playing hockey and good outcomes in the lives of its players.
Quigley, the co-chair of the Congressional Hockey Caucus, hosted a briefing Thursday to discuss the positive impacts of hockey on educational achievement and rehabilitation for veterans.
"Hockey is for everyone," said Quigley. "The mission of the Congressional Hockey Caucus is to make sure communities across the country have access to skates, sticks and rinks so they can reap the benefits of active and healthy lifestyles."
Quigley also hosted a roundtable discussion along with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Hockey Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine and representatives from USA Hockey.
"When it comes to hockey, Congressman Quigley not only talks a good game, he plays one," said Bettman. "It was a pleasure to join him this morning to discuss the many ways hockey in the United States has grown, has contributed to the community and has served so vital a role in people's lives."
Quigley, a Chicago Blackhawks fan, will join the team for a reception at the White House celebrating their Stanley Cup championship on Friday.
I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.
— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic