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Hockey is for Everyone

USA Hockey's Try Hockey For Free Day set for Nov. 7

Wednesday, 11.04.2015 / 1:36 PM / Hockey is for Everyone

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

For the sixth straight year USA Hockey will host its annual Try Hockey For Free Day, an initiative encouraging children ages 4 through 9 to participate in the sport for the first time.

The first of their two events will be Nov. 7, with the second taking place Feb. 20, 2016, as part of Hockey Weekend Across America.

Try Hockey For Free Day is part of USA Hockey's Come Play Hockey Month in November.

According to USA Hockey, Try Hockey For Free Day has opened the doors to hockey for nearly 100,000 children, including a record 28,446 in 2013-14, and optimism is high it will come close to or even exceed that mark this year.

"The good news is it’s become kind of a staple on the hockey calendar," said Pat Kelleher, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of development. "The one this weekend comes at a time when everybody is excited and enthused about the start of the season. The NHL is in full swing as is the American Hockey League. College hockey and junior hockey are both in full swing. It’s a great time for everyone across the country to join forces to give families that haven’t been exposed to hockey an opportunity to try the sport."

NHL announces 2015 NHL/Thurgood Marshall Scholarship recipients at hockey caucus

All three youth hockey recipients part of NHL's Hockey Is For Everyone initiative

Wednesday, 03.25.2015 / 2:30 PM / Hockey is for Everyone

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund today announced the recipients of the 2015 NHL/Thurgood Marshall College Fund academic scholarship at the Congressional Hockey Caucus event in Washington, D.C. The event featured panelists spanning the hockey community, discussing the importance of hockey in higher education. Panelists included NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman; Founder, Majority Owner, Chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment Ted Leonsis; USA Hockey Asst. Executive Director of Development Pat Kelleher; and Thurgood Marshall College Fund President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.

"At the National Hockey League, it is our priority to do whatever we can to encourage young hockey players to pursue their education as eagerly as they pursue the puck," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "We want to connect the skills of skating and passing with the disciplines of study and passion for learning, to link the joys of scoring goals on the ice with the importance of setting goals off the ice, and one of the ways we pursue those objectives is through our support of the NHL/Thurgood Marshall Scholarship."

'Ice Warriors' tells story of U.S. sled hockey team

Monday, 11.10.2014 / 12:00 PM / Hockey is for Everyone

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Legendary college coach Jeff Sauer considered it a privilege to be given the opportunity to coach the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team to an unprecedented second straight gold medal last March in Sochi, Russia.

The incredible scene after the Americans had defeated Russia, 1-0, in the gold medal game at Shayba Arena was a moment for the ages when the 17-member team celebrated in their end of the ice once the final horn sounded while fans of both countries commended the effort with a standing ovation.

"I've never been involved with a group of athletes like I was the last three-and-a-half years with the sled hockey people," Sauer said. "It was a tremendous honor. The interesting thing about it was where it all happened; in Russia. In the old Soviet Union, handicapped individuals were kind of shunned and put to the side. This was a showcase not just for sled hockey, but handicapped folks all across the world. The crowds were unbelievable and the fact we won in front of a Russian crowd that had never seen handicapped individuals operate the way we did, was just fantastic."

Fans across the globe can witness the determination and courage of the U.S. sled hockey team members in a new 90-minute documentary entitled "Ice Warriors: USA Sled Hockey" that premiers Monday on PBS at 10 p.m. ET.

Oilers' Ference to march in Edmonton Pride parade

Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 9:51 PM / Hockey is for Everyone


Edmonton Oilers captain Andrew Ference announced Tuesday he will march in the Edmonton Pride parade as a representative of the You Can Play team, along with the University of Alberta's Camp fYrefly youth leadership program.

The parade will take place Saturday.

The partnership for the parade was reached as a result of YCP's recent partnership with the University of Alberta's Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS), and is an extension of YCP's partnership with the NHL.

'Hockey Day on the Hill' set for March 5

Tuesday, 03.04.2014 / 11:49 AM / Hockey is for Everyone


NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League (NHL), USA Hockey, USA Warriors and the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club will join members of Congress in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, March 5 for Hockey Day on the Hill to discuss the state of hockey in the U.S., with a focus on how ice hockey can assist in the rehabilitation of injured veterans. The day will begin with a Congressional Hockey Caucus Briefing on Capitol Hill and conclude with a friendly, but competitive hockey game at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va.

Monies raised from the annual Congressional Hockey Challenge will benefit a portion of the NHL/Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) Scholarship, which awards a four-year academic scholarship to a participant of the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone™ (HIFE) official youth development program to attend any U.S. college or university. The NHL/Thurgood Marshall College Fund scholarship was developed in 2012 under the direction of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who serves on its board of directors.

Hockey world fondly remembers Brendan Burke

Wednesday, 02.05.2014 / 6:23 PM / Hockey is for Everyone


The hockey world was stunned and saddened four years ago by the passing of Brendan Burke, the son of current Calgary Flames president of hockey operations and acting general manager Brian Burke. Once a student manager for the Miami University hockey team, Brendan is remembered for his heart and courage as a pioneer who in a December 2009 article by ESPN's John Buccigross revealed he was gay, discussed the acceptance of his sexuality by his family and his team and spoke out against homophobia in professional sports.

Landeskog, Avs support You Can Play in video

Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 2:51 PM / Hockey is for Everyone


In an effort to promote the You Can Play Project to the member schools of the Colorado High School Activities Association, Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog and a group of high school athletes from two area high schools released a video as part of the "You Can Play, Colorado!" initiative. In the video, released Wednesday, Landeskog appears with players from Mountain Vista High School (Highlands Ranch) and Regis Jesuit High School (Aurora).

Landeskog's participation means every team in the NHL has been represented in a You Can Play project in support of LGBT athletes, teammates and fans. The NHL is the only major sports league in North America to have every team participate in an effort specific to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community.

National Hockey League joins Spirit Day effort

Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 2:35 PM / Hockey is for Everyone

The National Hockey League has joined GLAAD, the You Can Play Project and millions of Americans by wearing purple for Spirit Day on Thursday.

Spirit Day takes a stand against bullying while showing support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. Supporters wear purple or go purple online to help create a world where LGBT youth are celebrated and accepted. The League is also joining the social campaign to promote awareness of the challenges faced in the LGBT community.

You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes without regard to sexual orientation. It works to guarantee that athletes are provided a fair chance to compete, and are judged by other athletes and fans only by what they contribute to the sport or their team's success. Its mission is to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete's skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.

NHL, USA Hockey join in Congressional caucus

Wednesday, 04.24.2013 / 2:55 PM / Hockey is for Everyone

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- The National Hockey League and USA Hockey became partners several years ago in an effort to promote and grow the game from the grassroots level so it could climb the sports landscape in the United States.

Wednesday in Washington, D.C., leaders from the League and the sport's national governing body visited Capitol Hill to educate several political leaders on their initiatives and the game's growth and continued prosperity in the annual Congressional Hockey Caucus.

"It's an opportunity to bring attention to the fact that hockey is a great vehicle to give back to the community, to have young people build life skills, not just interest in hockey," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told NHL.com following the hour-long briefing at the Rayburn House Office Building, located across Independence Avenue from the Capitol Building.

In addition, the NHL and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund announced the first two recipients of the Hockey is For Everyone four-year academic scholarship, which guarantees $6,200 per year for each recipient to attend a four-year college or university provided they maintain a 3.0 grade-point-average.

NHL, Thurgood Marshall College Fund announce scholarship recipients through Hockey is for Everyone

Ed Snider Hockey Foundation’s Richard Lucas and Fort Dupont Hockey Club’s Donald Shaw III receive four-year college scholarships

Wednesday, 04.24.2013 / 1:00 PM / Hockey is for Everyone


NEW YORK – Richard Lucas of the Ed Snider Hockey Foundation in Philadelphia and Donald Shaw III of the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club in Washington, D.C., are the recipients of the 2013 NHL/Thurgood Marshall College Fund academic scholarship to attend any four-year college or university in the U.S. this fall. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Thurgood Marshall College Fund Chief Financial Officer Velma R. Hart made the announcement today during a Congressional Hockey Caucus briefing on Capitol Hill that focused on the state of hockey in the U.S., including instructional hockey and safety in youth sports.

The academic scholarship is part of the partnership between the NHL and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund for participants in the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone initiative, the League's official youth development program.

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