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Hockey is for Everyone

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.


Zhongde Yu promoting hockey in China

Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 3:10 PM / Hockey is for Everyone

Deborah Francisco - NHL.com Staff Writer

When Zhongde Yu left China, he was an energized student pursuing a Masters degree in Canada. When he returned, he was an energized hockey coach in a country still discovering the sport.

Born in China, Zhongde Yu first strapped on skates when he moved to Montreal in 1996 to pursue a computer science degree at Concordia University. He quickly became captivated by this new, action-packed game that inundated Canadian culture.

"That was a special moment, when I witnessed the hockey fans gathered outside the Forum for the last game played there," Yu told NHL.com. "And when I heard that the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup. Those are my first impressions of ice hockey in Canada."

While pursuing his studies and improving his English, Yu also began playing hockey, learning the game from friends and neighbors in Montreal.


At age 77, O'Ree has no plans to slow down

Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 9:00 AM / Hockey is for Everyone

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

It's been more than 50 years since Willie O'Ree broke the NHL's color barrier on Jan. 18, 1958 with the Boston Bruins. The 15 years he's spent leading the National Hockey League's Hockey is for Everyone program have only cemented the legacy of the man who played professionally for 20 years with the use of only one good eye.

But don't call Willie O'Ree the Jackie Robinson of hockey.

"The media called me that. I never said I was Jackie Robinson. I didn't have to go through a lot of the racism and prejudice and bigotry that Mr. Robinson went through," O'Ree told NHL.com. "But it was there. Having slurs and racial remarks directed towards you, not only by players but fans in the stands. I let it in one ear and out the other. I just wanted to play hockey to the best of my ability."

O'Ree actually met Robinson twice, once as a 14-year-old baseball player visiting New York and years later as a member of the Los Angeles Blades of the Western Hockey League.


Ciavaglia giving back through special hockey

Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 9:48 AM / Hockey is for Everyone

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

"All the attributes you can get from a team sport like hockey, I wanted to be able to stress to the people I was working with. The confidence I got in life from hockey, the camaraderie, the teamwork, you can go on and on with the skills you develop in hockey."
-- Peter Ciavaglia

What happens when a professional hockey player hangs up his skates for the final time but still wants to be involved in the game? There is coaching or scouting, perhaps even a front-office position.

Then there is the route Peter Ciavaglia took.

A native of Albany, New York, and graduate of Harvard University, Ciavaglia played briefly in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres but spent much of his career with the International Hockey League's Detroit Vipers. In his six seasons with the Vipers, Ciavaglia became fond of the team's charitable contributions.

"Just being involved in the community, I knew it was something I wanted to continue when I was done," Ciavaglia told NHL.com. "And I wanted to incorporate, if I could, hockey. It was a big part of my life."

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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp