ARLINGTON, Va. - In conjunction with the National Hockey League's Hockey is for Everyone Month, the Washington Capitals announced today initiatives in support of the You Can Play Project, an organization dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, coaches and fans, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby will wear an equality-themed mask, while select Capitals players will use rainbow-colored 'Pride Tape' during warmups in celebration of the LGBTQ community during the Capitals Hockey is for Everyone Night game on Friday, Feb. 24 versus the Edmonton Oilers. Holtby serves as the Capitals You Can Play ambassador, serving as a leader in the locker room and in the community on diversity, equality, and inclusion.
The sticks and mask will be autographed by the participating player and auctioned off, with 100% of proceeds benefitting You Can Play.
The auction is currently open on Handbid at https://hand.bid/CapsHIFE and will conclude at the end of the second intermission of the Capitals' Feb. 24 game at Verizon Center. During the game, the auction will take place at the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation table on the main concourse at section 104.
Video: Holtby's Hockey is for Everyone / You Can Play mask
Fans interested in bidding will need to download the Handbid app on their iPhone and Android devices and should ensure their phones or tablets are well charged for the game. Fans without smart phones may bid on iPads supplied by the Capitals while the auction is open. Fans not attending the game may bid using the Handbid app or online.
The Capitals' Feb. 24 Hockey is for Everyone Night game also includes a ceremonial puck drop with American Special Hockey Association Washington Ice Dogs player Sam Smith of Rockville, Md. Various local youth hockey programs will join in the festivities throughout the game. Montgomery Youth Hockey Association players will scrimmage at Verizon Center at 3 p.m. During the Capitals game, the Chesapeake Wild female hockey team will serve as the flag tunnel. The Wells Warriors hockey club will participate as mites on ice, while players from the American Special Hockey Association will participate in second intermission activities.
For the 19th year, the NHL has designated February Hockey is for Everyone™ Month to celebrate grassroots hockey and the game's growing diversity. The program offers children of all backgrounds opportunities to play hockey and leverages the sport of hockey as a catalyst to teach essential life skills and the core values of hockey: commitment, perseverance and teamwork. In addition, the initiative supports hockey programs that assist disabled military personnel in returning to their mainstream lifestyles.
Throughout February, visit the Capitals microsite at WashingtonCaps.com/HIFE for the latest information on Hockey is for Everyone™ Month, including news, video recaps and additional content.
Hockey Is For Everyone
Hockey is for Everyone™ (HIFE) is the official youth development program of the National Hockey League (NHL) and a component of The Biggest Assist Happens off the Ice™, the NHL's social responsibility program that builds on the League's long-standing tradition of addressing important social issues in North America and around the world. HIFE provides support and unique programing to non-profit youth hockey organizations across North America that are committed to offering children of all backgrounds opportunities to play hockey.
You Can Play
You Can Play is an organization dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, coaches and fans, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport or their team's success. You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete's skills, work ethic and competitive spirit. For more information on You Can Play, go to http://www.youcanplayproject.org/.