The Washington Capitals will celebrate the National Hockey League's Hockey is for Everyone™ Month with several events and initiatives throughout February.
For the 20th year, the NHL has designated February Hockey is for Everyone™ Month to celebrate grassroots hockey and the game's growing diversity. The program offers people 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.
To highlight the true inclusiveness found in the sport of hockey, the Capitals are recognizing different diverse groups during each February home game, including those with special needs, children, the LGBTQ community, African-Americans, women and the military. Throughout the month, visit the Capitals microsite at WashingtonCaps.com/HIFE for the latest information on Hockey is for Everyone™ Month, including news, event info, video recaps and additional information and content.
The Capitals support of Hockey is for Everyone™ includes:
Jan. 30 - For the eighth-consecutive year the Capitals teamed up with children's charity Dreams for Kids to host an Extreme Recess Hockey Clinic at Kettler Capitals Iceplex for children with physical and developmental disabilities. Washington Capitals players skated and played hockey with more than 100 participants. Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation partner Leveling the Playing Field provided free equipment to participants.
Video: Caps and MSE Foundation hosted Dreams for Kids DC
Jan. 30 - The Capitals hosted its annual Hockey 'n Heels event, featuring instructional sessions and on-ice demonstrations targeted towards the Capitals' female audience. The night was divided into sessions of on-ice demonstrations featuring Capitals players and off-ice presentations featuring coaches, broadcast talent and Capitals alumni.
Video: Hockey 'n Heels promotes the growth of women's hockey
Feb. 2 - The Capitals will visit Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation's adopted school, Hendley Elementary in Washington, D.C., to host hockey clinics throughout the day. Hendley was one of 111 schools in the district to receive programming and hockey equipment as part of the Capitals partnership with DCPS that stemmed from the NHL's industry growth fund initiative.
Video: Learn more about the Capitals Hockey School Program
Feb. 3 - Capitals players Madison Bowey, Brooks Orpik and Devante Smith-Pelly will host the Fort Dupont Cannons at Kettler Capitals Iceplex for an Official Rink Partner visit driven by AAA and present the Cannons with a $22,000 check on behalf of Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation made possible by a grant from the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation. Fort Dupont Ice Arena is the only full-size indoor ice arena in Washington, D.C., and the Cannons are the oldest minority youth hockey program in North America and the oldest ice hockey program that is a member of the Hockey is for Everyone™ initiative. The program's goal is to teach young people discipline, self-esteem and a sense of purpose and to offer an incentive to excel academically.
Video: Trotz joins Caps fans in sprucing up Fort Dupont
Feb. 4 - The Capitals vs. Vegas Golden Knights game will honor special hockey, with tributes throughout the game. American Special Hockey Association participants will participate in an intermission game.
Video: Ovechkin Hosts Surprise Street Hockey Game with ASHA
Feb. 7-12 - In conjunction with the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates and Etihad Airways, the Washington Capitals will host Fatima Al Ali and the United Arab Emirates Women's National Hockey Team in Washington, D.C., from Wednesday, Feb. 7 to Monday, Feb. 12. The Capitals' relationship with the team developed during the 2016-17 season, when Capitals alumnus Peter Bondra met UAE team member Fatima Al Ali while in Abu Dhabi hosting a youth hockey clinic. After noticing her stickhandling, the Capitals and Etihad Airways surprised Al Ali with an invitation to Washington.
Video: All-access look at Fatima practicing with the Caps
In February Al Ali will return with the entire team as part of a special delegation to the United States and Canada that is taking them to Washington, D.C., Chicago and Ottawa, Canada.
Highlights of their six-day trip to Washington include attending a Capitals practice, partaking in a scrimmage with the Washington Pride and various activities around the region. On Feb. 9 when the Capitals host the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Caps will welcome the entire team to the ice for a ceremonial puck drop as part of the Capitals' Hockey Is for Everyone Month women's theme night.
Video: A behind-the-scenes look at Fatima's HIFE puck drop
Feb. 9 - The Capitals will host women's theme night when the Capitals host the Columbus Blue Jackets. The entire United Arab Emirates Women's Hockey Team will participate in a ceremonial puck drop. During the second intermission the Washington Pride will participate in a shootout.
Feb. 10 - The Capitals will host Kids Day for Kids Club members at Kettler Capitals Iceplex featuring face painters, balloon artists and a photo booth. Caps Kids Club members will have the opportunity to watch the Capitals practice and enjoy an open skate, in addition to meeting a special guest.
Video: Caps Kids Club takes over a Caps Game for Kids Day
Feb. 11 - The Capitals vs. Detroit Red Wings game marks the team's youth hockey theme night. Prior to the game, two local youth referees will meet with on-ice officials. The meet and greet is part of USA Hockey's 'Meet and Shadow the NHL Officials' program in partnership with Zebras Care, a National Hockey League Officials Association program.
Feb. 15 - In partnership with USO-Metro, USA Warriors, Capitals staff and better halves will assemble care packages for service members serving overseas.
Feb. 15-19 - The Capitals and Washington Pride will host the annual Junior Women's Hockey League (JWHL) Challenge Cup at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The JWHL All-Star Clinic will be hosted at Kettler from 6:20-7:20 p.m. on Feb. 15, with an All-Star game at 7:30 p.m. The free clinic is offered to local special hockey players as part of the JWHL Challenge Cup and their partnership with the Capitals youth hockey department.
Video: JWHL All-Stars host clinic for special needs team
Feb. 20 - The Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning game will mark the organization's annual Military Night and honor service members, with tributes throughout the game. The USA Warriors will participate in a second intermission skills exhibition. The 2018 Courage Caps presented by Telos campaign will launch, with all proceeds benefiting Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). TAPS offers compassionate care to all those grieving the loss of a military loved one. Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation will also host an auction on Handbid featuring autographed player-worn camouflage Caps jerseys, player-used sticks wrapped in camouflage tape and camouflage pucks. The auction will open on Feb. 13 and close at the end of the second intermission on Feb. 20. One hundred percent of the auction proceeds will benefit the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program and United Heroes League.
Video: Caps players skate with TAPS to kick off Courage Caps
Feb. 24 - The Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres game will mark the organization's black history in hockey theme night. Throughout the evening, the Caps will highlight the countless contributions made to both the sport of hockey and the Capitals organization by African-Americans.
Feb. 27 - The Capitals vs. Ottawa Senators game will honor the LGBTQ community. Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation will host an auction featuring autographed player-used sticks wrapped in rainbow-color 'Pride Tape.' One hundred percent of proceeds will benefit You Can Play, an organization dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, coaches and fans, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The auction will open on Handbid Tuesday, Feb. 20 and close at the end of the second intermission on Feb. 27.
Video: Caps players use Pride Tape at HIFE Night
Feb. 28 - The 10th annual Congressional Hockey Challenge - Hockey Day on the Hill will take place on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C, with a presence by both the NHL and Washington Capitals. The briefing is hosted by the Congressional Hockey Caucus.
Video: Caps visit Capitol Hill to discuss growth of hockey
The Capitals also will host three hockey clinics in February at schools throughout the region. Hockey School is a free program, designed to be both instructional and interactive, with the goal of exposing students to floor hockey while teaching proper technique. Following the clinic the Capitals will donate a set of street hockey equipment to the school.
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.