ARLINGTON, Va. - The Washington Capitals will celebrate the National Hockey League's Hockey is for Everyone™ Month with several events and initiatives throughout February.
For the 18th 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.
The Capitals support of Hockey is for Everyone™ includes:
The Capitals will host their 14th annual Salute to the Military Night during the game against the New York Islanders. Salute to the Military Night is an evening dedicated to honoring the men and women who have served the country in the armed forces. More than 500 service members will be in attendance at the game, and the Capitals will pay tribute to the military throughout the evening through in-game and intermission activities.
Capitals better halves will visit Children's National Health System along with Capitals alumni, Red Rockers and mascot Slapshot. They will participate in a Valentine's Day craft project with children.
Capitals players will visit Fort Dupont Ice Arena, where they will skate with and provide instruction to children involved with Henderson's Fort Dupont Cannons hockey program, the oldest diversity hockey program in the country. Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation will present a check in the amount of $42,000 to the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club. The funds are part of a grant from the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation. 23 Capitals players made pledges to the Teammates for Kids Foundation's Top Shelf Teammates program. The Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club is a development program that provides local and inner-city youth in Washington, D.C., the opportunity to participate in an organized ice hockey program. In addition Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation partner Leveling the Playing Field (LPF) will donate hockey equipment to Fort Dupont. This equipment was collected at several Capitals rink partner ice rinks during the course of the season.
For the sixth-consecutive year the Capitals will team 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 will skate and play hockey with more than 100 participants.
The Capitals will participate in USA Hockey's Hockey Weekend Across America. On Friday, Feb. 19, fans are encouraged to wear their Capitals jersey to school and work during "Wear Your Favorite Hockey Jersey Day." Saturday, Feb. 20 is "Try Hockey Day" presented by the NHL. Hundreds of rinks nationwide will host Try Hockey For Free clinics, allowing thousands of children to experience hockey for the first time. A complete list of participating rinks in the Washington, D.C., region will be announced in mid-February. Fans can also visit www.tryhockeyforfree.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additonal information. Sunday, Feb. 21, is "Celebrate Local Hockey Hero's Day," which encourages all involved in the game to develop ways to honor their local hockey heroes. Prior to the Capitals game on Feb. 20, two local youth referees will meet with the on ice officials through the "Meet the NHL Officials Program" with USA Hockey.
Washington D.C. Blind Hockey is hosting Try Blind Hockey at Kettler Capitals Iceplex from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The event is intended to expose visually impaired players of all ages to hockey. Washington D.C. Blind Hockey will provide all equipment and coaching for all levels of skating ability, including beginners. Prior to the event, participants are invited to attend the Capitals morning skate.
The Capitals will host Hockey is for Everyone™ Night when the Capitals play the Montreal Canadiens at Verizon Center. Various local youth hockey programs will join in the festivities throughout the game, including players from the American Special Hockey Association who will participate in a shootout during the second intermission.
The Capitals will host five hockey schools in February, including one at Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation's adopted school, Browne Education Campus in Washington, D.C. 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 donate a set of street hockey equipment to the school.
In addition the Washington Capitals will sponsor the Capitals Cup High School Championships as part of the Hockey is for Everyone™ initiative. The Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League, Maryland Student Hockey League, Mid-Atlantic Girls Hockey League, Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League, and the Capital Scholastic Hockey League will all conduct their respective playoff tournaments and the winners will receive the designation as "Capitals Cup" winners. The Washington Capitals and MSE Foundation will also provide championship hats and medals to the winning teams as well as honor them for the year at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on the High School Wall of Fame.
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. For more information, visit hockeyisforeveryone.NHL.com.