NEWARK, N.J. - In celebration of the NHL's league-wide "Hockey is for Everyone" initiative during the month of February, the New Jersey Devils will host a panel discussion and screening of the award-winning documentary Soul on Ice: Past, Present & Future at Prudential Center on Sunday, February 12 immediately following the 12:30 p.m. Devils vs. Sharks game.
A number of special guests will be in attendance at the Soul on Ice: Past Present & Future event and will participate in a panel discussion about the film prior to the screening, including: hockey legend Willie O'Ree, the first black player in the NHL; Devils forward Devante Smith-Pelly; former Devils captain Bryce Salvador; former player and television analyst Anson Carter; and Damon Kwame Mason, the film's director.
Devils ticket holders are encouraged to stay for the free event. The first 9,000 fans in attendance at that afternoon's game will receive a Taylor Hall bobblehead as the Devils celebrate the first of two Kids Days this season, featuring NJ Devil autographs in Little Devils Zone, kids-themed activities throughout the game and a special Family Four Pack offer.
"The 'Hockey is for Everyone' movement has been a driving theme in our year-round efforts to grow and diversify the sport of hockey in Newark and across New Jersey," said Hugh Weber, President of the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center. "From opening our doors to youth who have never experienced the game to bringing street hockey to the neighborhoods of Newark in the summer, the Devils are fully dedicated to making this sport accessible and enjoyable for anyone that wants to participate."
Soul on Ice: Past, Present & Future explores the history of black athletes in hockey through stories of black hockey legends and their contributions to the sport, and interviews with current black players in the NHL. The film also showcases young black hockey players' journeys to the NHL to illustrate the experiences and challenges that today's aspiring young players face, as well as the growing popularity of the sport among players of color. For more information about Soul on Ice: Past, Present & Future, visit soulonicemovie.com.
Year-round, the NHL supports Hockey is for Everyone non-profit youth and minor hockey organizations across North America that are committed to offering underprivileged and disadvantaged children of all backgrounds opportunities to play hockey, leveraging the sport to build character, foster positive values and develop important life skills.
Participants from Hockey in New Jersey, the state's preeminent urban youth development program and an official program of Hockey is for Everyone, will also be on hand to experience the event. The Devils and Prudential Center have been a proud partner of Hockey in New Jersey since the team moved to Newark in 2007, and have helped the program expand to Englewood and Jersey City in the past 18 months. The Devils support Hockey in Newark throughout the year with ice time, an annual equipment drive, special events, volunteers and player interaction, and are committed to helping the program grow on a grassroots level. For more information on Hockey in New Jersey, follow @HockeyinNJ and visit HockeyinNJ.com.
Later this month, the Devils will continue their support of Hockey is for Everyone with the team's annual Pride Night on Monday, February 27 vs. Montreal, the first day of the NHL's Pride Week.
Tickets to all upcoming Devils games are available at NewJerseyDevils.com/tickets. Follow @NJDevils for more information and special offers.