NEW YORK/ST. LOUIS -- As a legacy of the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, the National Hockey League (NHL) and St. Louis Blues, along with equipment partner Bauer Hockey, have made a long-term investment in girls' and women's hockey in the St. Louis area.
The details of the investment were unveiled at an event earlier today by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, St. Louis Blues President and CEO Chris Zimmerman, Bauer Hockey Vice President of Global Marketing Mary-Kay Messier, American All-Stars Kacey Bellamy, Hilary Knight, Annie Pankowski and Kendall Coyne Schofield, Canadian All-Stars Rebecca Johnston and Marie-Philip Poulin and more than 100 girls' hockey players from the St. Louis area.
The investment made in girls' and women's hockey will cover equipment, ice time, coaching, and special events for girls and women of all ages. It also covers year-round programming, summer skills camps, female official development programs, female coaching clinics, and a new 3 vs. 3 Skills Development League.
"Thanks to this joint initiative by the Blues, Bauer and the NHL, young women and girls across the St. Louis area will now have an even greater opportunity to learn hockey and experience all the benefits that come with being involved with our game," said Commissioner Bettman. "Our core belief is that "Hockey is For Everyone" -- these are potent words made even more powerful when they are paired with action like this year's All-Star Legacy project."
"It has been an unforgettable year for hockey in St. Louis - winning the Stanley Cup, opening the Centene Community Ice Center and now hosting NHL All-Star Weekend," Zimmerman said. "The spotlight is on our city and the interest in our sport has never been greater. In collaboration with leading industry innovators in the NHL and Bauer Hockey, we are excited to create this program and provide youth and teen girls new opportunities to begin their hockey careers in a fun and consistent environment. This initiative is closely aligned with our continued efforts to share the game of hockey, and the countless benefits it provides, with everyone."
"At Bauer, we recognize the importance of providing more opportunity for girls to play hockey. That's why we create programming and content that attracts and retains girls, which enhances our game and helps to ensure the future of our sport," Messier said. "Toward these goals, we have developed female-specific learn-to-play programs and women-specific marketing campaigns that help to inspire young girls with role models. To continue advancing the women's game, we need strong partnerships with industry leaders like the one we are building with the Blues organization, and we look forward to working together on this shared mission."
Special guests in attendance at today's community event included St. Louis Blues Chairman and Governor Tom Stillman; NHL Executive Vice President, Social Impact, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs Kim Davis and Hall of Fame alumni Brett Hull.
The Legacy initiative is an ongoing philanthropic endeavor through which the League and the local Club support community organizations in the host city of an NHL Event. Since 2003, the League, its Clubs and partners have donated more than $6 million to communities across North America. Legacy projects have aided thousands of hospital patients in recovery; helped at-risk youth and families gain better access to educational and vocational training; and provided greater access to people of all ages to learn and play hockey.