Four members of the Calgary Flames will be among those taking part in the Calgary Pride Parade on Sunday.
"I think it's important for everybody to show their support," forward Matt Stajan told NHL.com. "With us being pretty popular in the city of Calgary it's important that we go out there and show our support, celebrate with the people of Calgary."
Stajan, who marched in the 2015 Calgary Pride Parade, will be joined Sunday by forward Troy Brouwer, goalie Chad Johnson and goaltending coach Jordan Sigalet.
"The world we live in, it's about being open and welcoming to everybody and their rights," Stajan said. "We're all people that make decisions in what we do and you've got to be supportive of that. We have millions of people that support our league and us being hockey players and it's important for us to also show support to everyday lives of people of the [LGBT community]."
Brouwer and Johnson each signed with the Flames as an unrestricted free agent in July. Stajan is looking forward to marching with his new teammates.
"It's that time of year when guys start coming to [Calgary]," he said. "When there's guys that are new to your team, it's nice to see them in town early. To tell you the truth, with our team if we had more guys in town this early before the season I think you'd see a lot more guys here walking today as well to show their support. It's great and we'll have a fun day with it and then we'll put our working boots on and get ready for the season."
Walking with the Flames will be members of the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League and the Calgary Roughnecks of the National Lacrosse League. All three teams are owned by Calgary Sports and Entertainment.
Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke, who was Grand Marshal for the annual event in 2015, will not participate this year.
"Although I'm disappointed I am unable to attend this year's Calgary Pride Parade, I'm extremely proud to see a strong contingent of CSEC players and staff represent the organization in what is an important event for the Calgary community," Burke told the Flames website Friday.