Hockey Is For Everyone uses the game of hockey - and the League's global influence - to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities.
As part of this league-wide initiative, the San Jose Sharks host various events throughout the season which celebrate inclusion in sports, including girls, those with disabilities, special needs, low income, and LGBTQ hockey.
The Sharks hosted Hockey is for Everyone Night presented by Zoom on March 5.
Sharks players arrived to the rink wearing the jerseys from the San Francisco Earthquakes, a co-ed LGBTQ-friendly ice hockey team. During warmups, players wore custom Hockey Is For Everyone jerseys, which were auctioned off and benefitted Girls on the Run.
The night also included Zachary Nazareno, a Sharks Sled Hockey player, who dropped the ceremonial first puck, the One Step Sharks special hockey team, interpreted messages from Sharks prospect Ozzy Wiesblatt, and our team partners who shared messages of equality on SAP Center's dasherboards. All fans in attendance also received a Hockey Is For Everyone shirsey courtesy of Zoom.
During the 2020 NHL draft, the Sharks Director of Scouting, Doug Wilson Jr., used American Sign Language interpretation to announce the selection of first-round draft pick, Ozzy Wiesblatt. Ozzy's mother, Kim White was born Deaf and made many sacrifices for her children to play hockey.
Learn some ASL hockey terms with Sharks prospect, Ozzy Wiesblatt!
American Sign Language Interpreter Dane Lentz joined us on Hockey Is For Everyone Night for a second straight year. Over the course of the day, Lentz interpreted pre- and post-game media for players and coaches, as well as the National Anthem before puck drop. Lentz can also be seen interpreting the National Anthem and Canadian National Anthem on the video board at each Sharks game.