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Sharks, Kane Celebrate Black Hockey History

by Missy Zielinski / sjsharks.com

Over the weekend, the Sharks celebrated Black History Month with the help of the NHL Black Hockey History mobile museum, which made two stops in the Bay Area.

The first stop was Saturday in San Jose ahead of the Sharks game, where the mobile museum invited Sharks fans to learn about some of hockey's biggest moments, milestones, and playmakers in the sport, while also celebrating the pioneers and trailblazers who helped shape NHL history.

Evander Kane made a special appearance by surprising families from the San Jose African American Community Services Agency (SJAACSA) as they toured the mobile museum situated outside of SAP Center.

"It's always great to have different kids from different backgrounds come and involve themselves in the game of hockey," Kane said. "You haven't seen that as much over the years and that's starting to change, and the culture of hockey is starting to change.

"Those groups of kids are going to be a big part of that change. It's great for them to learn the history of our game and how black people are an integral part of that history."

Kane and the group had the opportunity to explore black hockey history together, sign autographs and take photos. The mobile museum included locker stalls featuring Kane, and sharks alum Joel Ward and Mike Grier. Kane was also recognized with a player plaque in the truck, which he was able to sign while he was there.

Tweet from @evanderkane_9: Great way to wrap up #BlackHistoryMonth. It was awesome to meet all the young faces last night and the parents behind these great kids. It was fun to learn even more about Black History in Hockey because it���s so important to understand the impact of black players of our past. pic.twitter.com/AyJWz1J6v0

"When you can see something, you potentially want to be something." Kwame Mason, the co-curator of the NHL Black Hockey History mobile museum said. "It's a great sight to see Evander interacting with these kids who may want to play the game of hockey or are a fan of the game."

That wasn't the only surprise, though, as 13-year-old Tyler from SJAACSA presented Kane with a portrait of the Sharks forward. Tyler is an avid painter and created the piece just for him.

Included in the celebration of Black History Month was a bobblehead giveaway that evening where Kane was transformed into Marvel's Black Panther.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Wa-Kane-da 𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 ������All fans in attendance will receive this @evanderkane_9 bobblehead inspired by Black Panther presented by @s4aofficial tonight. pic.twitter.com/NVbbV2CgBU

To go along with all the excitement, Kane netted the first goal of the game late in the first period after Pittsburgh turned the puck over and he was able to break away down the slot and beat Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry. The goal would stand as the game-winner in a 5-0 win.

The families from SJAACSA, who visited with Kane earlier, were in attendance for the victory.

"The cherry on top was getting a good win and making it an entertaining game for them since it probably their first experience at an NHL game for most of them, so it was nice to make it a good one," Kane said. "That's how you grow the game - you introduce people who maybe don't know a lot about hockey and the history of hockey, especially from a black standpoint."

To wrap-up the weekend, the Black Hockey History mobile museum stopped by Oakland Ice Center for families to tour in the East Bay and members of the Sharks organization were on hand for street hockey activities.

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