COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A record 28 NHL-associated sled hockey teams will take part in the eighth annual USA Hockey Sled Classic, presented by the NHL and hosted by Minnesota Hockey and the Minnesota Wild. Tournament play will begin Thursday, Nov. 16, and culminate with championship games for all five divisions on Sunday, Nov. 19. All games will take place in Plymouth, Minnesota, at Plymouth Ice Center. For a complete schedule, click here.
The 28 competing teams represent a record 20 NHL member clubs, including the Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning and Winnipeg Jets. Each team will represent its associated NHL club by wearing official NHL licensed jerseys with local club marks and logos.
Among the record 300-plus competitors slated to participate, 15 are current members of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. Of those skaters, 13 helped the United States claim the silver medal at the 2017 Para Sled Hockey World Championship in Gangneung, South Korea, and a total of 10 players skated on the U.S. squad that claimed the gold medal at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
All games will be streamed live at USAHockey.HockeyTV.com. Current subscribers of Hockey.TV can watch the games with their active subscription. Users whose subscriptions have expired can simply log in to their existing Hockey.TV account and activate a new subscription. New users to Hockey.TV should go to USAHockey.HockeyTV.com and register for an account.
The event is part of the seventh annual Come Play Hockey Month and the Hockey is for Everyone program, two joint efforts of USA Hockey and the NHL. As a symbol of the NHL's commitment to the sled hockey community, the Tier I champion will be awarded the O'Connor Courage Trophy.
- Fans can use the hashtag #SledClassic to join the tournament conversation on social media.
- Through the Hockey is for Everyone initiative, the NHL supports non-profit hockey organizations across North America that are committed to offering underprivileged, marginalized and disadvantaged people an opportunity to play hockey, leveraging the sport to build character, foster positive values and develop important life skills. To join the conversation on social media, fans can use the hashtag #HockeyIsForEveryone.
- The Wild is one of six NHL clubs that will have two associated teams in this year's USA Hockey Sled Classic.
- Last year, the Nashville Predators held the tournament in Antioch, Tenn., where the Colorado Avalanche captured the Tier I Division, the Pittsburgh Penguins claimed the Tier II crown, the Nashville Predators won the Tier III Division, the Colorado Avalance captured the Tier IV division and the Carolina Hurricanes took the Tier V title.
- Previous NHL teams to host the event include the Colorado Avalanche (2010; Denver, Colo.); Philadelphia Flyers (2011; Voorhees, N.J.); Buffalo Sabres (2012; Williamsville, N.Y.); Pittsburgh Penguins (2013; Pittsburgh, Pa.); Washington Capitals (2014; Arlington, Va.); and the Florida Panthers (2015; Sunrise, Fla.)
- More information on the sport of sled hockey is available at the USA Hockey website.