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Lightning vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Hockey is for Everyone

Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 11:30 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Hockey is for Everyone

If you can play, you can play.

Michael Smith
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That is the message of the You Can Play project, whose mission is “dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.”

On Thursday, April 11, the National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association announced a historic partnership with You Can Play, unequivocally reaffirming the commitment of the league and its players to the idea that hockey is for everyone.

The collaboration marks the first of its kind between the just-over-a-year-old social activist group and a professional sports league and its players.

Hurricanes forward Kevin Westgarth tweeted last week in support of the partnership:

“You have to have the conversation to make sure that things are correct and going in the right direction,” Westgarth said. “I think it shows that we’re willing to be outspoken about it now, and that’s very important. There’s no question that’s the direction our league and everywhere in athletics should be going.”

Founded by Philadelphia Flyers scout Patrick Burke, You Can Play has had vocal and expansive support throughout hockey since its inception on March 9, 2012.

“To formalize it across the NHL and NHLPA is a great thing, and hopefully that is a beacon moving forward,” Westgarth said.

According to the league, the partnership between the NHL, NHLPA and You Can Play includes a broad pledge to education and training. You Can Play will conduct educational seminars at the league’s rookie symposium and will make its resources available for teams and players. The partnership also includes production and broadcast support of public service announcements.

At its core, the You Can Play project centers around respect – respect both in and out of the locker room – and the idea of judging athletes based on character and work ethic. Sport unites people of all backgrounds, races and culture together; exclusivity is not inherent, and inclusivity should be celebrated.

“It’s unfortunate it can’t just be right without saying anything,” Westgarth said. “But I think it’s very important now that we do it, and I think it’s a great step for us.”



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 41 15 13 -8 28
J. Faulk 46 8 18 -14 26
J. Skinner 41 10 9 -7 19
E. Lindholm 46 9 10 -10 19
R. Nash 46 7 12 -4 19
J. Tlusty 39 11 7 -12 18
N. Gerbe 42 4 13 -2 17
V. Rask 46 6 9 -9 15
A. Sekera 44 1 14 -8 15
C. Terry 33 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 5 8 2 .916 2.32
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45