Tracking the Storm

Hockey is for Everyone

Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 11:30 AM ET / 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 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72