The NHL is celebrating Hockey Is For Everyone month during February. On Wednesday, the league announced that it was partnering with You Can Play to create more visibility and support for the LGBTQ community. The NHL also released a list that features a player from every team who is a You Can Play ambassador. According to the NHL, each athlete named will serve as a leader in the locker room and in the community on diversity, equality, and inclusion. The players have also agreed to lead the way in their markets to fight homophobia in sports. Some of them will even be featured in local public service announcements.
On Thursday, the NHL announced that Braden Holtby will be the Capitals’ LBGTQ representative.
February is #HockeyIsForEveryone month. Help us spread respect for all who play and love this game.
— NHL (@NHL) February 1, 2017
“Our Clubs, our players and our fans are committed to welcoming everyone to hockey,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “While the NHL family strives for diversity and inclusiveness all year long, February is Hockey Is For Everyone month, which will highlight, on a daily basis, the many ways our sport brings greater attention, heightened awareness and broader opportunities.”
Over the summer, Holtby marched in the Capital Pride Parade along with other members of the Caps organization. Holtby also attended the event in 2015, but just as a bystander.
Braden and his wife Brandi were first inspired to the cause after visiting the former home of Harvey Milk during their honeymoon in San Francisco. When the couple returned home, their landscaper noticed the Holtbys’ new LGBTQ bumper stickers. He invited Brandi and Braden to the Human Rights Campaign national dinner.
Since then, Holtby has become arguably the most visible local athlete to support the LGBTQ community.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 11, 2016
Select clubs this month will designate one home game as a You Can Play night, celebrating members of the local LGBTQ community with ceremonial puck drops, anthem singers, features on hometown heroes, and “Pride Tape” that will be used during warmups.
Anaheim Ducks — Ryan Kesler
Arizona Coyotes — Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Boston Bruins — Brad Marchand
Buffalo Sabres — Anders Nilsson
Carolina Hurricanes — Eddie Lack
Calgary Flames — Matt Stajan
Chicago Blackhawks — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Colorado Avalanche — Gabriel Landeskog
Columbus Blue Jackets — Scott Hartnell
Dallas Stars — Curtis McKenzie
Detroit Red Wings — Frans Nielsen
Edmonton Oilers — Matt Hendricks
Florida Panthers — Shawn Thornton
Los Angeles Kings — Dustin Brown
Minnesota Wild — Charlie Coyle
Montreal Canadiens — Andrew Shaw
Nashville Predators — Colin Wilson
New Jersey Devils — Andy Greene
New York Islanders — Casey Cizikas
New York Rangers — Mats Zuccarello
Ottawa Senators — Dion Phaneuf
Philadelphia Flyers — Claude Giroux
Pittsburgh Penguins — Chris Kunitz
San Jose Sharks — Chris Tierney
St. Louis Blues — David Perron
Tampa Bay Lightning — Brian Boyle
Toronto Maple Leafs — James van Riemsdyk
Vancouver Canucks — Henrik Sedin
Washington Capitals — Braden Holtby
Winnipeg Jets — Jacob Trouba
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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