In conjunction with the initiative, NHL Clubs have designated one player to be a Hockey is for Everyone Ambassador, serving as a leader in the locker room and in the community on diversity, equality and inclusion. Alternate captain Justin Abdelkader will serve in this capacity for the Red Wings.
“There are millions of individuals, young and old, who love the sport of hockey and the principles it instills,” said Abdelkader. “I’m proud to join the Detroit Red Wings in supporting the NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone initiative. Together, we can continue to ensure hockey serves as the most inclusive sport on and off the ice.”
Red Wings Hockey is for Everyone Month activities include:
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 14 – WARRIOR HOCKEY EQUIPMENT DONATION TO THE MOTOR CITY STARS
The Red Wings will launch a myriad of Hockey is for Everyone Month activities by surprising the Motor City Stars, a special hockey organization based in Livonia, Mich., with more than $12,000 in brand new hockey equipment donated by Michigan-based Warrior Hockey. Members of Motor City Stars are invited to enjoy a Red Wings practice at Little Caesars Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 14 before being surprised with the new equipment by multiple Warrior endorsed Red Wings players, including Hockey is for Everyone Ambassador, Justin Abdelkader. After enjoying their donation from Warrior, the athletes will receive an opportunity to skate at the BELFOR Training Center. The Motor City Stars hockey organization was founded in 2007 in partnership with the non-profit human service agency MORC Inc. Previously named MORC Stars, the team has grown and evolved in its 10-year history to become the Motor City Stars.
MONDAY, FEB. 19 – KRAFT HOCKEYVILLE AT MEIJER WITH SPECIAL OLYMPICS MICHIGAN
As part of Hockey is for Everyone Month, Red Wings defenseman Mike Green will join more than 30 poly hockey athletes from Special Olympics Michigan at Meijer in Detroit (21431 Grand River Ave.) on Monday, Feb. 19 to participate in a unique hockey clinic as part of Kraft Hockeyville. The event, which takes place from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., begins with dinner for the athletes followed by the surprise introduction of Green as the clinic leader.
SATURDAY, FEB. 24 – VIP TEAM EXPERIENCE & LUNCHEON
Prior to Hockey is for Everyone Night, the Red Wings will host more than 100 youth and adult hockey players representing a variety of areas and communities, including ethnicity and gender equality, socio-economic status, LGBTQ, military and those with disabilities, for a VIP experience at Little Caesars Arena during the team’s morning practice session at 10:30 a.m. After practice, guests will enjoy lunch in the Comerica Players Club and meet & greet opportunities with select Red Wings players. Each guest also receives a special Hockey is for Everyone fan package and Michigan First Gondola tickets to the game, courtesy of the Red Wings.
SATURDAY, FEB. 24 – HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE NIGHT AT LITTLE CAESARS ARENA
Honorary Puck Drop Captain: In celebration of the Warrior Hockey equipment donation, special needs hockey player Brett Karapuz from the Motor City Stars will serve as Honorary Puck Drop Captain during Hockey is for Everyone Night.
Hockey is for Everyone PSA: In celebration of Hockey is for Everyone Month, the Red Wings will debut a new PSA during the game highlighting the team’s cultural diversity. Select players will speak both in English and in their native languages during the PSA.
Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) Concourse Activation: Representatives from RISE will bring their “It Takes All Colors” digital photo experience to Little Caesars Arena (near PORTAL 8) in support of Hockey is for Everyone Night. The photo booth activation provides fans a unique opportunity to pledge their support for understanding, respect and equality in sports.
Red Wings Pride Tape Equipment Online Auction: Select Red Wings players will use hockey sticks wrapped with Pride Tape during pregame warm-ups. The autographed sticks will then be auctioned at www.DetroitRedWings.com/Auction, with proceeds benefiting You Can Play. The online auction will run through Friday, March 2.
Hockey is for Everyone Lapel Pins: Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill and the team’s staff, along with FOX Sports Detroit broadcast personalities, will wear special Hockey is for Everyone lapel pins during the Feb. 24 game to support the initiative.
“Share Your Story” Social Media Campaign: Fans are encouraged to join the conversation in support of Hockey is for Everyone by sharing their stories of how hockey has made a positive impact via Facebook (facebook.com/detroitredwings), Instagram (@DetroitRedWings and @DRWCommunity) or Twitter (@DetroitRedWings) using the official hashtag #HockeyIsForEveryone. Additionally, fans can share their story on Snapchat (@OfficialDRW) with the special Hockey is for Everyone filter. Red Wings fans not in attendance for Hockey is for Everyone Night can learn more about the cause at www.NHL.com/HockeyIsForEveryone.
YEAR-ROUND SUPPORT FOR HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE
The Red Wings and their partners are proud to support Hockey is for Everyone initiatives year-round in an effort to encourage diversity and inclusion in hockey. Year-round Hockey is for Everyone initiatives include:
Partnership with the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE): The Red Wings’ support of diversity and inclusion spans yearlong through a season-long partnership with RISE. In conjunction with the Detroit Red Wings School Assembly Program, teachers at each of the 115 elementary schools visited receive a RISE Teacher Kit to help nearly 50,000 students explore the different cultural aspects of each country from which Red Wings players hail.
STEM Day at Little Caesars Arena for DPSCD: On Monday, Feb. 5, the Red Wings and Chevrolet welcomed more than 300 students and educators from Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) to experience STEM Day at Little Caesars Arena. The event celebrated and rewarded students for their participation in the Future Goals – Hockey Scholar™ program, a hockey-themed STEM educational course that takes students on an exciting educational journey with a goal of winning the Stanley Cup. During the event, 5th through 8th grade students and their educators were provided an opportunity to learn how STEM interacts with careers in the hockey and automotive industries. Additionally, the attendees were welcomed by Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill to experience a live team practice, which featured educational elements learned within Hockey Scholar™ modules. In support of future educational endeavors, the Red Wings and Chevrolet donated $30,000 to Detroit Public Schools Foundation to purchase technology for each attending school.
Detroit Red Wings Player Ticket Programs for Special Needs Community: Several Red Wings players provide complimentary tickets for individuals with special needs to attend Red Wings home games at Little Caesars Arena. Each player ticket program affords unique opportunities for individuals and their families to experience the excitement of a professional hockey game. Current Red Wings players who support local nonprofit organizations dedicated to individuals with special needs include: Johan Franzen (Special Olympics); Luke Glendening (Down Syndrome Guild of Southeast Michigan, Down Syndrome Support Team, Special Olympics); Darren Helm (FAR Flyers, the Motor City Stars, West Michigan Special Hockey Association); Niklas Kronwall (Autism Alliance of Michigan).
The Salvation Army STRIVE Floor Hockey Program: Reintroduced by the Red Wings and The Salvation Army in 2017, the STRIVE (Student Training for Integrity, Vitality and Education) floor hockey program teaches the basics of the sport of hockey, team building skills and positive sportsmanship behavior to children ages 8-12 in communities experiencing increased poverty throughout southeastern Michigan.
Detroit Red Wings Foundation’s Support of USA Hockey Sled Classic: In November 2017, the Detroit Red Wings Foundation sponsored a co-ed team of adult sled hockey players from across Michigan to represent the organization at the USA Hockey Sled Classic in Plymouth, Mich. The Red Wings’ 12-person roster, who each donned official team jerseys with their name and selected number, competed against 27 other NHL-sponsored teams in the Classic.
NHL Centennial Fan Arena Diversity & Inclusion Grant: As part of Hockey is for Everyone, the National Hockey League made a $5,000 grant in all 31 NHL markets at the NHL Centennial Fan Arena. To support diversity and inclusion in hockey, the Red Wings provided the grant to benefit Special Olympics Michigan’s poly hockey program. In December 2017, athletes from the organization received the donation after participating in a skills clinic alongside Red Wings alumnus and Hall of Famer Larry Murphy.