The NHL and its 31 clubs will be celebrating ‘Hockey Is For Everyone’ throughout the month of February, with community events and initiatives to show the league’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Each of the league’s 31 teams has named a player ambassador, with two officials joining the effort: referee Dave Jackson and linesman Shandor Alphonso.
Jackson is the longest-tenured NHL referee and has worked more than 1,500 games. Jackson brings a strong commitment to equality, inclusion and respect on the ice and with the NHL Officials Association, which he joined in 1989.
Alphonso has been an NHL linesman since 2014. Alphonso, of Trinidad-Jamaican descent, was an accomplished Junior hockey and University hockey player. Along with his role model Jay Sharrers, he is paving the way for future referees of color.
“I believe that the Hockey Is For Everyone initiative is important each year because many people, especially at a young age, are not usually comfortable pushing for inclusion,” said Josh Pauls, the captain of the U.S. National Sled team competing in the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics told NHL.com. “With the NHL and its partners putting it out there that everyone is welcome in the sport of hockey, it opens the door for people of different backgrounds to feel a part of a family that they may not have had in the past or in any other setting.”
In addition to the off-ice activities, over 100 players will be recognizing ‘Hockey Is For Everyone’ through use of rainbow hockey tape to represent the inclusion of LGBTQ players, coaches, officials, and fans.
The ambassadors chosen by the league are expected to be leaders on diversity, equality and inclusion both in the locker room and in the community, as well as to “lead the way in their markets and be an advocate for underrepresented, marginalized or disadvantaged communities.”
- Referee Dave Jackson
- Linesman Shandor Alphonso
- Anaheim Ducks – Corey Perry
- Arizona Coyotes – Oliver Ekman-Larsson
- Boston Bruins – Brad Marchand
- Buffalo Sabres – Ryan O’Reilly
- Carolina Hurricanes – Trevor van Riemsdyk
- Columbus Blue Jackets – Seth Jones
- Calgary Flames – Matt Stajan
- Chicago Blackhawks – Tommy Wingels
- Colorado Avalanche – Gabriel Landeskog
- Dallas Stars – Tyler Seguin
- Detroit Red Wings – Justin Abdelkader
- Edmonton Oilers – Jujhar Khaira
- Florida Panthers – Aaron Ekblad
- Los Angeles Kings – Dustin Brown
- Minnesota Wild – Charlie Coyle
- Montreal Canadiens – Andrew Shaw
- Nashville Predators – Kyle Turris
- 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 – Matt Murray
- San Jose Sharks – Chris Tierney
- St. Louis Blues – Carter Hutton
- Tampa Bay Lightning – Alex Killorn
- Toronto Maple Leafs – James van Riemsdyk
- Vancouver Canucks – Henrik Sedin
- Vegas Golden Knights – Pierre-Édouard Bellemare
- Washington Capitals – Braden Holtby
- Winnipeg Jets – Jacob Trouba
- Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Bowser
- Harrison Browne
- Angela James
- Josh Pauls
- Fred Sasakamoose
- Harnarayan Singh
Teams will each be hosting special awareness nights.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 1, 2018
For more on the ambassadors and the special events, visit the Hockey Is For Everyone page at NHL.com.