Devane Smith-Pelly, Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, Neal Henderson, Pierre -Edouard Bellemare, Ryan Reaves, T.J. Oshie, Vegas Golden Knights, Washington Capitals
The Stanley Cup Final is only a game old but I already have a favorite picture – one that jubilantly tells the story of diversity in hockey.
It’s a shot of Vegas Golden Knights forwards Ryan Reaves and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare joyfully celebrating the top-shelf goal that Reaves scored in the third period Monday night against the Washington Capitals that tied the game at 4. Vegas won the series opener 6-4, a contest in which players of color had front and center roles.
Reaves and Bellemare were effective pests on the Golden Knights checking line, giving the Capitals fits and putting the puck in the net.
Capitals forward T.J. Oshie, who is Ojibwe First Nations/Native American, had an assist on the Capitals’ fourth goal, scored by defenseman John Carlson. And Washington forward Devante-Smith Pelly made the most of his 10:04 minutes of ice time, hitting anything that moved that wore gray, gold and red.
The Stanley Cup Final isn’t the only thing with neat visuals. Voting is underway for the NHL’s Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award, with three finalists to choose from.
And, like any good campaign, supporters of Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club founder and Head Coach Neal Henderson, have put up a video to garner votes.
For those who represent inclusion in hockey @SNChrisSimpson @ColorOfHockey @usahockey welcome community hero NEAL HENDERSON from Washington DC on his nomination for the #NHLOreeAward. A truly special man. Please WATCH the video and VOTE here: https://t.co/DAE7UjZs4K pic.twitter.com/8Yqqb7Hn0G
— Steven Hoffner (@Hoffner_Steven) May 29, 2018
At 40 years old, Washington’s Fort Dupont program is the oldest minority youth hockey program in North America.
The other O’Ree award finalists are Debbie Bland, a long-time girls and women’s hockey advocate in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada, and Humboldt Broncos Coach Darcy Haugan, who was killed in April when the Saskatchewan junior hockey team’s bus collided with a semi-trailer.
Voting closes at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on June 1. Click here to cast your vote.
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