This season, the NHL is making a big push in its Hockey is for Everyone initiative. The main site’s Hockey is for Everyone hub sports stories, videos, and discussions with ambassadors, and states:
We support any teammate, coach or fan who brings heart, energy and passion to the rink. We believe all hockey programs - from professionals to youth organizations - should provide a safe, positive and inclusive environment for players and families regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation and socio-economic status.
Tampa Bay Lightning is taking part in this initiative by hosting PRIDE night tomorrow night. Brian Boyle is the Bolts’ You Can Play ambassador, and will be welcoming LGBTQ+ guests to the arena with a special PSA. The Tampa Bay Lightning press release states:
The night will include LGBTQ messaging on LightningVision throughout the game, including a PSA from Bolts You Can Play representative Brian Boyle. The game's Community Hero honoree will also be tied to the LGBTQ community and will benefit Equality Florida. Groups from Equality Florida, Diversity Tampa Bay and Balance Tampa Bay will be recognized in-arena and proceeds from the game's 50/50 drawing, presented by Moffitt Cancer Center, will benefit local LGBTQ charities.
There is also a special ticketing package announced that includes access to a PRIDE network event on the Bud Light Party Deck, and a Bolts PRIDE shirt.
Lightning cruises past Oilers for fifth win in seven games. “Ben Bishop may be the Lightning's biggest decision at next week's trade deadline.” [Tampa Bay Times]
Lightning journal: It's like old times for reunited Triplets. ‘The Triplets line is back. Will the reunion last? "It's getting results, so I hope so," C Tyler Johnson said after Tuesday's 4-1 win against the Oilers. "I like playing with those guys. They're fun to play with. They're great hockey players. Makes the game easier for me."‘ [Tampa Bay Times]
NHL Trade Rumors: Would the Lightning be interested in moving Stralman? “Could Tampa be looking to deal a top defenseman before the March 1st deadline? If they would listen, Pittsburgh could make them an intriguing offer.” [Pensburgh]
Steven Stamkos of Lightning progressing after surgery. "He's progressing well," general manager Steve Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times. "He's doing well, but [we] can't give a return date yet." [NHL]
Ready to be excited about the Syracuse Crunch post-season? WE ARE. "A daily look at the race to the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs. The 2016-17 regular season ends April 15." [The AHL]
Maybe he’s a mathematician?
Who are the best players not skating in the NHL? Hm, zero Bolts make this list. [TSN]
NHL wants ‘two dedicated weeks’ for bye weeks next season. “Next season, assuming the new plan is implemented, half the teams will take their bye week one week, then the other half will take it the next week.” [NBC]
The NHL’s Goal: Get Younger Fans. “MS. BROWNING: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman gave me one clear goal, and that’s to grow our sport. Our mission is to modernize our approach and take a fresh look at the marketing mix to find new ways to engage new and future fans.” [Wall Street Journal]
NHL 100: Legion of Doom highlights hockey's all-time iconic lines. “Sometimes when three players click on the same line, the unit becomes bigger than the sum of its parts.” [CBC]
Bye weeks proving to be disastrous for NHL teams. “After Sunday's games, NHL teams have gone 4-12-4 in their first game back from the bye. Saturday was particularly bloody, with the Blackhawks, Capitals, Canadiens, Lightning and Predators all losing in their return to the ice after short rests.” [Chicago Tribune]