Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog joins the You Can Play team in promoting diversity and inclusion for all, including LGBT athletes and fans.
Drafted second overall by the Avalanche in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Gabe is a left-winger from Stockholm, Sweden.
At 19, Landeskog became the youngest captain in NHL history. In 2011-12, Landeskog broke the Avs’ franchise record for shots on goal by a rookie, scored 22 goals, and won the NHL’s Calder Memorial Trophy for rookie of the year.
Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, along with players from Mountain Vista High School (Highlands Ranch, CO) and Regis Jesuit High School (Aurora, CO) join the You Can Play team in promoting diversity and inclusion for all, including LGBT athletes and fans.
Drafted second overall by the Avalanche in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Gabe is a left-winger from Stockholm, Sweden – and named to the Swedish Olympic hockey team this week. At 19, Landeskog became the youngest captain in NHL history. In 2011-12, Landeskog broke the Avs’ franchise record for shots on goal by a rookie and won the NHL’s Calder Memorial Trophy for rookie of the year.
Landeskog and the Mountain Vista and Regis Jesuit teams shot the You Can Play video as part of the Colorado High School Activities Association’s “You Can Play, Colorado!” project, promoting positive leadership across the state’s sports and student activities program.
The video also represents a milestone for You Can Play and professional sports. With Landeskog representing the Colorado Avalanche, every team in the National Hockey League has now been represented by a player voicing support LGBT athletes and fans – the first time in sports history an entire major sports league has shown support for an LGBT-specific effort.
Team captains, Stanley Cup champions and an Olympic gold medalist join You Can Play in supporting all athletes and fans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta was born in Rochester, NY, and is only the second American citizen to captain the Canadiens. The former Boston College star (Hockey East Player of the Year, 2001), Gionta was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 1998, winning a Stanley Cup in 2003. He holds the Devils’ franchise record for goals in a season (48). Gionta represented the United States on the 2006 Olympic men’s hockey team.
Brenden Morrow is a gold medalist representing Team Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Drafted by the Dallas Stars in the first round of the 1997 draft, Morrow served as Stars captain from 2006-2013 before heading to the St. Louis Blues earlier this year. Morrow is a native of Carlyle, Saskatchewan.
Another Boston College standout, Ben Smith won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks this year. Smith was named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player while playing for BC in 2010. A native of Winston-Salem, NC, Smith now calls Avon, CT his hometown.
You Can Play is proud to have Brian, Brenden and Ben supporting the effort to change the culture of locker rooms.
Representing the San Jose Sharks, the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens – and citizens of the Canada, Sweden and the United States – four big NHL players put an international spin on support for You Can Play and LGBT athletes everywhere. They each share a link, past or present to the San Jose Sharks – and thanks to the Sharks for providing the video help. The Sharks’ Brent Burns is a Barrie, Ontario native and 2011 NHL All-Star. Burns was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the 2003 NHL draft.
Also a first-round pick, the Sharks took Logan Couture 9th overall in 2007. He’s the Sharks franchise leader in rookie-season goals scored (32) and the first Sharks player to score 30 goals in his first two seasons. Logan is the all-time NHL leader in rookie-season game-winning goals on the road (7). A native of Guelph, Ontario, Couture is a 2012 NHL All-Star.
T.J. Galiardi is the 2008 WHL Rookie of the Year and former Dartmouth University player, and he played his 200th NHL game earlier this year. Drafted by the Colorado Avalanche, the current Calgary Flames standout represented the US in the 2010 World Championships. A native of Calgary, AB, Galiardi holds dual US-Canadian citizenship.
Bromma, Sweden is the birthplace of Montreal Canadiens defenseman Douglas Murray. The former Cornell University star and Hobey Baker Award nominee, Murray was drafted by the Sharks in 1999. He represented Sweden on the 2010 Men’s Olympic team.
You Can Play welcomes Brent, Logan, TJ and Douglas and thanks them for their support.
Out gay athletes and their allies have been playing sports and doing great community work for decades. One of the largest and most active of those groups, the men and women of the Chicago Gay Hockey Association, joins You Can Play in recognizing that talent, heart and skill matter.
Since 2002 the Chicago Gay Hockey Association has been fostering a safe place for hockey players of all backgrounds to enjoy the sport, providing a welcoming environment for anyone who has a passion for the game and the dedication to play hard every time they take the ice. From the start the CGHA has strived to play competitive hockey, promote social justice and serve the communities in which we belong.
In 2010, the CGHA hosted Chicago Blackhawk Brent Sopel and the Stanley Cup for an historic Pride Parade that honored Brendan Burke and displayed the NHL’s message that “hockey is for everyone.” In 2011, You Can Play advisory board member and San Jose Sharks member Tommy Wingels marched with the team. Currently, the CGHA has three teams that play in separate “straight” hockey leagues in Chicagoland, with each team proudly representing the Red Liners name.
Appearing in this video are You Can Play friends and allies Tony Tiet, Anthony Alfano, Andrew Sobotka, Scott Mix, Stephanie Stock, Paul Lilek, Yazeed AbouSaleh and Lee Kohler.
The University of Denver hockey program ranks only behind the University of Michigan with the most NCAA hockey championships (7). The Pioneers have sent a number of players to the NHL including current players or personnel Kevin Dineen, Matt Carle, Paul Stastny, Jason Zucker and Beau Bennett. A number of players in DU’s video have been drafted. The University of Denver’s hockey team breaks new ground with its video – telling players they won’t be held back by homophobia in the locker room. The Pioneers also say that the fun of a locker room doesn’t change because a player is gay.
Appearing for the Pioneers: Dan Doremus, Paul Phillips, Scott Mayfield, Josiah Didier, John Ryder, Adam Murray, Sam Brittain, Jarrod Mermis, and team captain Dusty Jackson.
You Can Play is supported by athletes at all levels of sports, administrators, coaches and fans in the fight for respect in sports. You Can Play is dedicated to providing equal access, safe locker rooms and homophobia-free arenas to all athletes and fans.
In this video: Patrick Burke (Philadelphia), Brian Burke (Toronto), Rick Nash (Columbus), Duncan Keith (Chicago), Brian Boyle (New York), Matt Moulson (New York Islanders), Joffrey Lupul (Toronto), Claude Giroux (Philadelphia), Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa), Scott Hartnell (Philadelphia), Corey Perry (Anaheim), Andy Greene (New Jersey), Dion Phaneuf (Toronto), Henrik Lundqvist (New York).
Boston Bruins team captain Zdeno Chara and Buffalo Sabres team captain Jason Pominville speak up for the You Can Play project, promoting respect for all athletes. Chara and Pominville are the first of many team captains to represent their teams in supporting LGBT players, teammates and fans. Their message is simple: they’ll stand beside any teammate who has the skill, work ethic and heart. If you can play, you can play.