This list tracks what each NHL team did or plans to do for their Pride night. It also notes which players didn’t take part and which teams changed plans.
With the regular season winding down, most teams across the NHL have hosted their annual Pride nights, dedicating one game to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and ensuring they belong in the world of hockey.
This is a list of what each team did for their respective Pride night this year. It is compiled using publicly available information from social media, team websites and reports, while reaching out to teams when necessary.
Some teams have yet to host their Pride night, and as such, there are fewer details based on what’s been announced ahead of time. This list will be updated after each following Pride game passes.
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The Anaheim Ducks donned Pride-themed jerseys and rainbow stick tape during warmups on March 3 ahead of their game against the Montreal Canadians. A select number of those jerseys and sticks were auctioned off, with proceeds going toward OC Pride and You Can Play. Ducks organist Lindasy Imber collaborated on the jersey design.
The Arizona Coyotes wore Pride-themed jerseys and used rainbow stick tape during warmups ahead of their game against the New Jersey Devils on March 5. The player-signed jerseys were auctioned off.
Former Tempe mayor Neil Giuliano and current vice mayor of Tempe, Jennifer Adams, took part in the ceremonial puck drop as proud members of the LGBTQ+ community. In addition to selling Pride-themed merchandise to fans, Arizona hosted a Pride night patio party ahead of puck drop.
The Boston Bruins hosted a Hockey is for Everyone night on Feb. 18, 2023.
Boston’s collective show of support wasn’t just limited to warmups, with the Bruins welcoming an honorary Hockey is for Everyone lineup to the ice, which featured six hockey players who represented members of the LGBTQ+, sled hockey, Black and women’s hockey communities.
In a news release announcing the event, Brad Marchand, the team’s You Can Play ambassador, stressed the importance of spreading the word that the hockey community supports everyone.
“We’re a team in the (dressing) room and a family,” Marchand said. “It doesn’t matter what different beliefs guys have, or where they come from, or whatever the case may be. Guys would accept it. Again, in the room we’re a family. That’s the way it is on a hockey team, and that’s the way it will always be.”
The Buffalo Sabres’ Pride night on March 27 saw players wearing Pride jerseys during warmups and using Pride-themed tape. The jerseys and sticks were auctioned off to support local LGBTQ+ organizations. Pride merchandise was also made available, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting those organizations as well. The Buffalo Gay Men’s chorus performed the national anthem, too.
Defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin, a Moscow native, did not participate in warmups, citing safety concerns pertaining to Russia’s anti-LGBTQ+ law.
The Sabres released a statement before the game, saying they’re “aware of general threats to certain players and understand their decision to forego risk.”
“The Buffalo Sabres are proud to continue to support the LGBTQIA+ community as allies by hosting our third annual Pride night game,” the statement said. “It is of the utmost importance for us to continue to use our platform to strengthen our organizational goal of making hockey for everyone. Consistent with previous years, our team feels strongly that one way to garner support is through wearing Pride jerseys and using Pride tape in warmups.”
While Sabres captain Kyle Okposo expressed empathy for “the situation (Lybushkin) is in” when speaking to reporters after the morning skate, he acknowledged the potential harm that can be inflicted by a player opting not to partake.
“Think about if there’s a closeted gay member of a team,” Okposo said. “You have to empathy for that person.”
The Calgary Flames had their Pride night on March 28 against the Los Angeles Kings.
Calgary wore Pride-themed jerseys — the logo and pattern inside the numbers were designed by Megan Parker, a local artist who is part of the LGBTQ+ community.
The warmup jerseys were auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation Inclusion program.
Darryl Sutter said before the game that the whole team would wear the jerseys, and reiterated that he’d welcome a member of the LGBTQ+ community on the team. Blake Coleman also said he’s proud to wear the jersey, and it shows that everyone is welcome.
“At the end of the day, it’s more about showing that we’re inclusive in our locker room,” Coleman said. “It’s a small thing, but if it means that much to somebody else, then obviously, it’s something that’s important.”
The Carolina Hurricanes put on a Pride night for their Jan. 27 contest against the San Jose Sharks.
Although players had Pride-themed stick tape during warmups, the team did not wear a special Pride tarp during warmups. The national anthem was sung by Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus, and there were concourse locations for eight partner organizations, including the LGBT Center of Raleigh, the Human Rights Campaign, North Carolina State University GLBT Center and more.
The Hurricanes made Pride-themed pucks, shirts and hats available for purchase and served ‘Cocktails for a Cause,’ with $1 from all sales donated to the LGBT Center of Raleigh up to $10,000.
The Chicago Blackhawks held a family skate for members of the Chicago Gay Hockey Association prior to the March 26 Pride night against the Vancouver Canucks. The group was also highlighted during the game, along with other local organizations and performers who are part of the LGBTQ+ community.
One of the members, local designer Andy Rogers, designed a skate logo for Pride night merchandise that showcases “the unity in hockey as a collective team sport and the bond shared regardless of orientation, race or cultural backgrounds.”
A portion of the proceeds from Chicago’s Pride retail collection benefits the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation and local nonprofit organizations in the LGBTQ+ community.
Brock McGillis, the first openly gay professional hockey player, spoke to Blackhawks staff before the night, talking about how it’s possible to create cultural shifts through hockey.
Chicago has had Pride jerseys in the past but did not wear ones in warmups on Pride night.
While the Blackhawks have worn Pride jerseys in the past, an article by The Athletic — which cited two unnamed team sources — revealed the decision was made by team management out of concern for Russian players on the team.
Two weeks prior to Chicago’s Pride night, defenseman Connor Murphy told The Athletic that he was confident that the team would wear the jerseys and that there was nobody on the team that he knew of that wouldn’t support it.
“We’ve been doing it for so many years, so it’s not like it’s a new subject. … It is a bit disappointing (to see around the league),” Murphy told The Athletic. “It seems like we have so many other nights, and nobody raises any issues. Hockey is about inclusion, about growing the community and the game. I don’t see why anyone would have a need to feel like they don’t support a certain group. If it’s about the game and about bringing everyone together and about equality, everyone should always be supportive of that.”
The Colorado Avalanche hosted their Pride night on March 5 against the Seattle Kraken.
The national anthem was performed by the Denver Women’s Chorus, which is a trans-and non-binary-inclusive chorus that features several LGBTQ+ singers. There was even a proposal!
A portion of ticket package proceeds for the game — which included a Pride-themed Avalanche T-shirt — benefited the You Can Play Program.
In a press release announcing the event, the team also encouraged fans to print signs — such as “Hockey is for Everyone” and other Pride-themed slogans and designs.
Colorado did not have Pride-themed jerseys.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets’ Hockey is for Everyone night took place on Feb. 10 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Columbus wore special warmup jerseys, and several players used Pride-themed tape.
The team auctioned off warmup-used sticks with Pride tape and autographed Hockey is for Everyone themed memorabilia, with the proceeds benefitting the Kaleidoscope Youth Center. There were also video recognitions throughout the game, representing a variety of leagues and programs.
The Dallas Stars’ Pride night took place on March 21, against the Seattle Kraken.
Dallas wore Pride-themed jerseys, and several players used Pride-themed stick tape. The warmup tarps were auctioned off with the proceeds of that, along with 50/50 proceeds, benefitting Pride Frisco and Dallas Hope Charities.
Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings held their Pride night on Oct. 25 against the New Jersey Devils.
Detroit did not have a Pride-themed jersey, though several players used Pride-themed stick tape.
Autographed player-used warmup sticks and other memorabilia were auctioned off, with proceeds benefitting the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, in addition to local LGBTQ+ organizations. The Wings also offered a ticket package that came with a limited-edition Red Wings Pride hat.
The Edmonton Oilers held their Pride night on March 25 against the Vegas Golden Knights.
On top of donating the proceeds from 50/50 sales and autographed warmup sticks to MacEwan University’s Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD), The Oilers’ Pride night celebrated community leaders with respect to diversity, inclusion and the 2SLGBTQ+ communities. The Oilers installed a series of information booths on the concourse, where fans could learn more about Pride Tape, the CSGD and other initiatives.
Edmonton did not have Pride-themed jerseys in warmup, but the players taped their sticks with Pride-themed tape.
“I feel very strongly that hockey needs to be inclusive — and include everybody,” McDavid said.
Zach Hyman echoed McDavid’s sentiment while also saying he believes it’s crucial to support LGBTQ+ communities, and the Pride tape is one small thing to help.
“It’s extremely important to be open and welcoming to that greater community because they’re a minority, and they faced a lot of persecution over the years and to show that we care and that we’re willing and ready to include them in our game, in our sport,” Hyman said.
The Florida Panthers held their Pride night on March 23 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Stuart Milk from the Harvey Milk Foundation took part in the ceremonial puck drop. The Panthers also honored US Coast Guard veteran Mark LaFontaine at the game. LaFontaine has been an activist for LGBTQ+ veterans and service members since his active duty military service, according to the Panthers.
The teams’ specialty warmup jerseys were designed by artist Teepop and were auctioned off, with the proceeds benefitting You Can Play.
Eric Staal and Marc Staal sat out of the warmups after choosing not to wear the Pride-themed jersey.
“After many thoughts, prayers and discussions, we have chosen not to wear a Pride jersey tonight,” their joint statement read. “We carry no judgement on how people choose to live their lives, and believe that all people should be welcome in all aspects of the game of hockey. Having said that, we feel that by us wearing a Pride jersey it goes against our Christian beliefs.”
When Eric Staal was asked about wearing a Pride-themed jersey during the 2020-21 season when he was with the Montreal Canadiens, he said he has not worn a Pride jersey. Video evidence has since disproved his claim.
Postgame comments from Matthew Tkachuk tried to turn the focus back to the meaning of the night.
“A night like tonight, for me, is really about including everybody. In my opinion, it’s by far the greatest game in the world, and everyone’s invited in my locker room and our locker room as an organization,” Tkachuk said.
Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings held their Pride night on March 18 against the Vancouver Canucks.
Los Angeles wore Pride-themed warmup jerseys designed by Mio Linzie, a queer illustrator from Sweden who’s also designed Pride jerseys for the Vancouver Canucks, Vegas Golden Knights and OHL’s Ottawa 67’s.
The jerseys were later auctioned off in support of the Kings Care Foundation, which “supports families in Los Angeles by dedicating financial and in-kind resources to services and programs.” The foundation provides support to LA-based non-profits that promote wellness, sustainability, social advocacy and inclusion.
Several players donned Pride tape, too.
The Minnesota Wild held their Pride night on March 7 against the Calgary Flames.
There was a Pride night ticket package that included a specialty T-shirt, a pregame on-ice photo and a gathering. A portion of each ticket purchased through the package supported Twin Cities Pride.
The team used Pride-themed pucks, which were autographed and donated to Twin Cities Pride, Twin Cities Queer Hockey Association (TCQHA) and Team Trans. These organizations also had representatives featured in in-game activities, and the Wild donated suites to them. Information tables were set up in the main concourse featuring more LGBTQ+ organizations, including the Gay Softball World Series, OutFront Minnesota, Queerspace Collective and more.
Jon Merrill and his wife, Jessica Molina, along with other Wild players and their significant others, planned to donate tickets to Queerspace Collective and host a postgame meet-and-greet as well, just like they did last year.
Wild players did not wear Pride jerseys during warmups. Several players used Pride-themed stick tape in warmups, however.
The Athletic reported that the team was initially scheduled to wear Pride-themed jerseys and even published a photo of them online in a tweet that has since been deleted, stating the warmup jerseys would be signed and auctioned off.
Andi Otto, executive director of Twin Cities Pride, released the following statement in an Instagram video:
“Last night, the Minnesota Wild made a decision to not have the team wear their (Pride-themed) jerseys so that the players who chose not to, which I will remind you was very few, didn’t draw the attention away from the true reason behind the night,” Otto said.
In an email to The Hockey News, the Montreal Canadiens said their Pride night game is scheduled for April 6, with more details to be announced in the coming days.
“The Montreal Canadiens will continue to demonstrate their support and respect, as a team, for their fans, members of the organization, athletes and communities affected by discrimination and inequity, and continue their efforts to raise awareness and support with their community partners,” said a Canadiens spokesperson. “Visibility and representation are essential for education, understanding and inclusion.”
Nashville is scheduled to host its Pride night on April 4. Predators alternate captain Colton Sissons told reporters on March 31 he expects he and the team will wear Pride jerseys for warmups.
“As far as I’m concerned, we are wearing those, the Pride jerseys,” Sissons said.
The Predators have not officially announced full plans for the game, but did announce at the beginning of the season fans can purchase a special theme ticket for the night and receive a limited-edition Preds Pride night T-shirt.
The link to their official team website outlining the event and its details leads to an error as of March 31. The Hockey News reached out to the Predators for clarification and will give an update if available.
Luke Prokop, the first openly gay player under NHL contract, posted a statement on March 20 saying he shares the “disappointment in what feels like a step back for inclusion in the NHL” regarding Pride nights and jerseys.
“It’s disheartening to see some teams no longer wearing them or not fully embracing their significance, while the focus of others has become about the players who aren’t participating rather than the meaning of the night itself,” Prokop said as part of his statement.
New Jersey Devils
The Devils held their Pride night on Dec. 28 versus the Boston Bruins, with every player wearing a Pride-themed jersey during warmups designed by local New Jersey artist Danny Martinez. On the shoulders of the jersey is a rainbow heart, while the front features a series of rainbow-colored hands in the shape of the Devils logo.
Proceeds from the jersey auction benefitted the Devils Youth Foundation.
New York Islanders
The Islanders held their Pride night on Feb. 9 versus the Vancouver Canucks.
Tote bags and autographed Pride pucks were sold with proceeds benefitting the Islanders Children’s Foundation in support of LGBTQ+ programs. They highlighted the New York City Gay Hockey Association and the LGBT Network in New York, who had informational tables at the game.
They did not have specialized warmup jerseys in celebration of the event, citing an organizational policy against wearing specialized jerseys aside from the ones mandated by the NHL. The players also did not appear to have Pride tape on their sticks during the warmup.
“For us here in this room, we take care of what we can here,” explained captain Anders Lee when asked about the decision. “And, obviously, we’re very supportive of the LGBTQ+ community and do what we can to include them in our game.”
New York Rangers
The Rangers held their Pride night on Jan. 27 versus the Vegas Golden Knights.
NYC Pride co-chair Andre Thomas and actor and singer Michael James Scott led the pregame ceremonies.
After communicating with fans that the club would be wearing Pride jerseys during warmups that would be auctioned off to support various LGBTQ+ charities following the game, the Rangers did not do so, taking warmups in their normal jerseys and issuing a statement shortly thereafter.
“Our organization respects the LGBTQ+ community, and we are proud to bring attention to important local community organizations as part of another great Pride night,” the statement read. “In keeping with our organization’s core values, we support everyone’s individual right to respectfully express their beliefs.”
The NYC Pride organization then told ESPN it was not made aware in advance of the ceremony and puck drop that the team wouldn’t be wearing Pride jerseys and rainbow tape, and it would be communicating its issues with the Rangers’ handling of Pride night to the NHL.
Fans could purchase Pride pucks and T-shirts, as well as ice cream from the shop, Big Gay Ice Cream, according to the team website. The Rangers also announced it would make a charitable contribution to the Ali Forney Center, which “has grown to become the largest agency dedicated to LGBTQ+ homeless youths in the country.”
Delta Air Lines sponsored the night, and Delta employee David Gilmartin was announced as the community captain of the game as someone who’s spent time during the past 15 years promoting Delta’s participation as a sponsor of New York City’s Heritage of Pride parade. Fans received Delta Pride fanny packs.
The Senators hosted their Pride night on March 4 versus the Columbus Blue Jackets. While the team did not wear specially designed jerseys for warmups, players wore Pride tape, and the Senators also laid out T-shirts for fans throughout the stands to create a rainbow effect. The team also sold “Ottawa is Love” merchandise.
Before the game, the Senators hosted Ottawa Pride Hockey, a local pick-up group for people of all orientations and genders to play hockey in a safe and inclusive environment, for a game against Senators alumni.
“We’re in 2023,” said head coach D.J. Smith of the event. “I think we’ve taken great steps … (With) my kids and the next generation coming, there’s more to be done. Nights like tonight help us even more.”
The Flyers held their Pride night on Jan. 17 versus the Vegas Golden Knights. This was the game that sparked the Pride night controversy in the first place, when defenseman Ivan Provorov declined to take part in warmups and wear the team’s issued Pride jersey due to what he cited as religious beliefs. Provorov was then permitted to play in the game that night despite skipping warmups, with coach John Tortorella defending him by saying Provorov is just being himself and expressing his beliefs.
Lost in the chaos, however, was the fact that every other Flyers player donned the jerseys for warmups, and Flyers forwards Scott Laughton and James van Riemsdyk hosted multiple LGBTQ+ youth to take in the game and then met with them after. Laughton and van Riemsdyk are ambassadors of the recently launched Alphabet Sports Collective, a not-for-profit “focused on creating a safer environment for people of all sexual identities and expressions of gender in hockey.”
The Penguins held their Pride night on Dec. 12 versus the Dallas Stars, with players wearing specialty jerseys during warmups featuring the Pride flag. Those jerseys were auctioned off following the game, with proceeds going to local LGBTQ+ charity, the Hugh Lanes Wellness Foundation, as well as the You Can Play Project, which was founded by current Penguins president Brian Burke in 2012 in memory of his late son, Brendan.
“I think that as hockey players, we can give a pretty good message,” said Penguins forward Rickard Rakell of the night. “Whenever we have a chance, we’re willing to do it. So I think it’s a great way to show our support that everyone can play the game of hockey, any sport. We’re just showing our support.”
Before the game, You Can Play presented the Penguins with the 2021-22 NHL Inclusion Champions award for the efforts made to reach out to the LGBTQ+ community in areas such as education, arena visibility, fundraising and more.
San Jose Sharks
The Sharks held their Pride night on March 18 versus the New York Islanders.
Players wore specialty jerseys during warmups designed by Houyee Chow, a queer, biracial, multidisciplinary artist and educator from San Jose. The jerseys were then auctioned off following the game, with partial proceeds going to Adolescent Counseling Services. The Sharks also had Pride-themed nameplates in each player stall and Pride tape on player sticks.
Prior to the game, on March 13, the Sharks hosted the San Francisco Earthquakes, a local LGBTQ+ hockey team, for a friendly scrimmage against members of the front office at SAP Centre, with players and coach David Quinn on hand to greet them. The Sharks also hosted board members from Sillicon Valley Pride at the game on March 18.
During the game, the Sharks’ social media used their platform to share information and facts about LGBTQIA+ topics.
“Our hope is that this content will serve as a reminder that there are issues more important than goals, highlights and wins,” the Sharks said.
James Reimer chose not to wear the Pride jersey and sat out of the warmup, citing his Christian religious beliefs. His decision made headlines, turning most of the attention away from the Sharks’ initiatives for the game.
“In this specific instance, I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in my life,” Reimer said as part of his pregame statement.
Before the game, Sharks captain Logan Couture said Reimer’s decision wouldn’t change what the rest of the team was going to do.
“Every individual has a choice, and he made his,” Couture told reporters. “The rest of us are going to be wearing the jersey… And I think a lot of guys in the room are very excited to go out and wear the jersey and celebrate it.”
The Kraken held their second annual Pride night on March 13 versus the Dallas Stars.
Players wore specialty Pride-themed jerseys during warmups designed by local artist Simson Chantha. The jerseys were auctioned off, with a portion of the net proceeds supporting the GSBA, Washington State’s LGBTQ+ and allied chamber of commerce.
Additionally, the Seattle Men’s Chorus sang the national anthem prior to the game, and youth members of the Seattle Pride Hockey Association took part in a shooting challenge during the first intermission.
St. Louis Blues
The Blues are scheduled to host their Pride night on April 4 versus the Philadelphia Flyers. Fans can purchase a special theme ticket for the night and receive a Pride-themed crossbody bag, with proceeds benefiting Pride St. Louis and You Can Play. Scout night is also scheduled for April 4.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning hosted their Pride night on March 7 versus the Philadelphia Flyers. Players used Pride-themed tape on their sticks during the morning skate and warmups that were then auctioned off to benefit various local LGBTQ+ organizations via the Lightning Foundation. Various Pride night merchandise was also available.
The Lightning also handed out Pride-themed sunglasses to the first 1,000 fans in attendance and made Pride Mystery Pucks, with artwork commissioned by local artist Chad Mize available for sale. Florida Blue made a $10 donation for each puck sold. Group ticket packages available for sale included a $5 charitable contribution to a local LGBTQ+ organization.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs are scheduled to hold their Pride night on April 4 versus the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The team’s expected to wear Pride game shirts designed by local artist Jon Hanlan, with Pride-themed food specials, including cookies from famous local bakery Craig’s Cookies, available throughout the concourse, and will also feature talent performances, including “Vision Drag: Celebrity Impressionist Drag Queen.”
NHL Pride apparel will be available to purchase in-store and online at Real Sports Apparel, with 20 percent of net proceeds being donated to the Toronto Gay Hockey Association.
The Canucks host their Pride night on March 31 versus the Calgary Flames. The Canucks will wear special Pride-themed warmup jerseys designed by local artist Christina Hryc, and a $20,000 donation will be made to QMUNITY, a Vancouver non-profit that supports 2SLGBTQIA+ people and their allies.
Proceeds from the game’s collection, jersey and jersey auction will support You Can Play.
There will also be a “Pride Party on the Plaza” before the game with dance and musical performances by Queer as Funk and Zynth & Co. Dancers, a drag show featuring Vancouver -based performers, an Out On Patrol community information booth and more. In the arena, there will be resource tables featuring the Vancouver Pride society, QMUNITY, Cutting Edges and Health Initiative for Men. TV presenter and musician Frankie Cena will sing the national anthem.
“In our organization, everyone is welcome. Every time we’ve done the Pride night, I’ve worn the jersey and celebrated the night,” Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes told reporters. “We’ve worn it every year since I’ve been here, even the year with the Canadian Division where there were no fans here. I think it’s a great night, and I’m glad we’re doing it.”
Before the game, Canucks coach Rick Tocchet told reporters that winger Andrei Kuzmenko will not wear the Pride-themed warmup jersey after a discussion with his family. Tocchet said Kuzmenko, who’s from Russia, informed the team of his decision.
Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights hosted their Pride Knight on Jan. 5 versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Golden Knights players wore specialty Pride-themed jerseys designed by Swedish illustrator Mio Linzie. The jerseys, as well as sticks taped with Pride tape and Pride-themed player nameplates, were auctioned off following the game. Partial proceeds for the stick auction went to You Can Play while a portion of proceeds from warmup pucks purchased that night benefited the Henderson Equality Center.
House of Vegas Pride, The Center in Las Vegas and Henderson Equality Center shared information with fans in attendance at the game, and drag queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race took part in the pregame Pride festivities.
“We want to be as inclusive as possible, and I think hockey is for everyone. It’s a great phrase,” coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters before the game.
The Capitals held their Pride night on Jan. 17 versus the Minnesota Wild.
Capitals players used sticks featuring Pride-themed tape during warmups as well as Pride-themed pucks. Both items were auctioned off following the game to support SMYAL, a local non-profit that helps LGBTQ+ youth. A portion of funds also went to Team DC and the MSE Foundation. Team DC hosted the Capitals’ pregame Pride night happy hour as well.
The Capitals held a 50/50 raffle with proceeds going to SMYAL as well, along with a $5,000 donation presented to Capitals Pride beneficiaries. Fans in attendance received Pride-themed bucket hats.
The Jets are scheduled to host their Pride night on April 5 against the Calgary Flames.
Fans can purchase Pride night tickets, with $5 from each ticket sale going to the Rainbow Resource Centre, which is “celebrating 50 years of identity, advocacy and community.” You Can Play is also involved in the event.
Compiled by Jacob Stoller, Mike Stephens, Brynn Keelan and Jonathan Tovell.