NHLPA launches Assists in Action to celebrate five years of partnership with Kids Help Phone

For every assist recorded by an NHL player this season, the NHLPA will donate $7 to Kids Help Phone programming.

NHLPA launches Assists in Action to celebrate five years of partnership with Kids Help Phone

TORONTO (Jan. 20, 2022) The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and Kids Help Phone are proud to celebrate the fifth season of their partnership, with the launch of NHLPA Assists in Action. The initiative will contribute seven dollars to Kids Help Phone for every assist recorded by an NHL player during the 2021-22 regular season.

“Furthering the NHLPA’s dedication over the past five years, Kids Help Phone continues to support the mental and emotional health of all young people and caring adults in Canada,” said Jenny Yuen, Vice President, National Partnerships & Chief Community Office. “As we continue to feel the impact of the current pandemic, we are thrilled that every player’s on-ice efforts will contribute to breaking down barriers to access help, through Kids Help Phone’s e-mental health solutions. With thanks to partners like NHLPA, we are fostering important conversations around mental health.”

NHLPA Assists in Action will build on past initiatives, by highlighting through NHLPA and Kids Help Phone social media platforms the NHL player(s) who recorded the most assists each month, while keeping a season-long tally of the financial pledge to Kids Help Phone. Looking back at the last full 82-game season (2018-19) when NHL players recorded a total of 12,726 assists, approximately $100,000 is projected to be donated this season. Through last night’s games, a total of 6,177 assists have been recorded by NHL players, amounting to $43,239 in donations. 

In October, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins started off the 2021-22 season with a league-leading 10 assists. Nazem Kadri took November’s crown with 17 assists, while Nathan MacKinnon and Chandler Stephenson got into the holiday spirit in December by sharing the lead for the month, recording 12 assists apiece to lead the league. Connor McDavid led all players with 33 assists from the start of the 2021-22 season through to the end of December. Connor McDavid led all players with 33 assists from the start of the 2021-22 season through to the end of December, while Jonathan Huberdeau paces all players with 38 assists this season.

“The NHLPA Assists in Action initiative ties players’ on-ice achievements to the incredibly important e-mental health services that Kids Help Phone delivers across Canada,” said Mathieu Schneider, NHLPA Special Assistant to the Executive Director. “We are proud to grow our partnership with Kids Help Phone, and we hope to see a record-breaking number of assists recorded by NHL players this season.”

The seven-dollar denomination for NHLPA Assists in Action has been made as a nod to the late Ted Lindsay, the first president of the original Players’ Association. Lindsay proudly wore the number 7 on his jersey throughout his Hall of Fame playing career, and his legacy continues today through his namesake foundation, which raises awareness and funds to support children with autism.

Over the last five years, the NHLPA and Kids Help Phone have utilized player and hockey platforms to educate youth across the country about the importance of mental health and well-being including as a part of NHLPA Goals & Dreams events while drawing awareness to Kids Help Phone life changing and saving services and resources. Since 2018, the NHLPA has been the matching donor of Kids Help Phone’s Giving Tuesday campaign, which has raised more than $231,000 during that period. Last year, the NHLPA also contributed $25,000 in COVID-19 support to kick off the FRONT LINE>FIRST LINE campaign with Levelwear.

Kids Help Phone and the NHLPA are focused on continuing to bring awareness of mental health resources available to the hockey community, thanks to the vital work of Kids Help Phone’s professional counsellors and volunteer crisis responders. All hockey fans who would like to provide their own assist are encouraged to visit KidsHelpPhone.ca, or click here to donate.