NHL and NHLPA invested more than $14 million in communities throughout 2023-24 regular season

More than 170 local and national organizations and foundations were supported as well as hockey programs for all 32 NHL clubs.

NHL and NHLPA invested more than $14 million in communities throughout 2023-24 regular season

NEW YORK/TORONTO (April 17, 2024) As the 2023-24 regular season comes to a close, the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) highlight their ongoing pursuit, along with all 32 NHL Clubs, to make hockey more accessible and enjoyable for all fans.

This season, through numerous community impact programs and initiatives, more than $14 million was invested in cities across the U.S. and Canada. On the ice, more than 40,000 boys and girls, a record-number, tried hockey for the first time. In arenas, more than 350 in-game awareness nights were celebrated with fans. And in the locker room, the first-ever Leaguewide inclusion educational tour was completed.

Community investments, programs, and initiatives from the 2023-24 season include:

NHL Club Cultural Celebration and Awareness Nights

This season the NHL’s 32 Clubs held more than 350 cultural celebration and awareness nights, covering more than 30 unique themes. Celebrations recognized current players, Alumni, and fans of diverse backgrounds including Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage, Black History, Hispanic Heritage, Indigenous and Native American Heritage, Jewish Heritage, and Ukrainian Heritage. Clubs also honored First Responders, Firefighters, Law Enforcement, Military, and Nurses. NHL Clubs celebrated Women’s History Month with home games dedicated to celebrating women in sports. And many NHL Clubs hosted a Kids Day, or ‘Next Generation’ game, with unique programming geared toward younger audiences.

All 32 Clubs hosted a Pride Night this season. Numerous NHL Clubs created specialty Pride jerseys or exclusive merchandise, and many NHL Players used Pride Tape to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community. The NHL donated more than $50,000 this season to LGBTQ+ organizations including the Toronto Gay Hockey Association at the first-ever NHL All-Star Pride Cup presented by Scotiabank; the Seattle Pride Hockey Association to help launch a brand-new league in Seattle; and to Team Trans and the Madison Gay Hockey Association to support their annual Friendship Series Tournament. Donations were also made to Pride Tape, an NHL partner since the 2016-17 season, to provide rainbow hockey tape to various hockey tournaments including the Seattle Pride Classic, the Western Cup in Calgary, the Chelsea Challenge in New York, and the Elite Ice Hockey League’s Pride Week held in 10 arenas across the United Kingdom. Additionally, nearly 1,500 rolls of Pride Tape were provided for free to a dozen minor hockey tournaments in 15 cities across the U.S. and Canada, including in five non-NHL cities.

Hockey Fights Cancer

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, and newly powered by the V foundation for Cancer Research, the NHL and the NHLPA elevated the fundraising pace for Hockey Fights Cancer this season which includes in-game awareness nights hosted by all 32 Clubs. The joint initiative kicked off NHL All-Star Weekend with an $800,000 translational research grant towards Dr. Gelareh Zadeh’s brain cancer research at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. Additionally, AstraZeneca became an official partner and signed on as the presenting sponsor of the season-long NHL Hat Trick Challenge donating $5,000 for every hat trick with a donation goal of $500,000. AstraZeneca’s goal was reached on March 22, 2024, with the League’s 100th hat trick of the 2023-24 season. A giving campaign was added for the first time that will see 10 cancer organizations receive a $25,000 gift to bolster their impact. Donations have begun to organizations including the Ben Stelter Foundation, Janis Foligno Foundation, Mario Lemieux Foundation, Scotland’s Yard, and The 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily with more to come as the anniversary continues.

Learn to Play, First Shift, Hockey Programs (NHL/NHLPA Industry Growth Fund)

On the ice, nearly 40,000 boys and girls played hockey for the first time via the Learn to Play (U.S.) and First Shift (Canada) programs, a record number of new registrants in a season. The programs, which provide affordable hockey to families including head-to-toe equipment, is also seeing record numbers of girls’ participation. In Canada, nearly half of all participants are girls, and in the U.S., nearly 1 in 4 participants are girls. The NHL/NHLPA Industry Growth Fund, which was established to create opportunities to help grow the game of hockey both on and off the ice, also supported numerous organizations committed to inclusivity and making hockey more accessible including Hockey Equality, Little NHL, the Anthony Duclair Foundation, and the Vegas Veterans Hockey Foundation. And through its Club grants program, NHL Clubs invested in 60 local hockey programs committed to keeping boys and girls active and reducing barriers to play.

In the classroom, Future Goals, an online educational program that leverages hockey to teach STEM concepts, reached more than 100,000 students in grades 4-7 across the U.S. and Canada. And the Future Goals Most Valuable Teacher Program presented by SAP recognized and celebrated 60 teachers. This season, the Future Goals programs contributed $1.2 million to communities.

Throughout its first decade, the Industry Growth Fund has dedicated more than $180 million to develop programming, create initiatives, host events, and provide education that drives awareness and brings hockey to communities across North America.

NHL Player Inclusion Coalition

This group of 24 current and former NHL Players and women’s professional hockey players work to advance equality and inclusion in hockey, on and off the ice. The group represents a range of perspectives across Players of color, LGBTQ+ Players, and allies. In February, the NHL Player Inclusion Coalition completed its first-ever educational tour with select members visiting all 32 locker rooms to guide discussions around race and ethnicity. This season, the group hosted seven player-led initiatives including learn-to-play clinics, ball hockey programs, and mentorship sessions. Members also make strategic grants to organizations advancing D&I in hockey, with up to $750,000 USD available for player-driven projects in partnership with the NHL/NHLPA Industry Growth Fund.

United By Hockey Mobile Museum

The professionally curated 840-square foot exhibit visited all 32 NHL markets this season, giving fans an opportunity to learn about the impact diverse trailblazers, changemakers and business leaders have had, and continue to have, on the game. In collaboration with ALXMOBILE and supported by the Hockey Hall of Fame, the United By Hockey Mobile Museum traveled more than 18,000 miles, stopping in 40 different locations across the U.S. and Canada. The exhibit was open for more than 300 hours and welcomed more than 32,000 fans.

NHL Legacy Projects

This season, more than $1 million was invested by the Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, Seattle Kraken, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the NHL via five Legacy projects. This initiative is a philanthropic endeavor through which the NHL and the local Club support community organizations in the host city of an NHL Event. This season’s Legacy projects collectively refurbished four outdoor hockey rinks, launched a brand-new girls hockey league, supported three adaptive hockey programs, and established an equity, diversity and inclusion grant program. Since having its first Legacy event in 2003, the League, its Clubs and partners have donated nearly $8 million to communities across North America.


The NHL’s premiere ball hockey program, in partnership with RCX Sports, provides affordable and fun ball hockey for kids ages 6- to 16-years old. The program is nearing 100 operators in 23 U.S. States and seven Canadian provinces heading into its first full season of league play. Many operators are part of municipal Parks & Recreation affiliates, local YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs, or are independent operators. Thirteen non-NHL markets operated programs this season including Alabama and Indiana in the U.S., and Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. In NHL markets, the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings are tied for having the highest number of operators. NHL STREET equipment is provided by NHL partner Franklin and is presented by Hyundai and Tim Hortons in Canada, and Jersey Mike’s in the US, with proud engagement and support from their expansive Dealership and Franchise networks across the country. Announced yesterday, new NHL and NHLPA partner BODYARMOR will also support the program across North America, helping to ensure thousands of boys and girls continue to have an opportunity to pick up a stick and play ball hockey.

The NHL and NHLPA are committed to an ongoing pursuit of inclusion on and off the ice, making all forms of hockey more accessible and enjoyable for all fans, and helping to build vibrant, healthy communities.