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  • Pride Tape, a hockey camp for Indigenous girls, the gambling conundrum & Patrik Laine steps up for mental health

Pride Tape, a hockey camp for Indigenous girls, the gambling conundrum & Patrik Laine steps up for mental health

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Dear Hockey of Tomorrow reader,

It’s as busy as it always is in hockey, often times for challenging reasons but other times for uplifting reasons.

After the courageous act by, let’s face it, “journeyman” Travis Dermott use of Pride tape during a game, the NHL rescinded its severe Pride Tape policy it had just announced a week earlier.

He had SO much to lose. He doesn’t make millions. He can get bought out in an instant. He can get hit with a wave of hate.

He chose to do what he felt was right and the world reacted.

‘‘After consultation with the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL Player Inclusion Coalition, Players will now have the option to voluntarily represent social causes with their stick tape throughout the season,’’ the NHL released in a statement.

I was thinking of #MoreTravisesPlease as the hockey hashtag of 2024, how about you? Or maybe a T-Shirt or hoodie with “Hockey Hall of Leadership” and Travis’ face?

Again, this is positively surprising on so many levels, he deserves a notable internet meme to commemorate this action.


Remember Alexander Mogilny? I surely hope you do.

He was the first hockey player to leave the USSR without the explicit government support, back in 1989. He then had a 990 NHL games career, above the point per game status. He captained the Buffalo Sabres and won Lord Stanley with the New Jersey Devils in 2003. Still, he is not a Hall of Famer, despite his remarkable career and the impact he had on Russian players. Why ? We don’t have answers, but our contributor, Michael Caccamo, took a look back at his legacy in his recent piece.

....+ three stories that haven't been covered yet on our digital platform

  • The University of New Brunswick hockey camp for Indigenous girls

  • The issue with gambling in hockey

  • Columbus Blue Jackets Patrik Laine partnership for men’s mental health

A hockey camp for Indigenous girls

The University of New Brunswick Women’s hockey team created a camp specifically for Indigenous girls.

It’s completely free, including the equipment (that we know is VERY expensive to begin with) and it is the perfect opportunity for them to try the sport and increase the visibility of Indigenous girls in hockey.

Plus, they got to learn from professionals.

It runs for five weeks and a total of a dozen girls are taking part of it.

The camp is funded by Canadian Tire Jumpstart program and the Brendon Oreto Foundation, which helps cover fees.

And if the girls want to continue to play hockey, there’s a way to do so. The camp also has a partnership with the Centrale Female Hockey Association to make sure they can continue their hockey career.

What an amazing initiative. Why is this not a thing everywhere in Canada?

Gambling and hockey

So I bet you know what I’m about to go into…. And yes I am sorry, I started with that terrible play on words, I couldn’t resist, but I’m not the one who’s getting fined 41 games so please let me enjoy my wordplay peacefully, OK?

As Canada’s 90’s darling star Alanis Morissette would say…Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

We’ve not only accepted gambling advertising to seep into our daily content consumption, and that’s a topic for another day, but more importantly, we’ve turned a blind eye at the complete miscarriage of logic when it comes to the relationship that is unfolding in front of us.

In a massive 41-game , half-season suspension, the NHL handed a personal hit to a young player that is dealing with gambling addiction issues…. while continuously showcasing and providing more opportunities to fuel brand recognition to partners that are directly enabling those addictions.

The pro hockey player who was involved in a problematic gambling incident was also one of the first players using the new “innovative” helmet advertising in Ottawa, which to no surprise, was advertising a gambling company…

At what point do you stop the hand feeding you from going down your throat and ripping out your internal organs?

Because that’s what gambling will do to the young hockey players of tomorrow.

And the honest truth is, we’re all quietly sitting by, watching it unravel.

The details of what exactly the accused player was betting on is irrelevant. If the NHL didn’t feel the need to impose such massive repercussions, well we wouldn’t be hearing about any of this.

We'll be the first, albeit tiny player in this whole network of people, to firmly say the following:

Hockey of Tomorrow will NEVER take money from a private corporation that makes money off people gambling, in any shape of form.

Patrik Laine takes action for mental health ressources

The Columbus Blue Jackets forward has announced he will continue his partnership with the central Ohio community.

For every goals and every assists he will score during the 2023-2024 NHL season, Laine will sonate $1,000 to the OhioHealth Foundation to provide mental health ressources. Bing badda boom!

Good mental health is an important issue and one that is very personal to me as I have struggled with it. I’m proud to partner with the OhioHealth Foundation this season to raise money and awareness to support men in our community that may be struggling emotionally and psychologically.

It’s helpful to see NHL stars like Laine or Sasha Barkov in Florida who has a partnership with a Children’s hospital, take a step forward to make a difference.

Keep that kind of news rollin’!

That’s it for this edition of the Hockey of Tomorrow newsletter. As we continue to highlight the best, most diverse, and most interesting, off-ice hockey stories, let us know if you want to be helpful in our journey.

Tom Sychterz, Founder

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