Youâ€™re part of an organization that helps inner-city kids get sporting gear. What got you involved?
Kidsport Calgary provides financial assistance to families that might need it for kids to be involved in any sportâ€”be it soccer or tennis or hockey. They can apply for help so kids can get involved, and itâ€™s a way for me to give back. Sports have been a big part of my life, not only making it in the NHL and making a wonderful living, but friends and memories of road trips as a kid. It means a lot to me.
Hockey hasnâ€™t really caught on among minorities. What else has to be done to ensure that there are more blacks participating in the sport in the future?
Hockey isnâ€™t as accessible as other sports. I have a hockey school here, and itâ€™s one of those sports that if [kids] get a chance to playâ€“especially when theyâ€™re youngerâ€“[they] love it. Itâ€™s a lot of fun to play, and once they play a little bit they get hooked. Itâ€™s something that the NHL is trying to work on and itâ€™s something we have to improveâ€”the accessibility of the sport.
That goes along with the NHLâ€™s plan to reach a broader marketplace in the U.S. Hockey is traditionally not among the favorite sports of African Americans. How important is it for the NHL to have a more diverse fan base?
It would be a very good thing to see a more diverse fan base. Hockey is very well represented worldwide with different nationalities, but to get the more diverse fan base, it takes years of getting kids involved younger.