Here's a very nice story by Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post about Capitals forward Matt Hendricks and his support for the "You Can Play" movement, which aims to keep locker rooms at all levels of hockey free from discrimination and homophobia.
The "You Can Play" movement, for those of you who don't know about it, is the brainchild of Patrick Burke, son of Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke and brother of Brendan Burke, who came out while working as a student manager on the Miami University hockey team. ESPN's John Buccigross wrote two wonderful stories about Brendan Burke, first on the occasion of his coming out and another on the occasion of his untimely death.
Which brings us back to Hendricks. Here's what he told Svrluga about his decision to back "You Can Play."
"I would assume I probably have played with or against someone," he said. "I'm not sure. But I think it's important that those players are able to speak freely about it. We're moving on. We're evolving as a society. I think it's an important thing for sports, because sports should be a part of everyone's lives, regardless of sexual orientation."
And here's the PSA Hendricks recorded on behalf of "You Can Play."
Let's be frank, with a lockout due to start Saturday, we're not going to be hearing many good stories about the NHL. It's nice, every now and then, to be reminded of the positive impact the league's players can have.