The New Jersey Devils will sport new attire as they prepare for their game against the Vancouver Canucks on February 28.
Monday’s 7:30 pm contest at Newark’s Prudential Center will serve as the Devils’ annual Black History Month game. This year, however, the organization is doing something different: The Devils will don Black History Month-themed warmup jerseys for the first time in team history. The jerseys were created by star defenseman P.K. Subban.
The jersey’s crest pays tribute to Black players and coaches throughout Devils history and includes the phrase “A Movement, Not A Moment.” The jersey also has two patches: One shoulder honors Willie O’Ree, the first Black player in the National Hockey League, while the other patch reads, “Hockey Is For Everyone,” a nod to the NHL’s efforts to make the sport more inclusive. Every warmup jersey will feature the No. 22, the number O’Ree primarily wore with the Boston Bruins. The jersey numbers will contain a story detailing the influence O’Ree and other prominent Black hockey figures have had on the game.
“I’m so happy that the organization and league has given us an opportunity to put this together,” Subban said in a statement. “When players are celebrated now, that has come on the shoulders of those before us, like Willie O’Ree. These moments are reflective of progress and change. The game will get to a place where it isn’t just about the Black players, the Black individuals who work in the sport, to have to speak out. The real sign of change is when the Black players and individuals don’t have to say anything and we will get there.”
The Devils will also wear Black History helmet decals during Monday’s game. The special jerseys, meanwhile, will be auctioned off from February 28 to March 7, with proceeds benefiting the Devils Youth Foundation and the P.K. Subban Foundation. T-shirts featuring the jersey’s crest will also be sold to benefit the two foundations.
The Devils’ Black History Month game will also feature related facts displayed around the arena and themed jumbotron presentations. The team will continue to celebrate Black History when the NHL Black Hockey History Tour makes its way to Newark on March 12. The traveling museum, which is free to attend, highlights modern NHL stars, as well as trailblazers of the past.
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