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NHL, players' union join fight against homophobia in sports
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Toronto • The NHL and its players' union are partnering with an advocacy organization fighting homophobia in sports.

The You Can Play Project will conduct seminars at the NHL's rookie symposium and make its resources and personnel available to teams. Players will be able to seek counseling or ask questions regarding sexual orientation.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the venture underlines that "the official policy of the NHL is one of inclusion on the ice, in our locker rooms and in the stands." Union head Donald Fehr says the project "will foster an inclusive hockey environment from the grassroots level to the professional ranks."

Former NHL general manager Brian Burke and NHL players Tommy Wingels and Andy Miele serve on You Can Play's advisory board.

You Can Play was founded by Philadelphia Flyers scout Patrick Burke last month in memory of Brendan Burke, his brother and the son of Brian Burke. In 2007, Brendan Burke revealed to his family that he was gay.

Red Wings, Howard close to reaching deal • Detroit and goaltender Jimmy Howard are nearing an agreement on a six-year deal that would keep him off the market as a free agent this summer and put him under contract with the franchise for much of the decade. Howard is in the second season of a two-year, $4.5 million deal. He'll make much more money in what is expected to be a long-term deal. EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

y-Pttsbrgh 41 31 10 0 62 138 101

Islanders 41 21 16 4 46 119 121

Rangers 40 20 16 4 44 99 96

New Jersey 40 15 15 10 40 96 111

Philly 40 17 20 3 37 108 125

Northeast Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

x-Montreal 40 26 9 5 57 127 95

Boston 40 26 10 4 56 114 87

Toronto 40 22 13 5 49 123 112

Ottawa 40 20 14 6 46 99 89

Buffalo 41 16 19 6 38 107 127

Southeast Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

Wash. 41 22 17 2 46 123 113

Winnipeg 42 21 19 2 44 109 123

Tampa Bay 40 17 21 2 36 127 122

Carolina 40 16 22 2 34 103 129

Florida 40 13 21 6 32 98 139

NOTE: Two points for a win, one point for overtime loss.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Central Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

x-Chicago 39 30 5 4 64 129 83

St. Louis 39 23 14 2 48 109 98

Detroit 40 19 15 6 44 101 104

Columbus 40 17 16 7 41 95 104

Nashville 41 15 18 8 38 96 110

Northwest Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

Vancouver 40 23 11 6 52 109 96

Minnesota 40 22 16 2 46 103 100

Edmonton 40 16 17 7 39 102 111

Calgary 39 14 21 4 32 103 138

Colorado 41 13 22 6 32 96 128

Pacific Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

Anaheim 41 27 9 5 59 124 103

L.A. 41 23 14 4 50 118 103

San Jose 40 21 12 7 49 101 100

Phoenix 40 18 16 6 42 108 107

Dallas 39 19 17 3 41 109 118

x-clinched playoff berth

Thursday's games

San Jose 3, Detroit 2, SO

N.Y. Islanders 2, Boston 1

Ottawa 3, Philadelphia 1

Washington 3, Carolina 1

Montreal 5, Buffalo 1

Pittsburgh 6, Tampa Bay 3

Winnipeg 7, Florida 2

St. Louis 2, Minnesota 0

Los Angeles 3, Colorado 2 SO

Friday's games

Ottawa at New Jersey, 5 p.m.

St. Louis at Columbus, 5 p.m.

Dallas at Nashville, 6 p.m.

Detroit at Chicago, 6:30 p.m.

Phoenix at Calgary, 7 p.m.

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