Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey

Red Wings, NHL, NHLPA announce $1 million commitment to cultivate and develop youth hockey in Detroit


By @MichaelCaples –

The Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, the NHL and the NHLPA have announced a $1 million commitment to “cultivate hockey and youth development in the City of Detroit.”

With the “Learn, Play, Score” platform, the Red Wings and the other entities will be playing an active role in growing and expanding access to the game of hockey across Detroit.

The press release states that partnerships with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, the Detroit Parks & Recreation Detroit Public Schools Community District, EverFi and the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University, more than 30,000 youngsters within the City of Detroit will experience hockey through different events and engagements over the next two years.

The Wings will be working with several metro Detroit and national organizations to coordinate on the exclusive programming, curriculum and operation of the program.

“This is all about empowering the youth in our city. Hockey is more than just a sport. It is about teamwork, dedication, maintaining a healthy body, mind and spirit. We are committed to being a leader in finding innovative ways to connect younger generations to hockey in the community, and the Detroit Red Wings Learn, Play, Score program will provide that very opportunity,” said Christopher Ilitch, President & CEO, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., and Governor, President and CEO, Detroit Red Wings. “It all starts with the kids of this city – the next generation – and we’re looking forward to an exciting two years as the program takes shape and offers them the dynamic new experiences they deserve.”

Detroit Red Wings Learn, Play and Score will work with 79 Detroit Public elementary and middle schools, 12 Detroit Parks & Recreation “Fun Centers” and four Boys & Girls clubs across Detroit in the next year.

A newly-formed Detroit Hockey Rink Collaborative – including the East Side Hockey Ice Arena, the Jack Adams Memorial Arena and the outdoor rink at Clark Park – will be offering affordable Learn to Skate and Little Wings Learn to Play programs.

More from the press release:

The initiative will initially consist of five platforms within non-traditional and traditional hockey.
Non-traditional hockey platforms include:
Street Hockey in the D with Detroit Parks & Recreation and Detroit Public Schools Community District
o   After School League (Detroit Parks & Recreation)
o   Summer Fun Center Sessions (Detroit Parks & Recreation)
o   School Edition (Physical Education Curriculum Integration -Detroit Public Schools Community District)
Hockey in the Classroom with Detroit Public Schools Community District
o   Future Goals™ – Hockey Scholar and STEM Day at Little Caesars Arena presented by Chevrolet
Esports & Hockey with Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan
Traditional hockey platforms include:
–        Detroit Hockey Rink Collaborative and On-Ice Hockey Pathway Scholarships with Clark Park, East Side Hockey Ice Arena and Jack Adams Memorial Arena
–        Open Skate Sessions at Little Caesars Arena
To ensure each program element meets and exceeds goals, the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University, as well as Oakland University and the University of Michigan will provide independent data reporting and analysis support.
To learn more about Detroit Red Wings Learn, Play, Score, visit