Devante Smith-Pelly and John Carlson Invite Youth Hockey Team to Caps Game for Sticking It to Racism

When Washington Capitals right-winger Devante Smith-Pelly headed to the penalty box at United Center he was greeted by an unwelcoming surprise from a couple of Chicago Blackhawks fans. Typically a player in the sin bin would expect the occasional boo or fun-playful heckle but this particular group crossed the line in the most despicable way imaginable. Smith-Pelly was subjected to racial taunts including the chants of “basketball, basketball, basketball.” The Blackhawks and the NHL sent a message by banning the fans for life but unfortunately this is a problem for many athletes that still hasn’t been resolved today. To make matters worse, it’s not just the pros who have to deal with it.  Continue reading “Devante Smith-Pelly and John Carlson Invite Youth Hockey Team to Caps Game for Sticking It to Racism”

Oh Season of Giving

I started giving blood after my dad passed away in July 2015. I was already signed up for the blood drive before my dad was even sick,  so after he passed two days earlier, I went to Ketler to give blood in honor of my dad.

As soon as I got inside the ice rink I knew I was in the right place.. .all of my dads favorite players were honored with banners at the end of the rink: Dale Hunter, Rod Langway, Mike Gartner & Yvon Labre.

 My appointment today was for 730am and as I left Verizon Center last night after the Caps beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1, I contemplated not coming because it meant I had to get up at 530am on a Saturday!  But then I thought about the person who might need my blood donation and how they may not even have the option to wake up early or late on a Saturday, and it all made sense.
After giving blood, you are directed to the snack area to replenish yourself before heading out on your way. There is a survey to help Inova Blood services better serve us . One of the questions is how to get more people to not be intimidated to donate. I answered to assure people they were helping others and with the great service here you don’t have to be afraid of needles!!


 With Thanksgiving teo days ago and living in a time where being kind to one another is not reported on as much as the unkind stuff, it’s important to remember we should be kind and give more than we receive.

 If your unsure or afraid of giving blood, don’t be. I was in your shoes not too long ago, unfortunately it took me too long to realize it’s not about me. It’s about what I can give to help!

 Next blood drive is in January!  I’ve already signed up!! How about you?! Come join me!  You won’t be sorry!  Oh and did I mention the Marcus Johansson bobblehead! 😉

 Happy season of giving year round!!

Friends Helping Friends; Caps Family @ Fort Dupont


Like most Caps fans, I’m still upset over the Caps being eliminated in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs;  I couldn’t focus on anything but that overtime Game 6 and the Caps exit interviews where every player was so upset, disappointed and had no answers to why the Caps lost.

I had signed up to volunteer at Ft. DuPont Ice Rink to help MSE foundation, some of the Washington Capitals wives, Coach Trotz along with his family and many awesome Caps fans. We would clean, paint, organize, garden and give back to an organization that gives so much to the local community by offering ice skating and hockey to those that might otherwise never have the opportunity to skate. The Ft DuPont Ice Rink is also very involved in getting young females to discover ice skating and that hockey is even for girls!

You can imagine after being involved in so many positive things and being able to talk with fellow fans who were feeling the same way I was about our hockey team, I was able to start healing from that overtime loss and started looking forward to next season.

I was able to simply sign up through the Caps website and arrived Saturday morning at 9 am. All the volunteers  received a Rock the Red t-shirt, snacks, beverages. We had the option to sign up for painting, cleaning, yard work, re-stringing nets, or organizing hockey gear. I ended up sorting hockey gear and  I met all kinds of fans. We, had some great conversations about which team will advance to the next round. Most Caps fans did not want Pittsburgh to advance …with a smirk on my face, I agreed!  img_1482

I will sign up again next year. This experience not only helped me get through a tough loss, but I learned  it is better to give than receive. And I learned our hockey team family is such a great role model for our communities in the Washington metropolitan area.  If we focus on that part of what hockey, and sports in general, can do to help the youth of today; you can start to feel good about the direction we are heading!

Come out and volunteer with us Caps fans! You don’t have to wait for a Caps-sponsored event to be part of the giving community. It will help you get through this tough ending to the Caps season and make the summer go by much faster!

Keep Rocking the RED!!

By Mel Abernethy