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Buffalo Sabres: 'Learn to Play' program returns for third season


Tue, Oct 9th 2018 10:50 am
The Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday announced registration is now open for the team's "Learn to Play" program presented by Pure Hockey.
Sabres alumnus Patrick Kaleta will continue in his third year of implementing and managing the program. As a Buffalo native, Kaleta has worked with numerous local charity organizations throughout his career to help benefit families in Western New York.
"The first two years of the 'Learn To Play' program greatly exceeded our expectations," Kaleta said. "We've graduated more than 1,200 new youth players, a feat that our group is incredibly proud of. I'm excited to get year three started, and looking forward to meeting all of our new participants."
All Buffalo Sabres "Learn to Play" participants will be outfitted at Pure Hockey, the official hockey retail partner of the Buffalo Sabres and HarborCenter. Equipment kits will include a helmet, stick, equipment bag, jersey, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, pants, shin pads, socks and skates. Participants can register for the program at Sabres.com/LearnToPlay.
Introduced in 2016, "Learn to Play" enhances the way youth hockey is offered by providing first-time participants from ages 4 to 9 with free head-to-toe equipment, age-appropriate instruction and certified coaching led by NHL alumni in a fun and safe atmosphere. The program has expanded to include a total of 12 local rinks this season with lessons taught by Sabres alumni and USA Hockey-certified instructors.
NHL alumni work with all NHL teams to make sure a consistent message of on-ice programming and messaging to coaches and parents is distributed across all markets. The program also works with USA Hockey to display the benefits of the American Development Model.
Developed with the help of experts from USA Hockey and Hockey Canada, the NHL/NHLPA "Learn to Play" initiative aims to be the gold standard for youth hockey programs with the goal of inspiring more families to join the hockey community.

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