weather icon Clear

Sled hockey brings ice sport to disabled at City National Arena

Updated August 9, 2018 - 7:12 pm

At the Golden Knights’ practice facility, a brand of hockey previously unknown to valley is blooming. It’s not new, and the United States recently brought home a gold medal in it.

It’s sled hockey. And participants can try it for free at City National Arena on Sept. 9.

“It’s a form of hockey that allows people with mental and physical disabilities to compete comfortably,” Golden Knights Foundation President John Coogan said.

The Golden Knights Foundation recently partnered with the Jake Kieb Foundation, an organization promoting the growth of youth hockey in Southern Nevada, to start playing sled hockey for disabled persons who see what the NHL team is doing, and want in on the action.

The Golden Knights Foundation recently purchased 12 sleds, and the program that began in February plays on Sundays at City National Arena. While the focus is on young players, the foundation also wants a competitive adult team.

Coogan said that the adult team, while providing opportunities to older players who wouldn’t otherwise have them, also gives younger players a role model.

“It serves as an example for the young kids to show them where they can aspire to,” Coogan said.

Sal Karimzada is that example.

Karimzada is double amputee and has been playing for years. He played for Team USA in 2004, as well as NHL-affiliated teams across the country. After getting cut from the national team, he started coaching and has taken up that mantle in Las Vegas.

He’s part of the adult team trying to grow the game, and while he’s coaching now, he’d rather more people come out so he can focus on playing.

“This definitely motivates me to stay active and stay healthy,” Karimzada said. “It’s bigger than the picture of playing hockey. I think it’s just a way for people who are disabled to get healthy here and live a lifestyle where they’re actually going to be moving around.”

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Justin Emerson can be reached at jemerson@reviewjournal.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Knights back to full health - Video
The Golden Knights are currently in Phase Two of the NHL's return to play plan and are allowed to have 12 players skating at one time.
Las Vegas' NHL hub chances in jeopardy over spikes in COVID-19 - Video
Golden Knights writer Ben Gotz and Heidi Fang discuss the rumors that Las Vegas is no longer a frontrunner for an NHL hub city due to spikes in COVID-19 and what that means for the Vegas Golden Knights. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NHL expands Phase Two workouts to 12 players
The NHL expanded Phase Two workouts to 12 players on Tuesday. The league hopes to begin training camps July 10 before its 24-team postseason tournament starts in two hub cities.
Ryan Reaves on What Can Be Done to Bring Cultural Diversity Hockey - VIDEO
Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves talks about signing a two-year extension with the team, his personal experiences with racism as a hockey player and what the NHL and individual hockey teams could do to bring more cultural diversity to the sport. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kelly McCrimmon on BLM Movement - Video
Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon Talks Team Responsibility for BLM Movement and what role sports plays as a whole.
Kelly McCrimmon Talks Reaves Extension
Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon talks Ryan Reaves signing a two-year extension.
Kelly McCrimmon Comments on VGK Preseason - Video
Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon talks Golden Knights preseason and the possibility of Las Vegas becoming a hub city for playoffs.
Golden Knights' Ryan Reaves speaks out on Black Lives Matter protests, racism - Video
Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves joined the "Sheriff, Lawless and Some Guy Named Dave" podcast to discuss his thoughts on the recent Black Lives Matter protests and racism he has faced in his life.
Golden Knights' Mark Stone wants to "compete for the Stanley Cup" - Video
Vegas Golden Knights forward Mark Stone spoke with media via Zoom to discuss returning to the ice and how he feels his team is prepared to compete for the Stanley Cup.
Golden Knights changes under Peter DeBoer
Las Vegas Review-Journal's Golden Knights reporter Ben Gotz breaks down a few ways the team has changed since head coach Peter DeBoer took over earlier this year after Gerard Gallant's firing.
Bill Foley believes the Golden Knights will be fine in new playoff format - Video
Vegas Golden Knights Chairman and CEO Bill Foley said he believe his team will adjust just fine to the new playoff structure.
Welcome Henderson Silver Knights - Video
The Golden Knights’ new AHL team will be called the Henderson Silver Knights.
Golden Knights playoff picture - Video
The Knights are one of four teams in the Western Conference to receive a bye and will play round-robin games against St. Louis, Colorado and Dallas to determine the top four seeds.
Outline for NHL’s return-to-play plan - Video
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman outlined the format for the expanded 24-team postseason in a televised news conference Tuesday, including details of the round robin involving the Golden Knights.
Knights’ empathy questioned
A sports talk host called this week a public relations disaster for the Knights and a tourism official said it may shorten the honeymoon period between the team and its devoted fan base.
Golden Knights Analyst Mike McKenna makes full Las Vegas circle - Video
Golden Knights TV analyst and former NHL goaltender Mike McKenna spoke with the Golden Edge podcast crew on his time in the league and what it's like to be a media member now.
Proposed Henderson minor league hockey arena to cost $80M - Video
A controversial proposed minor league hockey arena is set to cost the city of Henderson $40 million. If approved by the City Council, construction of the arena will cost $80 million, with another $4 million set aside for contingencies, according to a contract made public by the city. The total cost would be evenly split between the Vegas Golden Knights and the city.
Golden Knights Kelly McCrimmon Talks NHL Draft - Video
Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon talks about the NHL draft taking place before the NHL 2019 season comes to an end.