News Releases

News Releases

For Immediate Release

NHL, Pat LaFontaine Unveil Plans for State-of-the-Art “NHL Legacy Classroom” at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

The National Hockey League (NHL), Hockey Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine and his Companions in Courage charity today unveiled plans for the construction of a state-of-the-art “NHL Legacy Classroom” in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to commemorate the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals.  The classroom is expected to be operational by April 2011.

The NHL Legacy Classroom will be an interactive space featuring innovative communications tools that allow children to connect to family, friends, schools and teachers during a hospital stay.  The classroom’s versatility will allow easy add-on technology components that will focus on education, including a SMART Board and a SMART Table, tools that stimulate collaboration among students and enable students and teachers to connect to other schools or “classrooms” via the room’s video conferencing capabilities. The SMART Board and SMART Table will be provided by SMART Technologies.

The NHL Legacy Classroom also will feature a large screen TV that will utilize Cisco System’s advanced video conferencing capabilities to broadcast educational content to the patients. Patients can connect to other classrooms on the network via Cisco's WebEx tools to collaborate on their learning experience during school hours and take part in fun interactive games and other activities after school hours. DuPont’s™ Corian® will be used on the classroom’s walls, desktops and cabinetry for additional infection control.

“On behalf of our players, clubs and fans, it is extremely gratifying that the NHL is able to leave this lasting legacy through the NHL Winter Classic and positively impact the Pittsburgh community and the lives of the young patients and their families,” said John Collins, NHL Chief Operating Officer.

“I am extremely grateful to the NHL for its generosity and consideration of the children of Pittsburgh,” said LaFontaine. “I can think of no better way to commemorate the NHL Winter Classic than by this long-lasting gift to the host community in Pittsburgh.”

”Providing our patients, especially those who are hospitalized for long periods of time, access to educational support is an important aspect of family-centered care. This NHL Legacy Classroom will help us provide this support in a state-of-the-art, technology rich environment,” said Christopher Gessner, president, Children’s Hospital. “We’re very grateful to the NHL, Companions in Courage, the Pittsburgh Penguins and SMART Technologies for partnering with us to make this possible.”

The NHL Legacy Classroom complements the continued philanthropic efforts of the Pittsburgh Penguins, including the team's long-standing work with the Children's Hospital. The NHL Foundation donation of the NHL Legacy Classroom is part of the NHL's Biggest Assist Happens off the Ice initiative, the League's long-standing tradition of addressing important social issues in North America and around the world.

About the National Hockey League
The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League’s international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other major professional sport. The NHL entertains more than 250 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (VERSUS, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, ESPN America, ASN and NHL Network™) and radio (NHL Radio™, Sirius XM Satellite Radio and XM Canada). Through the NHL Foundation, the League’s charitable arm, the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights  Cancer™ and NHL Youth Development, and supports the charitable efforts of NHL players. For more information on the NHL, log on to

About the Companions in Courage Foundation
The Companions in Courage Foundation was founded by NHL Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine as a response to the inspiration he derived while visiting children in hospitals during his 15-year career. The organization builds interactive rooms and distributes mobile XBox kiosks in children’s hospitals throughout North America. Through innovative communications tools, these rooms and kiosks replace the isolation of a hospital with a connection to family, friends, classmates and celebrities during their hospital stay.  For more information, visit

About Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Renowned for its outstanding clinical services, research programs and medical education, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has helped establish the standards of excellence in pediatric care. From ambulatory care to transplantation and cardiac care, talented and committed pediatric experts care for infants, children and adolescents who make more than one million visits to Children’s and its many neighborhood locations each year.

Children’s also has been named consistently to several elite lists of pediatric health care facilities, including ranking 10th among children’s hospitals (FY 2008) in funding provided by the National Institutes of Health, and is one of only eight hospitals in the country named to U.S. News & World Report’s honor roll of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals.”

Nirva Milord / NHL, 212-789-2123, Mobile: 347-853-4637,

Marc Lukasiak / Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, 412-692-7919, Mobile: 412-877-1656,

Last Update
January 3, 2011
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Last Update
January 3, 2011