Utah’s NHL team could pave the way for a sled hockey team

Apr 26, 2024, 11:30 AM

A sled hockey team in Utah could become a more realistic reality thanks to the new NHL team....

Hope Bevilhymer, a goalie with the Utah Grizzlies sled hockey team, stops a shot during a team practice at the Olympic Oval in Kearns Sunday December 21, 2003. Bevilhymer is starting a non-profit organization that collects used prosthetics to send to third-world countries. Photo by Jeremy Harmon (Submission date: 12/21/2003)

(Submission date: 12/21/2003)

SALT LAKE CITY — The enthusiasm behind Utah’s new professional hockey team was palpable, and it could pave the way for another team in Utah — sled hockey.

Sled hockey is the sport’s wheelchair equivalent. Para-athletes sit in a specially designed sled that sits on top of two hockey blades.

Utah already has a history with the sport. In 2002, the first-ever U.S. Paralympic team capped off a Cinderella story by taking home gold in Salt Lake City.

Five-time gold medalist and Paralympic skier Chris Waddell remembers the win.

“It’s really amazing to have that as part of the history of sled hockey in Utah,” he says, “I think we’re going to see some really cool stuff that comes out of the association with the Jazz and the hockey team.”

Another big connection between professional teams and their accessible counterparts is, appropriately, accessibility.

“Wheelchair basketball and sled hockey are sports where the pro athletes can jump into that device,” Waddell says, “Suddenly, they’re in a more equal standing. I think that’s one of the things that increases a tremendous amount of respect.”

This respect lowers barriers and helps athletes of all abilities get their stories out. Waddell says people are often taught not to bring up a disability, but having para-athletes in the spotlight creates an opportunity to connect with the community.

“From the highest able-bodied level to the highest Paralympic level,” Waddell continues, “And to see how much it benefits each group, and really promote it as well, is something that is so important. Because it really is a visible fulcrum that we can affect a greater change.”

Hopefully, a sled hockey team would help people see how able-bodied disabled athletes are.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah's Morning News

Follow @voicebyhughes...

Tim Hughes

Hughes: Dad and daughter close in on life goal

This is a daddy daughter story that started in a magical place and led to even more magic!

27 days ago

Going to college has benefits and drawbacks. It's deciding for yourself that matters....

Amanda Dickson

Dickson: To go to college or not to go to college – that is the question

From the debt you could incur to the pay you could earn, college has its benefits and drawbacks. Read this before you decide.

2 months ago

Pickleball has exploded in popularity in Utah and across the nation. Perhaps not surprisingly, so h...

Amanda Dickson

Dickson: Preventing pickleball injuries

A Utah doctor reports seeing an increase in overuse injuries associated with pickleball, especially in players over age 55.

3 months ago

Former President Trump shown,, trump hush money trial started Monday...

Associated Press

Trump says Arizona’s abortion ban goes too far while defending the overturning of Roe v. Wade

Former President Trump said Arizona's abortion ban goes too far, but defended the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

3 months ago

Exclusive video obtained by KSL NewsRadio shows Salt Lake hit-and-run in the Avenues neighborhood. ...

Eric Cabrera

WATCH: Exclusive video shows woman survives Salt Lake City hit and run

KSL NewsRadio has exclusively obtained footage of a Salt Lake City hit-and-run, where a woman was struck while out for a run in the Avenues.

4 months ago

High winds caused some damage overnight in Northern Utah....

KSL NewsRadio

High winds still howling, minimal damage reported

The high wind gusts peaked overnight in Utah, but they are going to keep howling for the next several hours.

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Utah’s NHL team could pave the way for a sled hockey team