WASHINGTON -- The National Hockey League and USA Hockey became partners several years ago in an effort to promote and grow the game from the grassroots level so it could climb the sports landscape in the United States.

Wednesday in Washington, D.C., leaders from the League and the sport's national governing body visited Capitol Hill to educate several political leaders on their initiatives and the game's growth and continued prosperity in the annual Congressional Hockey Caucus.

"It's an opportunity to bring attention to the fact that hockey is a great vehicle to give back to the community, to have young people build life skills, not just interest in hockey," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told NHL.com following the hour-long briefing at the Rayburn House Office Building, located across Independence Avenue from the Capitol Building.

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