When you’re the only person who’s ever been there, you’re going to be challenged.
But it’s not the first time that’s happened.
Steel is the face of the NHL’s Cold Steel initiative.
As part of the initiative, players will be paid for their work in the community, and the money will be used to support charities that support the homeless and disadvantaged.
Steel has been involved in that effort since his days with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Last year, Steel and his wife, Lizzy, opened the Daniel Steel Sports and Entertainment Center in downtown Pittsburgh.
Since then, Steel has created a small team of assistants to help out on the ice and on the court, as well as run a social media presence that focuses on raising awareness of homelessness.
When Steel came out to support the initiative last year, he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he was shocked to see the attention the project received.
“I thought, wow, this is something that I would be in a position to do.
And to see so much support from people like you that really care about the people that you represent.
So, I was just really humbled,” Steel said.
But he quickly learned that his time and efforts were not going unnoticed.
“As soon as I came out and said I was gay, I had a lot of backlash,” Steel recalled.
“Some people were really upset.
Some people were so angry that they called me names and they said, ‘You’re a bigot.’
I’ve been in the industry a long time, so I know people are a little bit more sensitive than that.”
The backlash, however, did not deter Steel from continuing his work on the local level.
Since 2015, Steel says he has been working with a number of homeless shelters in Pittsburgh to help them improve their programs and make the city a more livable place for the homeless.
“I’ve done a lot, but I’ve done it at the grassroots level,” Steel explained.
“We’re not just going to have to throw money at it, we have to do it by doing it for the people, and that’s really important.”
The Daniel Steel Foundation, which supports programs to improve the lives of homeless and marginalized communities in the Pittsburgh region, has grown from just Steel, and Lizzy Steel, to more than 100 people and over 100 organizations working on issues of homelessness and poverty.
Steel says the Foundation has been a great source of support for the charities he supports and has also helped him gain a new perspective on the game and the NHL.
“When you have a player like Daniel Steel who’s a great leader, who’s someone that’s been around this game, and who’s been a part of it for so long, it’s just a great resource for me,” Steel told NBC Sports.
“That’s what’s really hard for me.”