It’s been kind of a week in women’s hockey. On Thursday, Budweiser teamed up with the PWHPA to bring more visibility to their mission and try to attract more support both at the grassroots and the corporate level. What is otherwise an excellent video is somewhat marred by the presence of Don Cherry.
Hockey Hall of Famer Jayna Hefford, who was the Interim Commissioner in the final season of the CWHL and is now the Operations Consultant for the PWHPA talked to Tim and Sid following the launch of the campaign.
“We believe the game is better than it’s ever been…”— Tim and Sid (@timandsid) November 8, 2019
Jayna Hefford (@J16H) is 5-time Olympic medalist, 7-time World Champion, HHOF inductee, @PWHPA Consultant, and much more!
Watch the full interview from today’s show. @BudweiserCanada | #ForTheGame pic.twitter.com/14as7TAyzV
The Women’s National Teams for Canada and the USA spent a week practicing at the Penguins’ practice facility and played a pair of games. The games were sold out, Canada swept the series, and streaming was pay only so you probably haven’t seen much of it. The Ice Garden has the goal by goal breakdowns of both games for you.
Goal by Goal: Canada beats USA in first exhibition series meetup in Pittsburgh, 4-1 - The Ice Garden
Bach and Poulin dominate while Knight gets on the board
Goal by Goal: Canada takes game two of exhibition series over USA, 5-3 - The Ice Garden
Canada sweeps USA on the weekend ahead of their December rivalry series
If you only watch one goal, watch this one:
While they had the media there and paying attention, the players took some time to talk about the PWHPA, their goals, and the current situation. Hilary Knight made waves in an AP interview where she referred to the NWHL as “a glorified beer league”. Knight has said the same thing of the CWHL, and she’s not the only player to have used the term or similar descriptions.
NWHL fans don’t like to hear this, but it’s not an insult, it’s a fact. Knight is using an image many hockey fans will relate to in order to convey the situation that players faced in both leagues and that the members of the PWHPA found unacceptable. Lack of resources as basic as enough stick tape or pre-game meals, lack of personnel, lack of promotion, lack of pay, and an expectation that where things fell short, the players would step in to cover the gaps themselves.
Both the NWHL and the CWHL presented themselves as professional leagues but the term was more aspirational than accurate. When it was founded, the CWHL provided the most elite level of play in women’s hockey and calling it a professional league was a way of insisting that these players be given the respect they deserved. A sort of “if you build it they will come” idea. Yes, by the end of the CWHL both leagues were paying players to a certain extent but at no point in either league’s history have players been paid a living wage, and both leagues would absolutely fall apart without the support of many volunteers. The NWHL has occasionally pointed to the ECHL as a parallel but the idea that the best players in women’s hockey should be treated only as well as players in the third best North American men’s hockey league is appalling — and even then the NWHL can only compare themselves on a per-game rate of pay not an annual salary rate.
Having that reality expressed bluntly after so many years of a fake it til you make it mentality is shocking, but it illustrates just how done with the old system many of the players are. If you want prettier quotes, look back at what players were saying at the PWHPA showcase in Toronto. The PWHPA was formed for the express purpose of demonstrating that existing conditions are not good enough and pushing for something better. They’re not always going to care if you like what they have to say.
Meanwhile, heads-up to Toronto fans! On Saturday November 23 there will be a game between GTA East and GTA West, known as Team Larocque and Team Fortino (don’t ask me which is which). Tickets are 20 bucks, it’s an afternoon game at York University. Plenty of former Furies and former Thunder will be on the ice, it should be a fun game. Come out and support!
Looking for another way to show your support #ForTheGame? Buy tickets and attend games!— PWHPA (@PWHPA) November 8, 2019
Check out https://t.co/yn28GrEtPl for upcoming events - like this one ⬇️⬇️⬇️ https://t.co/r3myGzLvy1 pic.twitter.com/BmY5GbSoaU
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Chelsea Purcell talks about their partnership
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After the CWHL folded this spring, more than 200 of the world’s best female players decided enough was enough. They banded together and formed the PWHPA with the goal of creating an economically viable league.
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Weekend Wrap: November 11 | College Hockey | USCHO.com
Boston College suffered their first lost of the season and Harvard upset Princeton with their fifth win in a row to start the season.
She's a real showstopper - Winnipeg Free Press
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European club hockey
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