Learn More: The National Women's Hockey League

Did you know that there is a National Women's Hockey League? It's okay if you didn't, not many people do. This article hopes to help change that sad fact.

According to their website, "The NWHL is the first professional women's hockey league in North America to pay its players. The inaugural season began October 11, 2015..." As of now there are four teams in the NWHL all of which were established at the league's inception. All four of the teams are located in the northeast region of the United States. The teams are the Boston Pride, the Buffalo Beauts, the Connecticut Whale, and the New York Riveters. 

Every season the teams compete for the Isobel Cup- the championship trophy in the league. 

Recently, the NWHL announced that they would be back for a third season. Next season will be an interesting one as national team players will be away, preparing for the 2018 Winter Olympics. 

"Having a league next year is great. Since it will be non-Olympians, it will allow us to get a little more of that foundation set up so we're strong for when the Olympians come back", said Riveters captain, Ashley Johnston in an interview. 

Last year, the NWHL released the salaries of its best players. The salary cap for each team was $270,000. The highest paid player in the NWHL was Kelli Stack, a U.S. Women's National Team Player who was making $25,000

This past November, the league announced that it must cut salaries in half in order to keep the league in existence. Players who decided to stay will receive a commission of 15% on sales of their jersey. 

 

My Take:

I first became interested in women's hockey when I began covering UConn's team for the Daily Campus. Right away, I was blown away by the amazing athleticism and skill of the players. As the season progressed, I became increasingly curious whether or not these players had a professional league in which they could continue their career. While I was immensely happy that there is a leauge, I was angered and frustrated by their small salaries and lack of league coverage. In comparison, the minimum salary for a NHL player is $525,000

I implore people to try and spread the word about women's hockey; go to games, allow girls to try the sport, and buy merchandise. We may have a long way to go, but every revolution has to start somewhere. 

 

 

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