Big News for Women’s Hockey!
During the CWHL women’s hockey All-Star Game Draft last Friday night, Sami Jo Small of the Toronto Furies made the big announcement that the league has partnered with the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA).
The NHLPA, created in 1967, is the union for professional hockey players in the NHL that negotiates and enforces fair terms and conditions of employment for NHL players. Although details have not yet been released, the potential of the partnership could be a big game changer for both the CWHL and the U.S. National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL).
U.S. women’s ice hockey players Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux and Hilary Knight told Excelle Sports that the only way to grow the women’s sport is if the two professional leagues in North America combine together.
Brenda Andress, CWHL’s commissioner said ‘the main benefit will be education for its players’.
“They get the benefit of the research and knowing some of the pitfalls, [what] not to get into, some of the bumps and curves,” Andress said prior to Saturday’s CWHL all-star game. “It’s really about giving access to our players’ PA to be able to partner with somebody that’s ‘been there, done it’ so that we can continue to make sure we work together with our players to ensure what their needs are.”
The partnership with the NHLPA is in addition to the existing agreements in place between the CWHL and the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiennes and Ottawa Senators.
“We are looking forward to working with the CWHL as both organizations share a commitment to growing the game of hockey,” said NHLPA spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon in a statement.
The CWHL-NHLPA deal comes at a time when the league is set to start paying its players. The next big event for the CWHL is the annual Clarkson Cup, which will be held at Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre on March 5th 2017.
By: Bonnie Wurst – mtltimes.ca