Hockey is everywhere, man. The Frozen Four is going on, dude. Hey bro, check out the OHL playoffs coming up. Aw yeah, dog, you know the AHL is going to be just filthy. What's up, homeyslicetime, you watching the NHL PLAYOFFS ON VERSUS? There is just so much of these guys playing hockey just everywhere you look, right? It is just so great to be able to watch all these professional guys playing hockey.
Hey, you know what would be great, though? If, you know, the other half of the entire world's population could have that same opportunity. Well, guess what? By sheer coincidence probably, just such an opportunity is coming this fall! The National Women's Hockey League will be paying players to play, getting advertising for their games, and furnishing all equipment for the players, unlike the CWHL, which is more of a part-time gig. Here are the deets:
Each of the league’s four teams are given an operating budget for which all players, team staff (coaches, GM, etc.), and other expenses will be paid. The NWHL sets a salary cap for each team at $270,000. Spread evenly across all 18 roster players, it comes to about $15,000 per player; however, like the men’s pro leagues, GM’s are not required to give the same contract to every player. The player is responsible for her own contract negotiations.
Players are treated like employees, where taxes will be withdrawn from their paychecks just like everyone else. It’s meant to be a part-time job, and with this association, the NWHL will be able to work with international players to secure work visas, something the CWHL cannot do.
Something else it’ll do that the CWHL struggles with: Not have their players pay for their own gear.
"Nope, this a professional league. The women will have their equipment provided to them. The equipment, tape, sticks, the necessities to play will be given to them," said Rylan.
(Rylan, incidentally, sees the NWHL co-existing with the CWHL.)
Starting in May 2015, free agency will begin. Free agents are considered college seniors and any player no longer in college, be it actively playing or not, it’s up to them to find a team and negotiate their contract terms. In June comes the draft for college juniors. The drafted players are given a year to finish their NCAA eligibility while their rights are retained by the team that drafted them, just like the guys. Once they’re done with their NCAA obligations, the women are free to then sign a contract with their team.
I really enjoyed watching women's hockey in the Olympics, and even though the talent pool is growing by leaps and bounds each year, four teams should be a great way to get this league going for now. I will also say right here that I will totally buy a Connecticut Whale jersey or shirsey.
Personally, I'm still holding out hope for Shannon Szabados to get a shot in the NHL somehow, but if she ends up dominating the NWHL for a few years instead, that would be awesome, too.
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Spoiler about last night's games: they all went the wrong way. Why can't these teams all lose when they're supposed to? Like, when we played the Central Division this season? Why couldn't they all lose then instead of beating Dallas most of the time?
Casino Night raised $325,000 for the Dallas Stars Foundation. [Stars]
The odds are never in their favor, says Mike Heika re: playoffs and Dallas. [DMN]
Seriously, the hill is incredibly steep and they won't make the playoffs (unless they do). [Edmonton Journal]
Daryl Reaugh has a proposal to expand the playoffs, and I think Major League Baseball already read this and will be implementing a 20-team postseason next year. [Razor with an Edge]
Regardless of just how much "dangling" Spezza actually did Wednesday night, this goal is worth taking another look at. [THN]
Get those goal horns oiled up for tonight. The Oilers and Stars are basically the worst at goal prevention. [DMN]
The Jets played the Canadiens, but Carey Price had the night off so the Jets converted like 86% of their twelve SOG or whatever. Stupid hockey. [NHL]
Los Angeles downed the Isles last night in the Kings' last visit to Nassau. [NHL]
The Coyotes beat the Sabres in overtime last night, which is too bad for the Coyotes. [Sabres]
Coyotes radio analyst Nick Boynton got totally scuzzed and went on a tirade, eventually biting a police officer's finger. He has been put on leave from the booth. [USA Today]
The Hamburglar's magical run finally ended last night at the hands of the New York Rangers. [NHL]
Jared Boll got suspended for 3 games for his headshot on Patrick Maroon. Here is the DoPS video. [YouTube]
Tanner Glass finally scored a goal this year, much to his coach's...amusement. [SB Nation]
Is tanking ethical? What philosophy of ethics do Buffalo subscribe to? These questions and more, sort of answered, kind of. [Buffalo News]
Finally, Eastside Hockey Manager is back! Seriously sweet news here if you ever had the pleasure of using EHM back in the day. [GM Games]