Women’s Hockey League Wants In On NHL

By Ben Hamill - May 12 2019
Women’s Hockey League Puts Demands On The Table

The United States Women’s Hockey League wants to be officially incorporated with the NHL. And to show that they’re quite serious about the matter, captain Meghan Duggan and 200 of her fellow players have decided to go all in by refusing to play in North America this year, unless there’s some sort of movement in the direction of full incorporation.

And really, a NHL-run women’s hockey league isn’t at all a far-fetched idea. One has only to consider the NBA and what it managed to do for the WNBA. And then there’s the soccer leagues all over the US as well as Europe. The question begs; if others can do it, and have done so with great success, then what’s stopping the NHL?

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The Secret Is Working Together

According to Duggan, there is much to be learnt from history, and that what history dictates is that there is much success to be had when women’s leagues are invited to work with existing professional leagues. It appears that the only matter to be resolved now is getting the NHL to see the reason and logic in this.

But what Duggan and the rest have managed to do is to send shock waves through the entire North American hockey community. The movement has been referred to as a boycott of North America’s only remaining Women’s Hockey League.

According to labour attorney Matt Delduca, what the women are doing may actually work. The Pepper Hamilton attorney said that despite the fact that strikes have not really paid off much in the way of results in pro-sports leagues, the economics of this particular matter creates some unique opportunities. These are the kinds of opportunities valued by the likes of the equipment giant, Bauer. According to the company’s VP of marketing, Mary-Kay Messier, full incorporation with the NHL will be the only viable road to economic ownership.

Drawing heavily on public sentiment may make it all happen, after all.

NHL Not Ready To Commit

But NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly isn’t fully on board just yet. Daly said that whilst the NHL certainly supports women competing at the highest levels of the sport, the NHL does not at this stage have the infrastructure or the capacity to do much more than what it has been.

Daly said that for the moment, the NHL would be assuming the role of mere observation. Only time will tell what the scope of the NHL’s role will be going forward. He described the boycott as an action that served nobody.

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