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Archive for April 9, 2017

Apr. 9, 2017 — Teamwork meets a different enemy

The U.S. women’s ice hockey team has had one major rival over the last 27 years: Canada. This year, the women added another entity to unify against: USA Hockey.

Last week, the United States took its newfound togetherness after a player strike in order to beat their Canadian rivals 3-2 in overtime of the final of the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship. It was the States’ third championship in a row.

But I think there’s much, much more to this title than any other. The win was a vindication for the U.S. women as a labor union, and I also think it is going to put a burr in the saddle of the current group of owners of the nine professional women’s hockey teams in the United States and Canada. I think there will be a flow of cash from sponsors interested in not only an expansion of the U.S.-based National Women’s Hockey League, but perhaps a merger with the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

I believe a merger is a more important priority for women’s hockey than professionalization. One unified league, one pay scale, one set of rules, and one great pro league.

I hope it doesn’t take more labor action to make this happen.