BY BROOKLYN FELL
The concept of women succeeding in professional hockey is often a punchline in a bad locker room joke.
Unfortunately, the joke in on a lot of women who have dreamed of getting paid to play a game they love.
Earlier this month the American Women’s Hockey team took a huge step forward after they reached an agreement with USA Hockey regarding their recent wage dispute, which began after their proposed boycott of the Women’s World Championship at home in Plymouth, Michigan.
This dispute has sparked debate about the gender wage gap among professional athletes, in particular hockey.
“Coming from a woman who played this sport for years, I would be honoured to represent my country on the ice. Think of all the young girls that are looking up to you, as you proudly wear that jersey,” said former Brampton Canadettes hockey player Meaghan Sloane.
“We have come so far to ensure female hockey gets the recognition it deserves.”
— Amanda Kessel (@AmandaKessel8) March 29, 2017
“We congratulate the U.S. Women’s National Team and USA Hockey on reaching an agreement that will allow the world championship tournament to be a best-on-best showcase,” said Hockey Canada in a statement.
Leagues including the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) have made strides in regulating professional women’s hockey.
Formed in 2015, the NWHL was the first professional women’s hockey league to pay their players; however, after just two years the league has had to cut their salaries in half making it virtually impossible for these women to live off their professional hockey income.
“They will never receive payment like NHL players because they don’t draw the crowds and the revenue the NHL does,” said former Toronto Jr. Canadiens hockey player Greg Dodwell.
“You can’t get blood from a stone and you can’t pay players more money if they aren’t selling jerseys and tickets.”