New Opportunities On The Horizon

My hockey-playing daughter had the reaction that many girls have had with the launch of the Professional Women’s Hockey League. 

“It’s about time!” Sophia exclaimed. 

Finally, the best female hockey players in the world would compete in one holistic league. 

Jacki Donegan, a fellow parent, and I can recall how great it was when our girls could meet some of their female hockey heroes from the U.S. Women’s National Team. 

“They got to meet Kendall Coyne!” was something we were always proud to say. 

Now, tons of hockey fans and aspiring girls’ hockey players can see Coyne on the ice in Minnesota, while also rooting for their other hockey idols in Boston and New York or watch them consistently on YouTube when they aren’t representing the U.S. on the international stage. 

It is a proud moment for us hockey moms. 

“The only goal for a female hockey player was to make the Olympic team,” Donegan said. “The chances of that happening were so small. Hopefully the PWHL will continue to grow, and more and more girls will fall in love with the game of hockey.” 

Meghan Sweezey hopes so too. She is the owner/head coach of Girls 4 Hockey (G4H) in Vermont and played collegiately at St. Michael’s College. When she watched the inaugural games of the PWHL this year, she was overcome with emotion. 

“We have finally come to a time where women have a place to truly play professional hockey– where they can earn a livable wage as hockey as their primary occupation and dedicate their time and energy to being the best athlete they can be.” 

There is plenty of work to be done to continue to improve professional women’s hockey and build off some of the positives of previous leagues. Regardless, Sweezey appreciates the timing of the PWHL.

“As a hockey coach and owner of an organization dedicated to growing the game, the most important aspect is how well it is positioned to naturally provide more access and exposure to hockey,” Sweezey said. “Sports organizations are realizing there is an untapped market for female athletes and larger corporations are looking to show their support through sponsorships to demonstrate equity and inclusion.” 

It is no secret that “if you can see it, you can be it.” And, as hockey parents, it is encouraging seeing more and more opportunities for our children to play the game they love or potentially have new career paths to pursue in women’s hockey.  

Sweezey enthusiastically embraces what the PWHL can bring to women’s hockey, but it’s bittersweet. 

“Deep down, I feel a twinge of sadness for the younger version of me, who did not get to live in a world where this type of opportunity exists. I feel very fortunate to have played college-level hockey with a successful career. I have absolutely no regrets, but I can’t help but think what my path would have been had I been born even just 10 years later.”  

The PWHL is raising the bar for women’s professional hockey, giving our girls more targets to shoot for, our teens grander dreams to chase and fewer women wondering what could have been. 

 

Issue: 
2024-03

Poll

Who is your favorite American player?
Auston Matthews
21%
Jason Robertson
6%
Tage Thompson
10%
Matthew Tkachuk
7%
Patrick Kane
23%
Other
32%
Total votes: 389