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WITH GOLD MEDAL, HOW FAR CAN WOMEN'S HOCKEY HOPE TO GO?

          While the women's U.S. hockey team won the gold, "most
     people connected with the sport think it's ready for a
     small-scale regional pro league at best, and perhaps not
     even that," according to Barbara Huebner of the BOSTON
     GLOBE.  USA Hockey Exec Dir David Ogrean: "A full-fledged
     professional league is a ways down the line.  I think we
     need to move forward, but realistically forward."  Ogrean
     calls the Women's Professional Hockey League (WPHL), led by
     Hockey East Dir of Media Relations Ed Saunders, "in the near
     term probably one of the best ideas."  Its four teams would
     have 20 players each, paid $500-$1,000 per game.  Ogrean
     sees the "biggest boost" of the women's gold medal at the
     youth, high school and college level (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/24). 
     The WPHL is profiled by BLOOMBERG, as Jack McGregor, one of
     the league's investors, said the WPHL will incur startup
     costs of $1-1.2M.  Site selection for the four franchises
     will be announced in March (BLOOMBERG/N.Y. POST, 2/24).

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