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).