Leafs, Flames Chip In To Help Grow Canadian Women's Hockey League
The Maple Leafs and Flames have “boosted the Canadian Women’s Hockey League’s small budget with a multi-year financial commitment,” according to Donna Spencer of the CP. The Maple Leafs are providing $30,000 (all figures Canadian) "annually for the next five years and the Flames $20,000 each of the next four to the five-team league that includes several Canadian and U.S. national team players.” The two NHL clubs also will “market and promote the CWHL teams in their respective markets, which are the Toronto Furies and the yet-unnamed Alberta squad.” The CWHL “can’t yet afford to pay players, but pays the coaches and covers the cost of equipment, ice time and travel.” Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment “struck a task force two years ago, led by hockey operations vice-president Dave Poulin, to look at ways of incorporating women’s hockey into the business.” Using the partnership agreement with MLSE “as a template, the CWHL took proposals to other NHL teams.” The Flames are the “only other NHL club that has bitten so far.” Flames President & CEO Ken King said, “I think cash is important, but I think what is equally important to cash is that their pioneering efforts that have gone on for many years.” Spencer noted the Leafs intend to “market the Furies on their website, at home games and on Leafs TV.” The Alberta CWHL team "will wear Flames colours and the flaming ’C’ will be incorporated into their logo” (CP, 11/13). In Toronto, Daniel Girard writes there is “hope that" the Canadiens and Bruins will "soon reach deals with the CWHL teams in their cities.” The fifth team, the Brampton Hockey Club, also is “hoping to strike an arrangement with an NHL team.” The CWHL “operates on a budget of about $700,000 per season” (TORONTO STAR, 11/14).
HEAR ME ROAR: In Toronto, Damien Cox writes the Hockey HOF is “back to ruthlessly excluding women from its honoured ranks.” The HOF three years ago announced that there “would annually also be room for up to two female players,” but the last two years have included no women. Cox: “Now, it’s like they let a couple of girls into the NHL treehouse but left the ‘Boys Only!’ sign up.” But there was “an understanding that having excluded women for so long, there would be a real effort to address the backlog” (TORONTO STAR, 11/14).