Bruins Become Latest NHL Team To Partner With NWHL Club
The Bruins have partnered with the NWHL Boston Pride to "help grow the women’s game in Massachusetts and New England," becoming the "fourth NHL team to partner with an NWHL club," according to Matt Porter of the BOSTON GLOBE. The Bruins will “assist the Pride financially" and support the team's "marketing and player development efforts." The organizations will launch a "girls’ learn-to-play academy, in which Pride players will help tutor female first-timers ages 4 through 10." Similar to a Bruins’ program launched in '14, attendees "will get equipment, fitting, and four weeks of instruction for a $100 fee." The Bruins will also "host their third annual Girls Hockey Day on Feb. 8 at TD Garden, with clinics and scrimmages for girls and women of all ages." Pride players were at TD Garden for Thursday’s Capitals-Bruins game to "promote the partnership." Women’s hockey "represents a small but growing portion of USA Hockey’s membership." Of the 562,145 players the organization registered in '17-18, about 14% (79,355) "were women and girls." The organization reported a 4.65% "uptick in women’s registration from the previous year" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/11). In Boston, Marisa Ingemi notes there has "been an expressed hesitance for the Bruins to 'take sides'" by partnering with either the Pride or the CWHL Worcester Blades, who were "formerly in Boston." Given it is the Blades’ "first season out of Boston, it likely made the decision to pair up with a pro women’s hockey team in town a bit easier." Bruins President Cam Neely: "We certainly didn’t want to have to pick one over the other. It’s tough to work with both. ... It made it a little bit easier just to focus on the Pride right now" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/11).