Women's Hockey Players Form Union, Launching Tour
The Professional Women's Hockey Players' Association, which is made up of more than 200 top female hockey players who "pledged not to compete in North America this season," is "launching what's being called 'The Dream Gap Tour,'" according to John Wawrow of the AP. The tour's "first stop will be in Toronto from Sept. 20-22," followed by events in New Hampshire on Oct. 4-6 and Chicago on Oct. 18-20. Members of the tour also will "play exhibition games against Boston College on Sept. 21 and against the Sharks alumni in San Jose on Sept. 22." Additional tour stops are "being considered but not yet finalized, including Southern California and Buffalo." Adidas is among the "sponsors already on board," and the players also are "backed by Billie Jean King Enterprises." Tour stops will "feature about 80 players split into four teams playing a three-game round-robin tournament followed by a championship game, and include youth clinics." The tour is "essentially a barn-storming tour" made up of PWHPA members "seeking to bring the sport's stakeholders -- including the NHL, USA Hockey and Hockey Canada -- to the table to establish a single league with a sustainable economic model, featuring the world's top talent, and pay a livable wage and include health care." The tour is "considered the union's coming-out party, and features players wearing jerseys" with PWHPA logos (AP, 8/28).