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Hockey Night Schedule

Date Game Time / Result Action
04/07Minnesota Wild vs Vancouver CanucksCanucks W 5–0Box Score | Recap
04/08San Jose Sharks vs Arizona CoyotesCoyotes W 4–3Box Score | Recap
04/09Anaheim Ducks vs Los Angeles KingsDucks W 3–1Box Score | Recap
04/09Nashville Predators vs St. Louis BluesBlues W 2–0Box Score | Recap
04/10Pittsburgh Penguins vs Winnipeg JetsPenguins W 5–2Box Score | Recap

* All games are subject to local blackouts

NHL Blog: Puck Daddy

As NWHL debuts, salaries aren't women's hockey players’ only reward

NEW YORK – Janine Weber was recently speaking with some 12-year-old girls, and had a question for them: What do you want to be when you grow up?  After a few expected answers, one of them told her, proudly: “I want to be a hockey player.” Weber smiled. “I think it’s pretty cool that now they can be professional hockey players.” A native of Austria who attended Providence College, Weber was the first free agent to sign with the four-team National Women’s Hockey League, one of two professional women’s leagues in North America. Her team, the New York Riveters, opens its inaugural season on Sunday in Stamford, Conn., against the Connecticut Whale. (The afternoon game at Chelsea Pier, CT, is sold out; there are tickets available for the Buffalo Beauts’ debut against the Boston Pride at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11 at HarborCenter. Manon Rheaume, the first woman to appear in an NHL exhibition game, will drop the first puck.) There used to be limits to those hockey dreams for young women. They could play in college. They could play for the U.S. women’s national team. But while young men could envision a career in a few dozen pro leagues around the world, including the NHL, the next step for many women after college was rec leagues at best or, at worst, walking away from the game. The unique thing about the NWHL, in contrast with the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, is that young girls can now not only dream of playing at the next level but also get paid for it. “I think the whole ‘first paid professional hockey league’ thing is why I picked the NWHL,” said Kelly Babstock, a former star at Quinnipiac College who plays for the Whale. “It’s never happened before. I know the money’s not a lot. But it’s a start for women’s hockey, and I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to inspire girls who want to play professionally.” PAID TO PLAY Weber’s already made her mark in pro women’s hockey, having scored an overtime goal last season for the Boston Blades to capture the Clarkson Cup, the top prize in the CWHL. But she chose to leave the CWHL for the same reason many other standout players did: The NWHL is the first pro women’s league to pay its players. “I really liked playing in the CWHL, had a lot of fun on the Blades last season. But I wanted to get paid. And I wanted to stay here in the U.S.,” she said. For Weber and other internationally born women’s players, getting a salary was a necessity. She had a student visa that allowed her to play in the CWHL despite not making a salary. In order to obtain a work visa, she had to find a paying job as a player. “I had to find something else. So that’s the main reason I switched leagues,” she said. Money was also a factor for forward Kelli Stack, who joins over a dozen U.S. women’s national team players in the NWHL this season. She took a year off from hockey for financial reasons to work in sales at Pure Hockey, a chain of retail stores. “For me, it was a big issue,” she said. “It was going to be really hard for me to find a job that could accommodate my schedule.” Stack, who plays for the Whale, will make $25,000 this season. We know this because the NWHL published its full salary cap numbers on its website , which is something even the NHL doesn’t do. “Granted, I’m not putting away tons of money in the bank. But it’s enough to live on,” said Stack, who also collects a stipend from the U.S. women’s national team. “It depends on the way you want to live. I have a mortgage to pay, and I don’t know of many other girls that have that. I think they just rent.” Stack is the NWHL’s highest-paid player. Her national team peers like Meghan Bozek (Buffalo), Brianna Decker (Boston) and Hilary Knight (Boston) make between $22,500 and $22,000. The Boston Pride had so many national team members that would command a high cap hit, Stack said she intentionally chose elsewhere. “I want the league to be successful. I want it to be competitive, so I wanted to go to Connecticut and help the team. Give them another strong forward. I didn’t want to go to Boston and load ’em up. They have so many national team players. It’s like, ‘What’s the point in going there if it just wouldn’t make the league as competitive?’ ” said Stack. “I decided that I’d probably get paid more money if I played in Connecticut versus going to Boston and having the salary cap split between eight national team players. I did them a favor – they all got paid a little bit more.” Sixteen NWHL players are making $10,000, including Riveters goalie Jenny Scrivens. That salary can be augmented by things like jersey sales, as each player gets 15 percent of the jerseys that bear their names. The League itself is funded by merchandise sales, donations to the NWHL Foundation and, of course, through ticket sales, the lifeblood of any pro hockey league. “We’re setting up a foundation in year one that can lead to year two and three,” said Scrivens, whose husband Ben Scrivens is a goalie in the Edmonton Oilers organization. “My lofty, pie in the sky goal is that we sell out every single game. And to do that, we have to be in the community and inspiring the next generation to play.”

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