1. Puck Daddy reported the online broadcasting deal between the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) and ESPN. Much of the reaction to it has been positive with fans recognizing how huge this partnership is for the league. Like with the contract with NESN, both sides have remained tight lipped on the financial details. At this point, the league is focused on two things: legitimacy and staying power. The broadcasting deals
1A. Kate Cimini of Today's Slapshot looks at the details of the deal and the ESPN3 stream schedule for the time being. With the arenas being set up to stream at a level acceptable to ESPN, could this mean additional television deals are in the near future?
2. The Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) announced a design contest in connection with Gongshow Gear where fans can submit their renderings of CWHL teams. This a great way to get fans engaged and we all know people LOVE merchandise. Gongshow is a great brand in Canada and has grown in leaps and bounds from its early days with products that didn't exactly shine the best light on women.
3. On Friday, Brian Burke appeared at 'The Canadian Tire Wickenheiser World Female Hockey Festival,' or Wickfest, alongside Calgary Inferno forward and women's hockey legend, Hayley Wickenheiser. Burke has been a long time supporter of the CWHL and currently serves on the league's board. From the event blog:
Brian addressed his idea on how to impact the CWHL and the NWHL and said, “if you want to make a difference for professional women’s hockey, vote with your feet. Show up at their games!”
Growing women's hockey is a family affair for the Burkes. Brian's son, Patrick, best known for teaming with Big Burkie on the You Can Play Project and doling out the business as the Director of Player Safety, has appeared at multiple NWHL events. He's even part of the documentary currently being made about the first year of the league. (You can see Patrick's clip and donate to the Kickstarter campaign for the film which is SO CLOSE to reaching its goal.)
As much as we would love for both women's leagues to do it on their own, they're going to need help from allies like the Burkes. Brian and Patrick are integrated in the NHL to a point where their opinion matters when it comes to expanding the NHL's influence into other areas. It's not a stretch to assume the elder Burke had a hand in creating partnerships between the NHL and CWHL franchises in the same cities.
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IF YOU WATCH ONE VIDEO THIS WEEKEND...
Watch this one, "Stupid questions female hockey players get asked."
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AROUND THE RINKS
Will injuries jeopardize the Connecticut Whale’s undefeated season? The Whale are down two important players and about to face the offensively talented Boston Pride.
NWHL’s Steadman: ‘Practice Player’ isn’t a pejorative. Kelley Steadman isn't signed to a major contract with the NWHL because she has other time commitments that keep her away from the game. No big deal. She's only the top goal scorer in the league.
Sarah Edney returns home with Brampton. As the CWHL's No. 1 overall pick, she could have gone to any team she wanted and she chose to go back home.
Are more NWHL practices beneficial? The easy answer is yes but consider many of the women playing are also working regular jobs.
Emily Pfalzer's dream come true. A profile of the Buffalo Beauts captain and her rise to stardom through the NWHL.
The CWHL reimagined. Icethetics takes a swing at redesigning the home and away jerseys of the CHWL.
Buffalo Beauts’ Hailey Browne is unsinkable. Despite the struggles of the team, Browne is settling in with her linemates and making the best of being on the top line.
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THE BIG SHOW
Toronto Furies (1-6-1) @ Montreal Les Canadiennes (5-1-0) - 5:30 pm ET (FREE STREAM)
Brampton Thunder (6-2-0) @ Calgary Inferno (7-1-0) - 7:15 pm ET
Brampton Thunder @ Calgary Inferno - 12:30 pm ET ($ STREAM $)
Toronto Furies @ Montreal Les Canadiennes - 1:30 pm ET
Connecticut Whale (5-0-0) @ Boston Pride (3-2-0) - 3:00 pm ET (Stream: ESPN3; TV: NESN)
Buffalo Beauts (0-4-1) @ New York Riveters (2-3-0) - 7:00 pm ET (FREE STREAM)
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