More than 200 women’s hockey players — including Team USA stars Hilary Knight, Kendall Coyne Schofield and Canada’s Marie Philip-Poulin — have announced they will not be playing in a professional league next season. The NWHL is the only remaining professional women’s hockey league in North America.
Their statement was released by individual players on social media Thursday: “We cannot make a sustainable living playing in the current state of the professional game. Having no health insurance and making as low as two thousand dollars a season means players can’t adequately train and prepare to play at the highest level.”
“We have all accomplished so much, there is no greater accomplishment than what we have the potential to do right here and right now — not just for this generation of players, but for the generations to come,” the players’ statement read. “With that purpose, we are coming together, not just as individual players, but as one collective voice to help a sustainable living playing in the current state of the professional game.”
There has been uncertainty surrounding women’s hockey the CWHL made the decision to fold after the 2018-19 season. The Canadian-based CWHL said in a statement that “while the on-ice hockey is exceptional, the business model has proven to be economically unsustainable.”
Ever since the U.S.-based NWHL debuted four years ago, there had been calls to merge the two leagues. The NHL previously gave $50,000 annual contributions to each league. When the CWHL folded, the NHL upped its contribution to the NWHL to $100,000.
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