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Ideally, we would like to see the PWHPA develop a Request for Proposals (RFP) regarding formation and launch of a new women's major professional hockey league in 2022. This way, Jayna Hefford and Chelsea Purcell and other key P figures can evaluate the proposals and possibly convince a couple of the best ones to combine into one group and work together. In any case, the most-workable plans should be shared with the NHL to decide on a mutual path forward.
According to the PWHPA 2020-21 announcement, for this coming hockey season, the PWHPA will consist of five regional training hubs located in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal in Canada, and New Hampshire and Minnesota in the United States. The regions will aim to provide players with improved access to resources such as full-time dressing rooms, access to strength and conditioning facilities, support staff and coaches.
Ideally we would love to see the elite players plan and host a 2021 PWHPA AllStar Showcase and Skills Competition, East vs West, in late January or early February, 2021. This could be a made-for-tv event with both individual and team (East vs West) skills competitions, followed by the big game featuring the planet's best hockey players.
This weekend event could feature 28 players (4 goalies, 24 skaters) from the east, and 28 from the western States and Provinces. Saturday could be skills competitions and a three-on-three tourney, with Sunday being AllStar GameDay with music, interviews, videos and then the game broadcast across North America (NBC Sports, CBC Sports, speak with your interactive departments), with an online interactive ticket available that provides access to Insider cameras (ice level warmup cam, ref and/or goalie cam) plus other features exclusive to online ticket-holders, such as player profiles, interviews, pre-game show and post-game web after-party.
Bury the hatchet, Grow the Game!
Let's make 2020-21 a season of reconciliation among professional women hockey players, utilize the difficult times to repair the breach and help each other out, and if we do so, one year from now, we will all be moving forward as one.
As the border may be closed for the duration of 2020, the PWHPA may have to hold single nation events in coming months. One possibility would be holding a four-team PWHPA Canadian Classic in Montreal or Toronto during November, featuring Calgary, Montreal, Toronto PWHPA and Toronto NWHL.
This could followed by a similar PWHPA American Classic in early December, perhaps with New Hampshire, Minnesota, PWHPA Rovers and also including a NWHL team, if the schedules can be coordinated.
To up the stakes, the Association should consider having the top goalie, forward and defender in each tournament automatically earn an invitation to play in the AllStar Showcase and Skills Competition in 2021.
Photo by Caroline Wiley, SeeWhatSheCanDo.com