It looks like the state of women’s hockey is once again up in the air, as the PWHPA board voted unanimously to end talks about working with the PHF.
When the PWHPA has many of the best female hockey players in the game and the PHF has the structure and financial muscle to sustain a league, it seems like a perfect match between the two, but neither side can come to a compromise. from now on. . NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he would gladly support the women’s league when the time comes, much like the NBA does with the NWBA, but he won’t until there is only one league to support.
With neither side looking to find common ground at this point, Frank Seravalli and Chris Peters chatted on the Daily Faceoff Show to see which of the two would come out on top.
Rock : « I think the unfortunate thing is that we’ve kind of been put in this situation where they have to be pitted against each other. You have to survive somehow, right? And I think that’s not isn’t very helpful for all of women’s hockey as a whole.
There must be a professional league. I think there’s enough momentum right now in women’s sports, not just in hockey, but also in basketball and soccer. There is a way forward for women’s professional sport, and it is starting to become increasingly clear. It’s not as clear in hockey because of those two entities and not being able to work together.
One of the things that Hailey talked about that I think is important is that there’s some concern about where the funding sources for the PSF are coming from. There is an executive on their board who has ties to a Russian company Yandex, which is basically the best tech company in Russia, and that would concern the PWHPA, it seems.
But other than that, I think there’s a lot of people who have invested a lot in this right now on the PHF side, they’ve gotten around $25 million in funding. But, I think the PWHPA is saying, ‘That’s great, but what’s sustainable from that? Where do we grow from here?’
And I think there’s still a lot of distrust, and I think there’s a way forward for them to co-exist, but we have to understand exactly, I think the PWHPA in particular, doesn’t have that league structure that PHF has right now, which is really confusing for fans, and is a barrier to entry for enough people where it’s like « I don’t really understand what this is ».
So we’re headed in the right direction, but we’re sort of stalled right now. I still think it’s something that needs to come together quickly, and I hope there are some, if they can’t get along, that they can co-exist, and I don’t know exactly how is it going to happen. ”
Seravalli: « Yeah, I just have my doubts whether they can co-exist. Because no matter what, when the best players in the world don’t play in your league, you will still be considered, even if you have the structure. and the money, like a kind of second tier, or lower. We need to have the best players competing regularly. That’s what the PWHPA has, but they don’t have the funding and they don’t have the structure.
I still wish these two parts could find a way to co-exist, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. And until that happens, I think they’ll just keep cannibalizing each other, and it kind of seems like even though they both want to be successful, they both have their own way in this regarding how they think it might happen.
And in some ways when you look at a lot of PHF failures, going back to their Lake Placid bubble, even going back to their playoffs last year, their MVP, as Hailey reported, received 1,000 $ in Dick’s Sporting Goods gift cards. Like, that’s no way to treat your best players.
So there was a lot of disappointment with the PHF and the way things went. I understand the distrust of the players and the PWHPA. There’s also been a lot of commotion, a lot of turnover from the top of this league. There’s a lot going on here, so we’ll definitely be keeping tabs on what’s going on in women’s football. We’d love to see a unified league, with the best players in the world paid properly so they don’t have to have other jobs in the labor market, so they can just focus on the game and put their best product on ice.
We will get there one day, I just wish it was sooner than it was.