With the opportunity to create one unified league with teams on each aspect of the border, women’s hockey is at an crucial crossroads. It’s where it always should have been — identifying the way to make one league work and constructing from there.
How can the suspension of operations for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League be an effective, bullish game commercial enterprise second for women’s hockey?
By clearing the decks and permitting one unified league to emerge from the ashes.
Just one week after the Clarkson Cup saw the Calgary Inferno defeat Les Canadiennes de Montreal to claim supremacy of the CWHL, the league introduced it’d close down powerful May 1, 2019.
That’s manifestly a terrible information tale for the proponents of the six-crew CWHL. Yet it’s also an opportunity for ladies’ hockey stakeholders to finally get it proper.
Women’s hockey in North America became usually going to be fragmented so long as there had been two separate factions vying for company, media, broadcast and network guide. And that’s exactly what turned into taking place with the CWHL on the only facet and the U.S.-primarily based National Women’s Hockey League on the opposite.
With the opportunity to create one unified league with groups on each facet of the border, women’s hockey is at an important crossroads. It’s wherein it constantly need to have been — identifying a way to make one league paintings and constructing from there.
The NHL can now focus its sponsorship assist on one league, making an investment $one hundred,000 or greater within the NWHL rather than $50,000 in a single and $50,000 inside the other as it has in current years.
The NHL Network and NHL.Com can function a broadcast platform for the best gamers in place of puzzling hockey enthusiasts with a touch bit of CWHL and a touch little bit of NWHL. Corporate partners should buy into one consolidated league.
Neither the CWHL — which took the ill-advised step of adding a Chinese-based crew to its league — nor the NWHL had the form of a business version that was going to inspire funding for growth. Now, if women’s hockey leaders can take a look at their egos on the door, a better model ought to emerge from the frustration of the beyond the week.
Bears of the Week
There will almost actually be no such Phoenix-like emerging from the ashes for the Alliance of American Football. Just 8 weeks into its lifestyles and only three Saturdays far from its inaugural championship sport, the Alliance closes down football operations this week.
The plug was pulled by way of Tom Dundon, the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes who became controlling Chair of the Board of Directors of the Alliance six weeks in the past in exchange for his commitment to inject US$a hundred and fifty million into the coins-strapped league that was reputedly near missing payroll after just weeks of play.
Dundon did not want to throw accurate money after bad — and that’s understood. He is out $70M of the $150M he pledged. Yet in my books, folding only some weeks far from a championship recreation on CBS Sports will fee more than the additional monies it’d have taken to limp to April 27th, crown a champion after which take some time to revamp and reboot for the future.
The way the Alliance folded — telling its players they were accountable for their very own tour charges to get domestic — goes to make it tremendously hard for the league to return lower back in any form in 2020, especially with the XFL 2.0 scheduled to make its debut inside the spring of next yr.
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