The best nickname we can come up with for a professional women’s hockey team is Beauts?

94iPN5mBWomen from collegiate hockey programs can now rejoice as there’s a brand new four team professional league popping up that will actually fork out the money they deserve and pay them for their play. The inaugural season is set to take shape this coming fall with four teams shaping up the National Women’s Hockey League.

This is an amazing step in the evolution that is women’s hockey. It’s counterpart, the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, has been around for quite some time now but it’s downfall is that it doesn’t pay their players. With the NWHL forking out the cash, I don’t really see a good future for the CWHL. Who knows, maybe they’ll merge but that’s the furthest thing from my mind right now.

The four teams are situated in New York, Connecticut, Boston and Buffalo. Every team sounds like a crusher, like they’re not one to mess with.

The New York Riveters emblaze the iconic image of “Rosie The Riveter” from World War 2 in front of the old New York Rangers liberty logo as their crest. Looks amazing and brilliant. Great job to the team’s brass for coming up with this. Marketing and merchandise will soar.

82eb94e0-d3c6-11e4-b380-830183b2f12d_fsadfasdfsdafdfs.0.0As will the Connecticut Whale. The Whale already have a minor spot in hockey history when the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack decided to change the team name to the Connecticut Whale between 2010-2013. Adopting the blue and green of the Hartford Whalers, the women’s Whale takes that same logo and flips it on its side to sport a “C”. Attachment to the Whalers franchise should adorn pride amongst the players.

Speaking of pride, the Boston Pride will become little sisters to the CWHL’s championship winning Boston Blades. There isn’t too much of a logo yet but the name does instill confidence and glory to whoever takes the ice.

And then there’s Buffalo.

Who, in this day and age, decided to call a professional women’s hockey team, the Beauts? Last time I checked this isn’t the 1950s anymore. Hockey isn’t figure skating. This is a rough and intimidating sport. Who is going to be afraid of the Beauts?

In a way, it comes across as patronizing to me. Everyone remembers the movie A League Of Their Own right? (There ain’t no crying in hockey either Mr. Dugan.) That movie was based on the actual All American Girls Professional Baseball League. (These are grown women and they didn’t even have the audacity to put “women’s” in the league name.) They were a supposed replacement for Major League Baseball during the war. Those girls were looked downed upon and made fun of even if they were star athletes.

Good thing we don't have to play hockey in skirts. Christ.
Good thing we don’t have to play hockey in skirts. Christ.

Let’s take a look at some of their team names: Milwaukee Chicks, Fort Wayne Daisies, Chicago Colleens, Springfield Sallies, Rockford Peaches, Kalamazoo Lassies, Racine Belles. How do those names garner any respect? Granted there have been some doozies in professional men’s hockey (Macon Whoopee anyone?) but there’s always been a double standard I guess.

The only pro women’s ball league, National Pro Fastpitch or NPF, actually learned from their baseball ancestors mistakes. Today, the five team league employs such names as Racers, Charge, Rebellion, Bandits and Pride. They all sound great, intimidating and not patronizing at all.

Of course this is just one female athlete’s opinion. It’s not like anybody is going to boycott playing for the team because of the name. I mean hey, I’d play for them too if I was getting paid for playing a sport I love. I’d have to learn to love that name I guess and hell, it might not ever happen. In closing, it’s time to smarten up around women and sports. We’re not dainty little toothpicks. This is hockey, not a tea party.

Could have been worse I guess.

J0934Buffalo Barbies.

Laura Fortino selected first overall in 2014 CWHL Draft

(Photo: Finn O'Hara)
(Photo: Finn O’Hara)

The Canadian Women’s Hockey League held its annual draft last night and saw a number of talented women earn the honour to don the colours of the five member teams.

The Brampton Thunder selected Canadian Women’s National Team defenseman Laura Fortino with their first overall pick. The Cornell Big Red star has been a part of the national team since 2011 where she has earned four gold medals and three silvers in numerous IIHF tournaments. Fortino also has the honour of being Co-Rookie of the Year for Cornell in 2009 along with being nominated to the All Rookie and All-Star teams.

With the second pick in the draftr, the Toronto Furies drafted towering defenseman Megan Bozek from the United States Olympic Team. The Minnesota Golden Golpher was a monumental part of Team USA’s Silver medal performance at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. A force on the blue line with an incredible point shot, it’s too bad the Furies male counterparts in the Maple Leafs couldn’t suit her up for a game or two.

Rounding out the first round, the third pick belonged to the Calgary Inferno who stuck with the Minnesota Golden Gophers and picked up forward Sarah Davis to the mix. The Boston Blades jumped in fourth and drafted dynamite forward Jenny Potter and the 5th pick went to the Montreal Stars who stayed close to home and added forward Kim Deschenes fom the L’Universite de Montreal.

Clarkson University had the most picks iced from their domain with four. Another interesting selection came in the 8th round as the Calgary Inferno drafted Aina Takeuchi from the Japan National Team. Interesting to see how that plays out.

laura_fortino

Here’s the full 19 rounds of who was chosen:
Round 1
1 Laura Fortino  D Canada Olympic Team                     Brampton Thunder
2 Megan Bozek    D United States Olympic Team          Toronto Furies
3 Sarah Davis     F Minnesota Golden Gophers                Calgary Inferno
4 Jenny Potter    F Minnesota Whitecaps / Team USA Boston Blades
5 Kim Deschenes F  l’université de Montréal                Montreal Stars
Round 2
1 Jamie Lee Rattray F Clarkson University Brampton Thunder
2 Kelly Terry F University of Minnesota Toronto Furies
3 Hayleigh Cudmore D Cornell University Calgary Inferno
4 Monique Lamoureux D Team USA Boston Blades
5 Vanessa Gagnon F Clarkson University Montreal Stars
Round 3
1 Carly Mercer F Clarkson University Brampton Thunder
2 Tanis Lamoureux F Elmira College Toronto Furies
3 Louise Warren F Boston University Calgary Inferno
4 Brianna Decker F University of Wisconsin Badgers / Team USA Boston Blades
5 Sophie Brault D Carabins Université de Montreal Montreal Stars
Round 4
1 Erica Howe G Clarkson University Golden Knights Brampton Thunder
2 Candice Styles D Wilfrid Laurier University Toronto Furies
3 Jessica Campbell F Cornell Big Red / Canada U22 Calgary Inferno
4 Alyssa Gagliardi D Cornell University Boston Blades
5 Chelsey Saunders F McGill Martlets Montreal Stars
Round 5
1 Kelly O’Hanlon F University of Toronto Brampton Thunder
2 Laurel Hill D St. Norbert College Toronto Furies
3 Brittany Esposito F Northeastern University Calgary Inferno
4 Kaleigh Fratkin D Boston University Terriers Boston Blades
5 Erin Lally F Concordia University Stingers Montreal Stars
Round 6
1 Ellie Seedhouse F Western Mustangs Brampton Thunder
2 Leah Whittaker D Niagara University Toronto Furies
3 Kristen Hagg F SAWHA Calgary Chargers Calgary Inferno
4 Bray Ketchum F Boston Blades / Yale Boston Blades
5 Sydney Aveson G Plattsburgh State Cardinals Montreal Stars
Round 7
1 Jennifer Ward F Brampton Thunder Brampton Thunder
2 Danielle Butters G Minnesota State University, Mankato Toronto Furies
3 Samantha Fieseler D Pursuit Of Excellence Hockey Academy Calgary Inferno
4 Nicole Stock G Brown University Boston Blades
Round 8
1 Fielding Montgomery F Dalhousie University Brampton Thunder
2 Laura Saar D N/A Toronto Furies
3 Aina Takeuchi D Japan National Team Calgary Inferno
4 Denna Laing F Princeton University Boston Blades
Round 9
1 Michelle Ashburner G Western Mustangs Brampton Thunder
2 Camille Trautman G Red Deer College Queens Calgary Inferno
3 Janine Weber F Providence College Boston Blades
Round 10
1 Calaine Inglis F University of Calgary Dinos Calgary Inferno
2 Jordan Smelker F RPI Boston Blades
Round 11
1 Glenda Edie D University of Lethbridge Calgary Inferno
2 Rebecca Morse D Providence College Boston Blades
Round 12
1 Christina Kelly F UPEI Panthers Calgary Inferno
2 Megan Myers F Utica College Pioneers Boston Blades
Round 13
1 Olivia Ross G Western University Mustangs Calgary Inferno
2 Laura Veharanta F Providence College Boston Blades
Round 14
1 Rebecca Mosher D Saint Mary’s University Calgary Inferno
2 Taylor Holza F Boston University Boston Blades
Round 15
1 Cassidy Anderson D NAIT Ooks Calgary Inferno
2 Brooke Fernandez D ZSC Lions, Zurich, Switzerland Boston Blades
Round 16
1 Dayna King F Sask Wheat Queens Calgary Inferno
2 Corinne Buie F Providence Friars Boston Blades
Round 17
1 Denise Cardello F Castleton State College Boston Blades
Round 18
1 Alexius Schutt G Sacred Heart University Boston Blades
Round 19
1 Stephanie Ciampa G Mercyhurst University Boston Blades