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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

WWYDW: Do The Right Thing

I’ll be completely honest to the readers of Canucks Army. It’s been, in many respects, a tough week for yours truly. As someone with so many different interests, it’s been difficult at times to remain focused on something as frivolous as hockey. Recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia have only served to underscore that.

Another recent event that’s had a noticeable effect on me is the recent anniversary of Rick Rypien’s death by suicide. Rypien was the rare sort of figure who could unite both old-school and new-school hockey fans, albeit for different reasons. Old-guard types saw a relentless warrior who sacrificed his body, mind, and soul for his team. What you might call more “modern” fans of the sport saw a tragic figure who became a posterboy for the NHL’s concussion and mental health epidemic.

This is all just a very long way of saying something tremendously simple. Hockey remains a game by and for the extremely privileged. Pretend for a minute that you’re in Gary Bettman’s shoes. What would you do to improve diversity within the NHL?

Last week I asked: What would you give up for David Pastrnak? Or maybe you think the asking price is too high? Please try to keep things at least semi-realistic.

apr:

A trade of Bo for Pastrnak makes no sense at so many levels. Firstly the Bruins will still have to pay Bo, and Pastrnak will be lucky to get 50 points for this team. That said, you would probably have to trade Boeser, Baertshi/Granlund and Demko to get Pasternak. Nucks are in no position to lose assets to accelerate progress. Better to save those bullets and hopefully get another top 5 pick next year.

Goon:

If the Canucks had centre depth, I would be 100% for a Horvat-Pasternak trade. But they don’t, and it’s difficult to acquire top-6 centres without grossly overpaying in free agency and tanking and picking high at the draft.
So unless Benning has a plan to bring in another centre of Bo’s quality, this deal would probably hurt the Canucks (even though Pasternak is a great player).

Ranger2k2:

If you did Bo straight up for Pasternak that would give you Sedin/ Sutter/ Granlund/ Gaunce/ Burmistrov and Ganger all who have played center at the NHL level. I think though the Bruins would want a winger coming back as part of the deal and I think if you did a Horvat / Virtanen for Pasternak/ Spooner deal that would get it done. I know Canuck fans would crap their pants at the thought of Jake turning into Cam Neely 2.0 but I think Pasternak is a much (MUCH) better bet than Jake now and in the long term. Losing Horvat would be a really big blow but Pasternak would help Vancouver at its biggest weakness and that is putting pucks in the back of the net.

 

 

  • Killer Marmot

    What would you do to improve diversity within the NHL?

    Unless someone can present to me convincing evidence that minorities face significant obstacles in pursuing a professional hockey career that non-minorities are not subject to, absolutely nothing. I see no value in diversity for diversity’s sake.

    • Seriously? You’re that ignorant? CA website won’t let me post links so you have to Google the paper’s titles:

      University of Michigan – Academic Paper
      Hockey: Barriers to Crossing the Color Line: the Neglected Story of the Pioneering Players

      Toronto Sun Newspaper
      Getting immigrants interested in hockey not easy
      http://www.torontosun.com/2011/10/29/getting-immigrants-interested-in-hockey-not-easy

      EU Agency for Fundamental Rights
      No level playing field: racism and discrimination in sport in the EU

      • Killer Marmot

        First, don’t call people ignorant. Not a suggestion.

        Second, the U of M paper is historical. It does not address what is happening today.

        Third, it would be nice if immigrants were interested in hockey, and local hockey organizations should try to interest them, but it’s not a matter of social justice if they are not.

        Fourth, racism and discrimination in the EU has nothing to do with Canada and United States. There’s not much Bettman can do about racism in European football.

        If you’re going to call someone ignorant, you had better put forward a better case than that.

        • You’re laughable. First you put up a challenge to provide evidence and then you don’t bother to read it.

          – The last quarter of the Michigan paper is about how hockey’s black pioneers are taking steps to help diversify the sport (e.g. “Ice Hockey in Harlem”).

          – The Toronto Sun article talks about barriers such as cost, language barriers, lack of promotion and education about the sport by hockey federations themselves (as one kid says, it’s a game that they’ve “never seen before”). Not a word about social justice in that article.

          – The EU report includes racism in ice hockey in the Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia and Sweden, proving that racism in ice hockey isn’t just a North American phenomenon. You immediately assumed the paper was about only soccer.

          “If you’re going to call someone ignorant, you had better put forward a better case than that.” – Point by point, rebutted everything you said to prove that you’re ignorant.

          • Killer Marmot

            There is no doubt that racism exists in our society, and when it raises it’s head in NHL hockey then Bettman has a responsibility to address that. But I don’t see a ton of that by the teams and players themselves. The fans occasionally misbehave, particularly in the minor leagues, but there is little Bettman can do about that.

            But combating racism is not the same as demanding diversity. The first is justifiable, the second is not.

            I’ve been polite here. I recommend you do the same.

          • Killer Marmot

            Sorry, but your rebuttal does not demonstrate that a good case for forcing diversity exists.

            For example, some people are trying to introduce hockey into Harlem. Terrific, I hope it does some good. But the fact that hockey did not exist in Harlem before is not an injustice that needed rectifying. If there are an increasing number of blacks in hockey, fine. If there aren’t, fine too. It makes no difference what race the players are.

          • Oh, I get it, I see what you’re trying to do here. First, you deny that there is a problem and create an artificial burden of proof (i.e. “show me the evidence”) to dissuade challenges to the position. When confronted with facts, ignore them and then misdirect with strawman arguments (“of course, combating racism is good!” while ignoring the fact-substantiated barriers that minorities face). As your argument collapses under its own fallacies, just try to appear dignified and continue deflection by attacking the other person rather than the facts they present (ad hominem fallacy).

            This is so funny because this is exactly what talking heads on US TV do, like Bill O’Reilly. Very revealing of your character. Well done, excellent use of logical fallacies (burden of proof, strawman, ad hominem).

    • Locust

      Your first sentence is basically correct.
      Your second sentence shows a simplistic lack of understanding of what empathy and morality is today.
      If you really think that – you need a filter when speaking in public.

      • Killer Marmot

        What is the value of more racial diversity in NHL hockey?

        If there is more diversity, fine. If not, fine. The world is not a notably better with either option.

        • Roy

          It’s better for POC, you colossal moron. You don’t care, because you’re an outre and outlandishly regressive racist troll, but more diversity in white-dominated anything results in more acceptance and less systemic racism. Can you seriously go away on this topic? You are so incredibly out of date and wrong, and beyond monumentally stupid. Do you have autism or something? Your posts about this are not only offensive but utterly bizarre.

          • Killer Marmot

            It’s better for POC, you colossal moron.

            Blacks are already in professional sports; Basketball, baseball, football, boxing, and so on. There are obviously no serious barriers for blacks in professional sports. If they want to also play hockey, great, but it’s entirely their choice, and there’s little purpose for the NHL to bend itself out of shape trying to specifically attract them. First, it likely wouldn’t work. Culture is not so easily changed. Second, even if it did work it would make little to no difference to the general welfare of blacks or the NHL.

            You know what American blacks need? Better school systems, particularly in the poorer regions. That might make a difference. The NHL making token gestures towards them so that the league can feel good about itself, not so much.

          • Silverback

            Actually I find this post the most offensive. You keep talking, and everyone sees you for what you are. A bully who won’t accept anyone’s opinion other than their own. Can’t you respectfully disagree? Bizarre indeed..

  • apr

    Hockey players, for the most part, are good people – and a lot of them spend their summer in camps for kids. It would be great to see a fund available in smaller rural communities for kids to access equipment, ice time, and coaching. A joint NHL/NHLPA venture would go a long way to helping kids in those communities access the game. Its a tough call as there are under-privileged kids all over, even in urban cities like Vancouver and TO.

  • NHL players should be there based on merit rather than diversity quotas. So to raise the level of diversity in the NHL, you need to increase accessibility at all levels that precede the NHL (i.e. recreational ball hockey, junior hockey, college hockey). One way is for the NHL to take the billions of dollars in profit and start subsidizing equipment and fees to make the game accessible to kids of lower socio-economic status. Quick, name an organization that’s helping kids in hockey? Did you think Tim Hortons or Canadian Tire? I’ll bet you *nobody* thought of the NHL.

    To prove my point, let’s look at soccer. To access the sport, all you need is a soccer ball. Cristiano Ronaldo grew up dirt poor and he’s considered to be one of the best players all-time. Soccer has many more non-white players playing professionally compared to the NHL. That’s because millions of poor kids can play without specialized equipment or a specialized playing surface.

    • Moderated Post

      You say diversity and then immediately talk about lower socio-economic status. That’s an example of prejudice right there. Your soccer example is better because it hints at more of the underlying problem, the cultivation of players that look different. Soccer does a good job scouring the world looking for young talent (you might argue that their motives are primarily financial), while in hockey the “mentality” is less “evolved”. Just look at the way a player like PK gets characterized based on the exuberance he brings to the game, or even check out Benning’s “European skill North American heart” comment.

    • It is well researched that in nearly all facets of society, not just sports, that being a minority and lower socio-economic status go hand-in-hand. That’s not prejudice, it’s simply a fact. Helping poor kids play the game will automatically include a lot of non-white players. There are probably thousands of kids in Canada that want to play but can’t afford it.

      Here are some more current examples, helping Indigenous kids up North access hockey equipment that’s too expensive to acquire. Again, the CA website is blocking links, this time to CBC News (google it):

      – Toronto hockey community sending 18 tonnes of gear to indigenous communities
      – CCM donates more than $42K in hockey equipment to N.W.T. youth
      – First Nations girls suit up with donated gear for newly formed hockey team

      Having more diverse kids playing also solves the discriminatory mentality. The dinosaurs will eventually die. And when that happens, who replaces them? By helping the kids *now*, the next generation of players, coaches, and managers will be more diverse and tolerant.

      • Moderated Post

        Your comments are all fair but maybe a little theoretical. There are already plenty of visible minorities in Canada and the US of equal or greater socio-economic status to the masses, yet they are still very under represented in the NHL/AHL. I’d say it’s partly because of the prejudicial attitudes that exist within the sport, see the two examples I listed above.

        Hockey is a really expensive sport compared to others. both in terms of infrastructure and equipment. It may have more of an impact to subsidize equipment and participation where the infrastructure is already in place as a way of attracting those of lower socio-economic standing to the sport.

        • Roy

          Name them all. POC, in particular women, have a far more difficult time achieving socio-economic success or even parity within their fields. You’re just spewing blatant stupidity without having the faintest idea of the subject matter. Who’s your source – Fox and Friends?

      • Moderated Post

        Made 5 attempts to say that the fans are bad, not those that govern the sport. You just need to look at the major academies and even the composition of national teams to see that.

  • This is actually an area I’d give Bettman a fair amount of credit for already. The NHL’s stuck around in the US South despite financial struggles, helping to grow the game in the parts of the country with larger black and Latino populations. And in recent years they’ve come down *very* hard on players caught making r acist or h omophobic comments, with big fines and short suspensions. This’ll go a long way to helping the game become more diverse.

    There are lots of other things that could be done, but I’m not sure they’re really the NHL’s responsibility. Hockey’s expensive, and hockey’s most popular in the northern US and in Canada. That’s just the nature of the game, and until that changes, it’s going to remain a sport that’s most popular with middle class white people.

  • Lawd Stanley

    Bettman should do nothing, he doesn’t need to – I don’t see people whining about the amount of ethnic minorities being the majorities in the NBA and NFL, so why should the NHL (or MLB) be held accountable to make a difference to the status quo when it’s not neccesary, it all evens itself out between the four major sports. An outstanding athlete will make it in his chosen field regardless of his race and will be extremely well rewarded in the process.

    As a footnote though, has anyone noticed that the QB in American Football is nearly always overwhelmingly caucasean… strange that, isn’t it.

  • Big D, little d

    Meh, it’s a slow week so I’ll bite.

    I think your premise is flawed. I doubt that there is anything Gary Bettman can do to influence diversity in the NHL.

    Professional sports are fundamentally elitist. The people you watch on televised sports are the best of the best (of the best). Their ranks have been ruthlessly winnowed year after year on the Darwinian principle of “Just win, baby.” Children are selected at an early age based on potential, and guided into paths leading to outcomes where money can be made from their athletic prowess. Only the best are advanced to the next stage.

    Attempting to inject an altruistic concept such as diversity into such a system, while laudable, is a project doomed to failure. Selection or advancement of individuals on a basis other than naked ability is a threat to the entire system and is vigorously rejected by all of those involved.

    TL:DR – Elitist systems such as professional sports are antithetical to egalitarian principles such as diversity.

  • crofton

    I don’t know if, in the end, it will help with diversity in the NHL, but I’d like to see the NHL (the league) and NHL (the teams’ ownership) spend considerably more of the billions they make helping ALL kids gain access to playing the game affordably. I have lived in “small towns” my entire life, and the cost of ice rental alone can be a killer, before you even start with equipment. I know larger cities that problem is only magnified. So let’s see each and every team begin with $1B to build and fund usable arenas. Why should we rely on Kraft for that, but a huge thanks to them anyway. And the league? They want to expand into new money making possibilities, why not spend a LOT more money here at home? New, sustainably affordable arenas will result in more kids having the chance at an NHL career, and that should help expand the league. Kids that can only dream right now. Plus the league and the teams will likely find a way to deduct the cost from their corporate tax bills

  • Peggy McIntosh

    Nature will take care of hockey’s diversity problem.

    The global white population is projected to be statistically insignificant within a few decades.

    Thus, unless white people are more comfortable with nuclear war than genetic annihilation, the people we see on television playing hockey will increasingly have melanated skin.

    As an aside, this will also help with the “mental health epidemic” in hockey.

    The genetic inability to produce melanin pigment makes white people prone to depression.

    Thus, the fewer white people play hockey, the fewer hockey players will be prone to mental health issues.

    • Killer Marmot

      Why do you consider the predominance of whites in hockey to be a problem?

      Other races are free to play the game and advance to the professional level, and a few do. But most don’t because it’s not part of their culture. Blacks in the U.S., for example, historically prefer basketball, football, and track and field. Many Canadian blacks are recent immigrants who prefer soccer. So what? Why difference does it make?

  • Holly Wood

    At the risk of being “one of them”. I get the feeling this is a group filled with wankers. If some of you spent time at maybe working for a living instead of playing GM for a day your life would start to make sense

  • truthseeker

    Last I checked, there were a ton of Asians renting ice at 8 rinks and playing the game. I used to play with them. I also remember playing ball hockey in east van and it was a pretty even 1/3 each split of brown guys, yellow guys and us white guys.

    The interest is there. And those cultures do play the game, and as many play it every bit as good as any white kid I knew. So what happens that we don’t see them up around the NHL level?

    Personally I think there are a couple of reasons, and in the Vancouver (and I’m going to assume the Toronto area as well), in those communities, it has very little to do with wealth. In fact…I would say it’s precisely the relatively well off city and suburban populations that stop those kids from going to higher levels. More on that in a second.

    Firstly though, if you look, the vast majority of canadian NHLer’s come from either small (mostly white) towns all across canada, or from mostly white suburbs. For example, London Ont. produces a TON of NHL players for it’s size. Only 1/6 of residents there report being a “visible minority”. Compare that to here, where it’s basically one out of two. I believe if places like London were half visible minority, you’d probably see way more of them in the higher levels of hockey. Even places like Edmonton, Calgary, and surprisingly Montreal are only about 20 to 30% visible minority. What are the numbers in Minnesota? Sweden? Finland? You get the point. So that explains a lot of the reason why the NHL is so white. Non white people simply don’t live in the “hockey hotbeds”.

    But that still doesn’t explain why Toronto and Van, who have a almost half the population visible minorities haven’t contributed more minorities to the NHL. It’s true that Van and TO produce a lot of NHL players (number 3 and number 1 respectively) but when it comes to players per 100 000 residents, neither is even in the top 10.

    https://medium.com/the-cities-tribune/hockeytowns-where-nhl-players-come-from-99707d7c2713

    I read a great sports book years ago called “Power at Play” by Michael Messner and in it he talked about some of the socioeconomic aspects of why blacks chose sports as a way out, and like you’d expect, a basketball career is “easy” because you just need a ball and a hoop and time to practice. So blacks in the inner city see sport as “the only way out”. I suspect, even though whites in “small town canada” are more well off than blacks in urban US areas, it’s kind of the same mentality. The only way out of that small town, is with the game. So there is way more dedication to it.

    But the real interesting thing in the book was at the other end of the spectrum. The more well off white kids who were really good at sports up until late high school/university. Most of them simply concluded consciously or unconsciously, that there were simply “better options” in life than trying to become a professional athlete. In short, these kids had better access to an education and more career options, so they simply did not choose to follow through with sports even though they could have.

    I suspect that’s what’s happening with, say the asian or indian (and even white) populations of places like Vancouver and Toronto. A lot of great players that simply don’t care about “following through” with a shot at the NHL cause in the end it’s just not worth it. There are simple better life options for them. Ones that don’t involve a huge % chance of failure or injury.

    Anyway. Something to consider.

    • Vchiu

      I would add a generational timeline to your argument as well. Most Asian/Indian immigrants have come in the last 30-40 years. Gen1 wouldn’t have grown up around hockey and likely wouldn’t consider pushing their kids toward a hockey career. Gen2 however would have grown up around hockey but didn’t necessarily start playing it early enough to consider it as a career. Gen3 is when possible pro hockey players can come out of. Gen3-4 is the kids being drafted now and in the next few years. Kailer Yamamoto being a notable example

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      This is a very good comment. As much as hockey spectators tend to be middle or upper class white people, the players actually tend to come from small (white) Canadian (or European) towns and tend to be economically average, not especially wealthy. I think that for a lot of those kids, the dream of a life in sports is an escape from the endless drudgery of small town life (apologies to any small towners on here), and with the relatively lower cost of living in those places, their parents are often able to indulge them on the costs of equipment etc. Being that a lot of those places’ economies have classically been built around living wage work that doesn’t require much education, the idea of spending your formative years playing junior hockey rather than taking college courses doesn’t seem like the same sacrifice as it would to families living in more diverse, highly educated places like larger cities. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was the reason you don’t see more Chinese-Canadian or Indo-Canadian NHLers despite obvious interest at younger ages, because those people (and urban whites) are much more likely to recognize the nigh impossible odds and encourage their children into more realistic career paths.

      I do agree that it would be nice to see some more African-American or Hispanic-American players in the league, though. While the NHL’s interest in fostering that can hardly be chalked up to anything more than greed (ie: more black players probably means more black fans), as a fan I think it would be pretty neat if the game was a little more universally enjoyed and a little less niche, which would probably be helped by having a broader cross-section of America represented on the ice. However, it shouldn’t (and wouldn’t) come at the expense of quality, meaning that blacks and Latinos would basically need to form a representative cross-section of players in the minors, juniors and college as well in order to provide a large pool of talent to skim the best from: a tall task. If they’re serious about that goal, continuing to promote and show the game in southern markets is probably the best approach, plus patience. As an individual suggestion, it probably wouldn’t hurt to look at moving a team to Houston either, that city could probably draw a decent diverse crowd if they actually marketed it that way.

  • TheRealPB

    Interesting question and also the ways in which it’s being interpreted — with race and class (but not gender) seeming to be the main responses. I actually think that the NHL and the NHLPA do a decent job of trying to broaden both their audience and playing public base — there are all kinds of initiatives (like “You Can Play” and “Hockey is for Everyone”) but also the various hockey camps aimed at underprivileged kids in Southern California and Nashville and Colorado and other places. It also helps when teams invest in their local communities and the teams are successful which leads to a much more diverse audience.

    It’s true that hockey is a far whiter sport than most of the other major ones — but it’s also a much more marginal sport in general; other than little pockets in the US it still doesn’t register in anyway close to the NFL, the NBA or even baseball. There’s definitely a cultural issue still which plays out in the way that players like Evander Kane or PK Subban get treated versus a Patrick Kane or even an Alex Ovechkin (but then hockey’s culture as protected by the Don Cherrys of the world is very conservative and still rails against the supposed “whining” of skill players like Crosby) but I think a lot of teams have pushed back hard against racist stuff both on and off the ice (like the Bruins after the stuff against both Subban and Joel Ward a few years ago).

    Hockey is also far better than the NFL (where the imbalance between black players and white coaches and owners is far more stark) or the NBA (which used to try and control what it used to paternalistically decry as “thug culture” and countenance owners like Donald Sterling) or soccer (whose global issues with racism and indeed fascist fans are well known).

    Sports, even though they are supposed to be “neutral” or “apolitical” are just a reflection of society and ours is one that struggles with questions of diversity so it’s not surprising to see a sport like hockey trying to make changes and moving in multiple directions as a result.

    Last year I had a chance to go to an NCAA tournament in Belfast, Northern Ireland called the Friendship Four. Four US college teams competed in a round-robin tournament in a place where hockey is just not a big deal. It was a pretty interesting idea — they play in an arena that was intentionally created as part of the peace-building process. The EU and others invested in it because it was supposed to be a site where Protestants and Catholics could enjoy sports without it becoming tribalistic. They chose hockey (and the Belfast Giants — who Theo Fleury played for as a 46 year old!) because it wasn’t viewed as a sectarian sport. As a result when you go into the stadium it says specifically on the ticket you can only wear “hockey colors” and no Glasgow Rangers or Celtics gear or anything else that’s associated with either community or sectarian conflict. It was a pretty amazing event in a town and region where the tensions are still palpable and huge walls and barricades still divide the community. Part of the event included sending the students out into local schools to meet with Catholic and Protestant kids to teach them about hockey. It wasn’t ideal by any means (and I’d argue that Game of Thrones which is filmed locally probably does more for peace building than hockey) but it represented to me the best that sports can do to make positive interventions in the world that vague notions like diversity are supposed to address.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Hockey is a sport that is difficult for parents to embrace. It costs an arm and a leg, and is overly competitive. Have you sat in the stands at a youth hockey game? I still love watching it, and loved playing it as a kid. But if a white middle-class parent like me hopes my kids choose another sport, there is a problem. Broadening diversity in the game will be an uphill battle. There is one significant opportunity for growing the sport, however: women. The NHL should support a women’s professional league. Each NHL team could be required to ice a women’s team with its own salary cap (both floor and ceiling). They could play divisionally only during the regular season to keep travel costs down, with the division champs playing for the championship.

    • Betty

      Most women’s leagues lose money. Seeing as the NHL has enough cash flow problems (being the 4th most popular sport in NA) that seems a little… unrealistic. I mean, it’s cute that you think the travel costs are a big thing, but compared to rostering, paying players, coaches, equipment staff, finding practice ice, game ice etc…

      The sad part is that there is a women’s league (called the CWHL) but it just isn’t watched. Do you expect because something’s branded with an NHL team that people would watch it? We don’t even really watch our own prospect/farm teams, let alone some tangentially associated team.

      I get it, you’ve got good intentions but they have to hit reality every so often.

      • Billy Pilgrim

        So the answer has to be “do nothing” then? Regardless of whether it is realistic or not, it is at least an attempt to answer the question.

        The NHL should invest in women’s hockey regardless of whether people watch it or not. NHL revenues are north of $4B. They run AHL franchises at between $3-4M per season. So for the cost of a 4th line centre (sorry, Brandon Sutter) a team could easily finance a women’s team. In fact the CWHL has a salary cap of $270K, so they could probably finance 5 women’s teams for what it costs to run an AHL franchise (though a pay bump would be reasonable). They won’t do it, I agree. But they could. And the league could mandate it. But they won’t. Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t, though. Hell, go with 10 teams supported by a $500K contribution from each team. But do something to make women’s hockey viable. The NHL would be better for it.

        • Big D, little d

          >> But do something to make women’s hockey viable. The NHL would be better for it.

          Not trying to be a jerk here, but I don’t see the causal connection between these two. How does creating a viable women’s hockey league make the NHL better?

          Let’s stipulate that the NHL has the necessary acumen to back a women’s hockey league, and leave for another time the discussion of whether the NHL is doing a good job of running their own league. And based on your numbers let’s accept that it wouldn’t be financially onerous for the NHL to do so. From an altruistic perspective it would be nice if the NHL would do something for someone else, but I don’t see what the NHL gets out of it. Worst case, they’re just subsidizing competition for their own product.

          The Olympics provide much more definable benefits for the NHL, and we all know what happened when the NHL was asked to support it.

          • Billy Pilgrim

            Let’s be clear: the NHL will not be financing a women’s league. It’s not in their nature. It’s the only concrete thing that they could do to increase diversity in the game, though. Another possible benefit would be growing your market share. Women are 50% of the population. They are the one’s who drive their kids to hockey practice. Giving women a place to play at the highest level makes sense from a marketting perspective, and helps grow interest. The goodwill alone has quite a bit of value.

        • Betty

          Just so I understand, despite there being a women’s league already, you want the NHL to invest and create a new one? Regardless of whether people watch it? Because you think this will… I dunno, create a parallel women’s NHL or lead to women playing in the NHL?

          The question was about getting minorities etc into the game, which is a struggle but one that can be overcome, as numerous other, much more diverse sports show. (In fact, most other North American sports are kind of the mirror image, minorities make up a disproportionate number of players in basketball and football)

          Women’s sports on the other hand have lagged behind their male counterparts for years. You haven’t demonstrated how this league would help bring women into the game, get them watching (they are going to suddenly watch a league they already don’t watch because some teams are sponsored by NHL teams) or anything more useful than simply having another league. Why would the NHL be better for having created another unwatched league?

          If you’re going to demand people throw money away based on your priorities, why not do it on something that actually helps women? There are a million better uses than a second, non watched women’s hockey league.

          If you really want to improve women’s sports, it’ll take more than yet another unwatched league. Heck, people barely watch our prospects teams (when was the last time you saw a Comets game?) so getting them to watch amateur women seems a daunting task. This isn’t to say it can’t be done, but it’s not a supply issue as such a league already exists.

    • Killer Marmot

      The NHL is a business, first and foremost. Your proposal would almost certainly make the business less profitable, with all sorts of repercussions for the league.

      And for what? To prove how woke the NHL is?

        • Killer Marmot

          We get it, Roy. You have to adapt this thoughtless, knee-jerk political correctness — whether it makes any logical sense or not — so that you can convince yourself of your own moral superiority.

          But I find that such people are often the biggest bigots around.

        • crofton

          Considering Marmot’s post was in response to Betty’s…..which was about WOMEN. But you’re going to imply he’s a racist because he points out the economics of her post?