Transcript: The Future of Women's Pro Hockey | Jun 08, 2021

Steve sits in a room with white walls, a low slanted ceiling and several framed pictures on the walls including one of George Drew. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a white shirt and a black tie.

A caption on screen reads "The future of women's pro hockey. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says ON AND OFF THE ICE, ROLES FOR WOMEN IN HOCKEY... AND THE POTENTIAL FOR A LASTING CAREER IN THE SPORT... ARE EVOLVING. AND TOP OF MIND IS ALWAYS: WHAT'S THE FUTURE OF WOMEN'S PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY? LET'S GET INTO THAT WITH: ERICA AYALA, BROADCASTER AND ANALYST FOR THE NATIONAL WOMEN'S HOCKEY LEAGUE AND CONTRIBUTOR TO THE SPORTS WEBSITE, THE ATHLETIC, WHO JOINS US FROM EAST HARLEM IN NEW YORK CITY...

Erica is in her thirties, with short curly black hair. She's wearing glasses and a black jacket.

Steve continues AND, IN OUR NATION'S CAPITAL: FORMER COLLEGE AND PRO HOCKEY PLAYER JACLYN HAWKINS. SHE IS FOUNDER OF THE ONLINE PLATFORM AND COMMUNITY, WOMEN'S HOCKEY LIFE, AND A PODCAST HOST AT THE HOCKEY NEWS...

Jaclyn is in her thirties, with long curly brown hair in a ponytail. She's wearing a black hoodie.

Steve continues AND IN ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO: MEGHAN CHAYKA, CO-FOUNDER OF THE SPORTS ANALYTICS COMPANY, STATHLETES, AND A DATA SCIENTIST-IN-RESIDENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO'S ROTMAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT...

Meghan is in her thirties, with long blond hair. She's wearing a black blazer and a white shirt. A blue Toronto Maple Leafs jersey hangs in the background.

Steve continues MAY I ADD, A VERY BRAVE PERSON TO BE SPORTING LEAF PARAPHERNALIA IN THE BACKGROUND OF HER SHOT. VERY BRAVE OF YOU INDEED, MEGHAN. ANYWAYS, GREAT TO WELCOME YOU THREE ONTO "THE AGENDA" TONIGHT. I WANTED TO START BY READING THIS BACKGROUND PIECE HERE AND I'LL GET YOU ALL TO WEIGH IN ON IT...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "An up and down couple years."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
IN 2019 THE CANADIAN WOMEN'S HOCKEY LEAGUE CEASED OPERATIONS. THEY SAID THE BUSINESS MODEL HAS PROVEN TO BE ECONOMICALLY UNSUSTAINABLE. AND THIS HAS LEFT THE AMERICAN-BASED NATIONAL WOMEN'S HOCKEY LEAGUE, THE NWHL. IN THE SPRING OF 2021, THE PROFESSIONAL WOMEN'S HOCKEY PLAYERS ASSOCIATION, PWHPA WAS CREATED AND ITS MOTION IS TO "CREATE A SUSTAINABLE LIVING WAGE TO PLAYERS, AND INVESTS IN MARKETING THAT SHOWCASES THE PLAYER AND THE GAME." AND SOME PEOPLE MAY WELL KNOW THE FINAL THREE GAMES OF THE PWHPA DREAM GAP TOUR WAS TELEVISED ON SPORTS NET IN MAY AND HIGHLIGHTS AND CLIPS WERE SHOWN DURING THE BROADCASTS OF THE NHL PLAYOFF GAMES. I TELL YOU, THAT WAS SOME GOOD HOCKEY, AND I REMEMBER SOMEBODY SNIPING AND KNOCKING A WATER BOTTLE OFF THE TOP OF THE NET, WHICH IS A REAL TALENT IF YOU CAN DO THAT. THAT WAS A HECK OF A HIGHLIGHT. MEGHAN, GET US STARTED. HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE STATE OF THE WOMEN'S GAME TODAY?

The caption changes to "Meghan Chayka. Stathletes."

Meghan says I WOULD SAY HOPEFUL. OBVIOUSLY THERE'S A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE. YOU LOOK AT THE TARGET OF MAKING A LIVING WAGE AND HAVING ENDORSEMENTS AND SPONSORSHIPS, NOT FOR THE SELECT FEW PLAYERS, BUT SUSTAINABLE FOR EVERY PROFESSIONAL PLAYER INVOLVED IN THAT LEVEL OF THE GAME. I THINK WHETHER IT'S THE N WHL, THERE IS STILL A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE. I WOULD A ADD TO THAT LIST, NBC PUBLISHED THE DREAM GAP IN ST. LOUIS AND CHICAGO AND THE NWHL FINAL. THAT WAS A BIG BREAKTHROUGH IN THE U.S., NOT JUST CANADA.

Steve says ERICA, YOUR VIEW?

The caption changes to "Erica Ayala. National Women's Hockey League."

Erica says I WOULD AGREE WITH A LOT OF WHAT MEGHAN SAID. THERE'S DEFINITELY A LOT OF HOPE. THERE'S DEFINITELY A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE. ONE THING I THINK WOMEN'S HOCKEY HAS AN ADVANTAGE ON, THEY CAN BE VERY INNOVATIVE, WE'VE SEEN THAT IN THE DREAM GAP TOWARDS THIS CYCLE, THE NNHL TRYING TO BE IN INNOVATIVE. THAT'S WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO WHEN IT COMES TO THE FUTURE OF WOMEN'S HOCKEY.

Steve says JACLYN, HOW DO YOU SEE IT?

The caption changes to "Jaclyn Hawkins. Women's Hockey Life."

Jaclyn says THE WORD I WOULD USE IS OPTIMISTIC, OPTIMISTIC AND ENCOURAGED. I GREW UP NOT SEEING ANY OF THIS. FOR LITTLE GIRLS GROWING UP AND BEING ABLE TO SEE ALL THE AMAZING ATHLETES ON TV TO ASPIRE TO PLAY IN THESE LEAGUES, IT'S REALLY ENCOURAGING AND I'M OPTIMISTIC ABOUT WHERE THIS IS HEADING, BUT AGAIN THERE'S STILL A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE.

Steve says I APPRECIATE THE OPTIMISM BUT, ERICA, YOU'LL UNDERSTAND THAT IT'S SORT OF MY JOB NOT TO BE A KILL JOY HERE BUT POINT OUT SOME OBVIOUS DRAWBACKS. YOU HAVE A CANADIAN LEAGUE WHICH HAS BASICALLY BEEN IN HIATUS FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS, AND I WONDER HOW CONCERNED YOU WERE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF PROFESSIONAL WOMEN'S HOCKEY WHEN THE CANADIAN LEAGUE WENT INTO STASIS?

Erica says I WOULD SAY THERE WERE CERTAINLY CONCERNS, MORE SO BECAUSE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR PLAYERS THAT COMPETE AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL, THE PROFESSIONAL LEAGUES, ALTHOUGH NOT PERFECT STILL, ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, TO GET THAT REPUTATION FOR THE NORTH AMERICAN TEAMS AND THE EUROPEAN TEAMS THAT COMPETE INTERNATIONALLY. SO THERE WAS A LITTLE BIT OF TREPIDATION OR CURIOSITY AS TO HOW THAT WOULD PLAY OUT AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL. BUT WE'VE SEEN THE RESILIENCE OF WOMEN'S SPORT. WE'VE SEEN THE RESILIENCE OF WOMEN'S HOCKEY. SO, AGAIN, THERE IS A LOT OF WORK TO DO, AND IT'S NOT PERFECT. THERE'S STILL A LOT TO BE SORTED OUT. BUT OVERALL, I'D HAVE TO AGREE WITH THE REST OF THE PANEL THAT I AM GOING TO ALWAYS BET ON WOMEN.

Steve says MEGHAN, I GUESS WE ALL MENTIONED A LITTLE WHILE AGO THAT THE DREAM GAP TOUR WAS TELEVISED AND THAT THERE WERE CLIPS PLAYED DURING THE INTERMISSIONS OF THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFF GAMES. SO THAT'S POTENTIALLY MILLIONS OF EYEBALLS GETTING A CHANCE TO LOOK AT WOMEN'S HOCKEY OUTSIDE OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES. MAYBE FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. AND I'M WONDERING WHAT YOU THINK THAT POTENTIALLY CAN ACCOMPLISH?

Meghan says I THINK IT'S INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT, ONE OBVIOUSLY FOR EXPOSURE LIKE YOU'RE SAYING, BUT ALSO TO NORMALIZE. I MEAN, THESE ARE ELITE LEVEL ATHLETES. THEY COMPETE FOR CANADA OR THE U.S. IN MANY CASES. AT THE OLYMPICS, LIKE YOU SAID, THEY STAND ON THE PODIUM, WE HEAR THE ANTHEM. THERE'S NO REASON FOR THEM NOT TO BE IN OUR DAY-TO-DAY FOR THOSE THREE YEARS IN BETWEEN THE OLYMPICS. I THINK IT'S INCREDIBLE AND THAT MOMENTUM SHOULD CONTINUE AND PEOPLE WHO HAVE THOSE PLATFORMS AND SKILL HAVE NO REASON BUT NOT TO PUT THEM ON THAT.

Steve says LET'S STATE THE OBVIOUS HERE, AND THAT IS UNLIKE THE MALE PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY PLAYERS IN THE NHL OR THE AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE, ET CETERA, YOU KNOW, WOMEN NEED OTHER JOBS. THEY CANNOT LIVE ON THEIR SALARIES OF PLAYING PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY. SO, JACLYN, START US OFF ON THIS. WHAT IS LIFE LIKE FOR WOMEN PLAYING PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY THESE DAYS?

The caption changes to "Jaclyn Hawkins. The Hockey News."

Jaclyn says SO I ACTUALLY PLAYED IN THE CWHL BEFORE IT WENT AWAY AND I WAS A FULL-TIME COACH. I WORKED AT A HOCKEY ORGANIZATION IN CONNECTICUT AND I WOULD DRIVE AN HOUR AND A HALF TO BOSTON EVERY DAY AND GO TO PRACTISE AND COME BACK AND JUMP ON BUSES AND GET BACK AT THREE IN THE MORNING. YOU DO IT BECAUSE YOU LOVE THE GAME, RIGHT? AND THE PLAYERS NOW AND EVEN TODAY IN THE PWHPA, THE NHL, PLAYING OVERSEAS, THEY'RE GOING TO SAY THE SAME THING, THEY'RE TRYING TO BUILD A FOUNDATION SO THAT THE NEXT GENERATION CAN BENEFIT FROM WHAT WE'RE DOING. AND IT'S A GRIND. AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS A GRIND. YOU'VE GOT A FULL-TIME JOB. I HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS THAT PLAY IN THE PWHPA AND THE WNHL AND THEY HAVE A FULL-TIME JOB. BUT IT'S A PASSION. I'M PLAYING THE GAME BECAUSE I LOVE IT. AND IF I CAN HELP BUILD THE FUTURE OF WOMEN'S HOCKEY AND CREATE A SUSTAINABLE LEAGUE THAT WE'RE ALL TALKING ABOUT, THEN IT'S WORTH IT. IT'S NOT ABOUT ME, IT'S ABOUT THE GAME. IT'S ABOUT GROWING THE GAME.

Steve says I UNDERSTAND IT'S REALLY INAPPROPRIATE TO ASK PEOPLE HOW MUCH MONEY THEY MAKE, BUT I DO WANT TO GIVE OUR LISTENERS AND VIEWERS A SENSE OF... WELL, LET ME PUT IT THIS WAY. IF YOU'RE A COACH IN THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE YOU'RE MAKING ANYWHERE FROM TWO TO FIVE MILLION BUCKS A YEAR. I THINK MIKE BABCOCK MADE MORE THAN THAT WHEN HE COACHED THE LEAFS. HOW MUCH DID YOU GET PAID WHEN YOU COACHED?

Jaclyn says I GOT 2600 dollars A YEAR. MY FIRST JOB OUT OF COLLEGE, THAT'S WHAT I GOT PAID. OBVIOUSLY I HAD TO MAKE DUE. I HAD TWO ROOMMATES AND LIVED... LIVED... I LIVED A GOOD LIFE BECAUSE YOU GET ACCOMMODATED BY THE UNIVERSITY AS WELL WITH FOOD AND CLOTHES AND TRAVELLING AND EVERYTHING ELSE. BUT I WAS SO PASSIONATE ABOUT COACHING AND I LOVED WHAT I DID THAT IT WAS WORTH IT TO ME AND EVENTUALLY I GOT UP TO 50,000 dollars. YOU KNOW, HEAD COACHES AT THE COLLEGIATE LEVEL MAKE MORE THAN THAT, YOU CAN MAKE SIX FIGURES. BUT YOU'VE GOT TO WORK YOUR WAY UP.

Steve says AND UCON IS UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT FOR A CANADIAN AUDIENCE, IT'S NOT UP IN THE TERRITORIES. TALK ABOUT HEALTH CARE COVERAGE. IS IT A BIG DEAL AND CAN YOU GET THAT WHEN YOU PLAY PRO HOCKEY AS A WOMAN?

The caption changes to "Erica Ayala, @elindsay08."

Erica says TO ANSWER THE LAST QUESTION, NO. CERTAINLY NOT IF YOU'RE NOT WITH YOUR NATIONAL TEAM. I JUST HAD A CONVERSATION WITH JAYNA HEFFORD AND THE USA HOCKEY AND HOCKEY CANADA DID HELP COVER THE PWHPA FOR THEIR TOURNAMENT. BUT OUTSIDE OF THAT IF YOU'RE PLAYING IN THE PWHPA IF YOU'RE PLAYING IN THE WNHL, IF YOU PLAYED ON THE ICE, IF YOU STUBBED YOUR TOE WORKING AT THE OTHER JOB, HOPEFULLY YOU HAVE COVERAGE THERE. IF YOU HAD SNIFFLES OR SOMETHING TO THAT EFFECT, THAT WOULD NOT BE COVERED AS A PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY PLAYER. AND I THINK THAT THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY AGAIN TO NOT OPERATE IN A SCARCITY MINDSET AND TO REALLY THINK MORE NOT JUST ABOUT SALARIES BUT A COMPLETE PACKAGE FOR PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY PLAYERS. OF COURSE, THAT COMES WITH MONEY. BUT I'D LIKE WOMEN'S HOCKEY TO REALLY LIVE FROM AN ABUNDANCE MINDSET, ELEVATE THOSE SALARIES, ELEVATE THE FULL PACKAGE JUST AS YOU WOULD IF YOU WERE WORKING A DESK JOB, A TRADITIONAL NINE-TO-FIVE, OR MAYBE WORK-FROM-HOME THESE DAYS. AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WOMEN'S HOCKEY HAS TO DO MOVING FORWARD.

Steve says OKAY. MEGHAN, ERICA MENTIONED SALARIES. LET'S GET A SENSE OF WHAT THE RANGE IS FOR PROFESSIONAL FEMALE HOCKEY PLAYERS. HOW MUCH MONEY DO MOST OF THEM MAKE? HOW MUCH CAN YOU MAKE? FILL US IN.

The caption changes to "Meghan Chayka, @MeghanChayka."

Meghan says THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. I THINK THE PWHPA IS NOT SALARIED. THEY'RE PLAYING FOR A FUTURE WHERE HOPEFULLY THEY HAVE A LIVING WAGE. THE WNHL, I HOPE THEY MOVE IT UP NEXT YEAR. A LOT LESS GAMES THAN SAY AN NHL PLAYER. SO YOU'RE LOOKING AT... YOU KNOW, YOU CAN BALANCE WORK AND BEING A PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY PLAYER AND NOT HAVE THAT COMPLETELY INTERFERE. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT IT IT'S 100,000 TIMES MORE THAT MEN ARE MAKING.

Steve says FOR SURE. WHO MIGHT BE THE HIGHEST PAID FEMALE HOCKEY PLAYER IN NORTH AMERICA TODAY AND ANY SENSE ABOUT HOW MUCH MONEY SHE WOULD BE MAKING? ERICA, DO YOU WANT TO WEIGH IN?

Erica says I THINK WHAT I WOULD SAY IS I'M NOT SURE THAT WE KNOW. TO MEGHAN POINT, THE PWHPA IS MORE OPERATING ON A STIPEND BECAUSE THE PARTNERSHIPS THEY WERE ABLE TO RECEIVE. THERE WILL BE AN INCREASE OF THE OVERALL SALARY CAP TO 300,000 dollars PER TEAM. IT SOUNDS LIKE THE RIVETERS, THE TEAM QUOTA SYSTEM, THEY'RE GOING TO TAP OUT AT 30,000 dollars FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON. THEN YOU HAVE HILLARY KNIGHT, SARAH NURSE AND OTHERS WHO HAVE ENDORSEMENTS, SPONSORSHIPS BECAUSE THEY ARE PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY PLAYERS, BUT WE DON'T REALLY HAVE A GOOD SENSE OF WHAT THAT TAGLINE IS AND HOW MUCH THE HIGHEST PAID PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY PLAYER, WOMEN'S PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY PLAYER IS GETTING JUST TO PLAY HOCKEY AND-OR WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE THROUGHOUT HER WHOLE BUSINESS PORTFOLIO.

Steve says JACLYN, I KNOW THAT, YOU KNOW, ANYBODY WHO PLAYS SPORTS, PRETTY MUCH ANYBODY, WANTS TO GO AS FAR AS THEY POSSIBLY CAN GO, AND OBVIOUSLY FOR MEN, THAT MEANS SOME DAY MAKING THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE. AS WOMEN START PLAYING HOCKEY, AS YOUNG GIRLS, THEY GO FROM TYKE TO PEEWEE, ALL THE WAY UP TO COLLEGE. IN YOUR VIEW, IS THERE THE INFRASTRUCTURE, IS THERE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUNG GIRLS TO DEVELOP THEIR GAME AND GO AS FAR AS THEY CAN GO?

Jaclyn says 100 PERCENT, MORE SO EVER AGAIN THAN WHEN I WAS A LITTLE KID. THAT'S WHERE THE OPTIMISM COMES FROM ME IS THERE ARE SO MANY MORE OPPORTUNITIES NOW THAN THERE WAS WHEN I WAS A KID, FROM TYKE TO TIMBITS FROM PEEWEE TO BANTAM TO COLLEGE, YOU CAN PLAY PROFESSIONALLY OVERSEAS. AND THAT'S THE OTHER PIECE... I KNEW I WASN'T GOING TO PLAY ON THE CANADIAN OLYMPIC TEAM. I GOT CUT. IT'S ALL GOOD. I WASN'T GOOD ENOUGH. BUT WHAT ELSE COULD I DO? I STILL LOVE THE GAME. I STILL WANTED TO PLAY. I WENT AND PLAYED IN SWITZERLAND FOR A YEAR. I GOT PAID ENOUGH THAT I COULD LIVE AND TRAVEL EUROPE. IT WAS AMAZING. FLIGHTS WERE PAID FOR. ACCOMMODATIONS WERE PAID FOR. THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES IN FINLAND, SWEDEN, RUSSIA. I HAVE PLAYERS THAT I COACHED IN UNIVERSITY THAT ARE PLAYING IN THE WOMEN'S VERSION OF THE KHL, IT'S ACTUALLY CALLED THE WHL, AND THEY ARE MAKING WAY MORE THAN I DID PLAYING IN SWITZERLAND. THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES. IT ALWAYS GETS BACK TO, WHAT DO YOU WANT? WHAT'S THE EXPERIENCE YOU WANT TO HAVE? WHAT'S THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE? YOU CAN PLAY IN ITALY AND AUSTRIA. THERE'S SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES OUT THERE. IT DOESN'T JUST HAVE TO BE NORTH AMERICA IF YOU WANT TO KEEP PLAYING THE GAME THAT YOU LOVE.

Steve says WELL, ERICA, MAYBE I CAN GET YOU TO WEIGH IN ON THAT. I IMAGINE THERE ARE A LOT OF TALENTED WOMEN HOCKEY PLAYERS WHO PLAY, LET'S SAY, NCAA IN THE UNITED STATES. THEY PLAY COLLEGE. IT'S A GOOD, ELITE LEVEL HOCKEY FOR WOMEN. BUT WHEN THEY'RE DONE THEIR SCHOOLING, DO THEY HAVE A PLACE TO GO AFTER THAT IF THEY WANT TO KEEP PLAYING?

Erica says THE ANSWER IS YES AND POTENTIALLY NO, DEPENDING ON WHAT THEY WANT TO DO REGARDING CONTINUING EDUCATION, WHERE THEY WANT TO LIVE, IF THEY HAVE OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES. IF THEY WANT TO HAVE A LUCRATIVE CAREER ON THE ICE IN NORTH AMERICA, THE ANSWER IS NO. BUT TO JACLYN'S POINT, AND WE ALSO HAVE SEEN THIS IN WOMEN'S SOCCER, WE'VE SEEN THIS IN WOMEN'S BASKETBALL, THE WNBA IS CONSIDERED THE BEST PROFESSIONAL OPTION FOR WOMEN TO PLAY BASKETBALL IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. IT IS NOT BY FAR THE BEST PAYING OPTION FOR WOMEN IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE AT THE ELITE LEVEL. THERE ARE WNBA PLAYERS THAT, BECAUSE THEY'RE WNBA ALL-STARS, MAKEUPWARDS OF 500,000... MILLION-DOLLAR CONTRACTS TO PLAY OVERSEAS BECAUSE OF THE VALUE OF THE EUROPEAN SYSTEM IN PARTICULAR, BUT RUSSIA, CHINA, AS JACLYN MENTIONED, SWITZERLAND IN ICE HOCKEY. YOU CAN GET PAID BIG MONEY TO PLAY ICE HOCKEY, TO PLAY SOCCER, TO PLAY BASKETBALL OVERSEAS. BUT WE'RE NOT SEEING THAT TRANSLATE TO THE NORTH AMERICAN MARKET. AND SO, YES, YOU CAN MAKE MONEY. YOU CAN BE A PROFESSIONAL ICE HOCKEY PLAYER OR A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE. IF YOU WANT TO DO THAT IN NORTH AMERICA, THE OPTION JUST DOESN'T EXIST IN THE SAME WAY.

Steve says WELL, I'M GLAD YOU'VE OPENED THIS DOOR BECAUSE, MEGHAN, I WANT US TO WALK THROUGH IT RIGHT NOW. ONE OF THE THINGS I'VE NEVER UNDERSTOOD, THE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION HAS BEEN AROUND 25 YEARS, IT HAS A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION, THERE'S MARKETING, GAMES ARE TELEVISED, THE MARKET IS BIG, MANY OF THE FEMALE PLAYERS ARE FAMOUS. WHY HAS THAT NOT CAUGHT ON FOR PROFESSIONAL WOMEN HOCKEY PLAYERS IN NORTH AMERICA?

Meghan says IT IS THE EXCEPTION, NOT THE RULE. YOU DON'T SEE A LOT OF MALE LEAGUES SUPPORTING WOMEN'S LEAGUES AS WELL. TO JUST SAY THAT, WELL, THE NHL SHOULD HAVE A WOMEN'S LEAGUE, IT'S QUITE THE JOB IN TERMS OF STABILITY, SCALE, CAPITAL ESPECIALLY, BUSINESS MODEL, LIKE WE WERE CHATTING ABOUT EARLIER. SO EVEN THOUGH I THINK IT COULD BE A VERY VIABLE OPTION IN THE FUTURE, I THINK IT'S SIMPLISTIC IN ITS APPROACH. THERE ARE A LOT OF CHALLENGES IN THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT WITH CoVID, WITH THE PANDEMIC, WITH BUDGET. SO EVEN LOOKING AT THE NWSL, THEY'RE BRINGING ON BIG-TIME INVESTORS, CELEBRITIES IN MANY CASES AND TRYING TO BUILD A LEAGUE THROUGH THAT TYPE OF MODEL IS INTRIGUING FOR HOCKEY AS WELL.

Steve says WELL, LET'S JUST PUT A QUOTE UP HERE. THIS IS WHAT THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE, A GUY BY THE NAME OF BILL DALEY, HERE'S WHAT HE HAD TO SAY IN 2019 AFTER THE CANADIAN WOMEN'S LEAGUE CLOSED DOWN. HE SAID...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "What role should the NHL play?" The quote reads "AS LONG AS elite WOMEN'S HOCKEY PLAYERS HAVE PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES, IT IS NOT AN ENVIRONMENT WE ARE PREPARED TO WADE INTO IN ANY FORMAL WAY. WE HAVE ALWAYS SUPPORTED PROFESSIONAL WOMEN'S HOCKEY, AND WE PLAN TO CONTINUE TO DO SO. THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE NEED TO FORM OR DIRECTLY SUBSIDIZE AN EXISTING PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE."
Quoted from NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. May 2, 2019.

Steve says ERICA, WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO THAT?

Erica says WHERE TO START? IT'S A LITTLE BIT DISHEARTENING. HOWEVER, I'M GLAD MEGHAN BROKE DOWN THAT THE WNBA IS CERTAINLY THE EXCEPTION AND NOT THE RULE. THE LATE COMMISSIONER, DAVID STERN, HE WAS THE DRIVING FORCE. GIVEN THAT QUOTE, I DON'T SEE IN THE NEAR FUTURE THE NHL BEING THE DRIVING FORCE TO THE NHL SUPPORTING WOMEN'S HOCKEY. WE HAVE SEEN ONE-OFFS, INCLUDING THE PWHPA TOUR THAT WAS HOSTED BY CALGARY AND CALGARY HAS HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH WOMEN'S HOCKEY IN THE PAST, THE MAPLE LEAFS, THE RANGERS. WE CAN GO ON AND ON TEAM BY TEAM. BUT WE'RE JUST NOT SEEING THAT AT THE FRONT OFFICE NHL LEVEL. I ALSO LIKE WHAT MEGHAN SAID ABOUT WOMEN INVESTING IN OTHER WOMEN'S SPORTS. YOU HAVE KENDALL SCOFIELD IS A PART OWNER OF THE RED STARS IN THE NWHL. YOU DON'T SEE THAT HAPPENING IN WOMEN'S HOCKEY. WE HAVEN'T YET SEEN WOMEN THAT HAVE THE CAPITAL TO PURCHASE TEAMS DO THAT. WE'VE SEEN A LITTLE BIT OF OWNERSHIP IN THE NATIONAL WOMEN'S HOCKEY GAME HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, BUT STILL, NOT REALLY WOMEN AT THE HELM, AND I DO WONDER IF THAT WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I THINK IN THE SHORT TERM AND INTERMEDIATE, WOMEN'S HOCKEY WOULD BENEFIT FROM LOOKING AT A DIFFERENT AND MORE INNOVATIVE MODEL THAN WHAT THE WNBA HAS IN ITS 25TH SEASON. AND A REMINDER THAT IN 2019, THAT'S WHEN WE START GETTING THE 500,000 dollar SALARY FOR YOUR TOP TIER WNBA PLAYERS. THE SALARY CAP FOR THE WNHL IS ALMOST EQUAL TO WHAT THE WNBA HAD FOR A 12-ROSTER TEAM IN 1997 AND IT TOOK YEARS TO INCREASE THAT. HOCKEY IS MORE EXPENSIVE ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT, AND SO I THINK THAT WOMEN'S HOCKEY WOULD BENEFIT FROM LOOKING AT INVESTORS THAT TRULY WANT TO BE A PART OF WOMEN'S SPORTS.

Steve says NO, I APPRECIATE THAT POSITION, AND OF COURSE THE WNBA, YOU'RE QUITE RIGHT, HAS A 25-YEAR HEAD START THAT WOMEN'S HOCKEY CLEARLY DOESN'T HAVE. HAVING SAID THAT, I DO WANT TO ASK JACLYN ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT... WELL, LET'S PUT IT THIS WAY. IF WAYNE GRETZKY SAID HE WANTED TO RUN A TEAM. IF GARY BETTMAN SAID SOME NICE THINGS ABOUT THIS. IF MARIO LEMIEUX SAID HE WAS INTERESTED IN SUPPORTING A TEAM AS WELL. IT WOULD ONLY PRESUMABLY TAKE A FEW CHAMPIONS FOR A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WOMEN'S HOCKEY AND THE NHL TO EXIST, AND THEN PRESUMABLY YOU'RE OFF TO THE RACES. HOW DISAPPOINTED ARE YOU THAT NONE OF THAT'S HAPPENED YET?

Jaclyn says HONESTLY, YOU SAID GARY BETTMAN. LIKE, HE'S BEEN QUOTED OFFICIALLY, UNOFFICIALLY SAYING, UNTIL THERE'S ONE LEAGUE, WE'RE NOT GOING TO SUPPORT THIS OR ENGAGE WITH THIS OR DO SOMETHING WITH THIS. TO MEGHAN POINT OR ERICA'S POINT, IT'S FINDING INVESTORS WHO ARE WILLING TO BELIEVE IN THE PRODUCT. BUT THE PRODUCT HAS TO COME FIRST, RIGHT? WE NEED TO PUT THE BEST PLAYERS ON THE ICE AT ONE TIME AND NOT HAVE COMPETING LEAGUES. SO IT'S MORE ABOUT UNIFYING, BRINGING THE WOMEN'S HOCKEY COMMUNITY TOGETHER AND FIGURING OUT HOW CAN WE DO THIS. EVEN THEN IT IS GOING TO... THEN WE DON'T NEED THE NHL. I'LL BE CONTROVERSIAL. WE WON'T NEED THE NHL, WE DON'T NEED GARY BETTMAN. IT'S OTHER OWNERS OR OTHER BUSINESSES THAT ARE RUN BY WOMEN OR MEN, I DON'T CARE. AS LONG AS YOU HAVE THE DESIRE TO GROW THE GAME AND HELP THESE WOMEN LIVE THEIR PASSION AND PROVIDE ENTERTAINMENT AND DO WHAT THEY DO ON THE ICE. WHERE THE MONEY COMES FROM IS IRRELEVANT. IT'S MORE PROVIDING THE SUSTAINABLE OUTLETS FOR THESE AMAZINGLY TALENTED FEMALE HOCKEY PLAYERS TO PLAY THE GAME AND PUT THE BEST ON THE ICE. IT'S GOING TO BE LIKE THE OLYMPICS EVERY WEEKEND.

Steve says WELL, OKAY. SINCE YOU'VE OPENED THE DOOR HERE TO THE ISSUE OF UNIFYING WOMEN'S HOCKEY, LET'S GO HERE. MEGHAN, LET ME START WITH YOU ON THIS. IF WE DO GO BACK TO THE MIDDLE 1970s, THERE WAS A RIVAL MEN'S WOMEN'S LEAGUE AND THE CREATION OF TWO RIVAL LEAGUES NHL AND WHA MEANT THAT HOCKEY WAS A SOMEWHAT DICEY PROPOSITION FOR A WHILE. AND EVENTUALLY THEY MERGED. AND HOCKEY HAS NOW NEVER BEEN MORE FINANCIALLY SECURE. DOES THAT NECESSARILY HAVE TO HAPPEN FOR WOMEN'S HOCKEY BEFORE ANY PROGRESS, MEANINGFUL PROGRESS, IS GOING TO BE MADE?

Meghan says I DON'T THINK IT HAS TO HAPPEN BUT I THINK FROM A BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE, I LOOK AT STARTUPS AND BUSINESSES THAT ACQUIRE COMPANIES OR FIGURE OUT A WAY TO MERGE AND THEY'RE ALWAYS STRONGER, RIGHT? YOU HAVE SCALE. YOU HAVE MORE MARKET. I THINK ESPECIALLY FOR CANADIAN PLAYERS, IT'S INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT TO HAVE THE U.S. I SEE ONE LEAGUE BEING BETTER FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED, INCLUDING THE PLAYERS. AT THE LEVEL THAT THEY'RE AT RIGHT NOW, THEY SHOULD BE PLAYING EACH OTHER. WE WANT TO SEE THAT QUALITY OF COMPETITION AS WELL.

Steve says ERICA, DO WE NEED ONE WOMEN'S PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY GAME?

Erica says IN SHORT, I WOULD SAY NO. I APPRECIATE WHAT MEGHAN IS SAYING ABOUT THE BUSINESS MODEL AND WE HAVEN'T SEEN A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS MODEL FOR WOMEN'S HOCKEY. I APPRECIATE WHAT JACLYN IS SAYING ABOUT THERE BEING ALL EYES ON THE BEST ATHLETES AT ALL TIMES. BUT I DON'T THINK WE'RE AT A SHORTAGE OF TALENT IN WOMEN'S HOCKEY. I THINK THE STRUCTURE AND, UNFORTUNATELY, THE LACK OF RELATIONSHIP, WHETHER IT'S A MERGER PROPER OR NOT, HAS CREATED THIS COMMUNITY AND THIS CULTURE WHERE, UNFORTUNATELY, WE DON'T GET TO SEE ALL OF THE BEST TALENT PLAYING. RIGHT NOW, IF YOU'RE A WOMEN HOCKEY PLAYER, THERE'S ONLY A HANDFUL OF CITIES YOU CAN PLAY IN. SO IF YOU'RE NOT ABLE TO LOCATE OR YOU'RE NOT INTERESTED IN RELOCATING, ULTIMATELY IF YOU DON'T WANT TO MOVE FROM BOSTON TO MINNESOTA, YOU'RE PROBABLY NOT GOING TO MOVE FROM BOSTON TO SWITZERLAND, THEN YOU ARE NOT PLAYING HOCKEY. AND I THINK WE'RE MISSING OUT ON A LOT OF TALENT THAT MAYBE ISN'T GOING TO PLAY FOR THEIR NATIONAL TEAM OR DOESN'T ANYMORE PLAY FOR THEIR NATIONAL TEAM BUT WOULD ABSOLUTELY BE FANTASTIC TO WATCH IN A PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE. I THINK OF PLAYERS LIKE KELLY STEDMAN WHO IS NOWCOACHING WHO WAS ECENTUALLY YOU KNOW WASN'T EVEN A SALARY PLAYER IN THE NATIONAL WOMENS HOCKEY LEAGUE AND ENDS UP BEING A MVP CALIBRE PLAYER IN THAT LEAGUE. I DON'T THINK THAT WE NEED 1 LEAGUE, I LIKE THE IDEA OF CREATING COMPETION WITHIN THE WOMENS HOCKEY SPACE THAT DOES EXIST, BUT RIGHT NOW IT JUST SEEMS AS THOUGH THERE'S NOT A REAL INTEREST AND THERE'S SOME HISTORY BEHIND THERE, BUT THERE'S NOT AN INTEREST RIGHT NOW IN THE PWHPA AND THE NWHL HAVING A MEETING OF MINDS WHERE THEY CAN EVEN DO SHOWCASES WHERE THEY'RE COMPETING AGAINST EACH OTHER.

Steve says JACLYN, WE HAVE ONE YES VOTE, ONE NO VOTE.

Jaclyn says MEGHAN I LOVE AND RESPECT YOU, ERICA, I LOVE AND RESPECT WHAT YOU DO, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY NOBODY IS GOING TO PAY TO WATCH SOMEONE UNLESS THEY'RE AN OLYMPIAN OR AN ELITE DIVISION ONE PLAYER. TO ME THAT'S WHY WE'RE NOT MAKING THIS PROGRESS. IF I'M A BUSINESS, IF I HAD 10 MILLION dollars TO GIVE AND OBVIOUSLY MY BUSINESS IS WOMEN'S HOCKEY, I WANT TO INVEST IN THE BEST HOCKEY PLAYERS IN THE WORLD. AND WE'RE JUST TALKING NORTH AMERICA RIGHT NOW. THINK ABOUT BRINGING THE FINNS AND THE SWEDES AND THE RUSSIANS AND THE SWISS PLAYERS OVER. I BELIEVE THERE NEEDS TO BE ONE LEAGUE BEFORE WE CAN GET MORE INVESTMENT, BEFORE WE CAN GET MORE EYEBALLS. YOU'VE GOT TO SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT. AND I THINK WHAT THE PWHPA, AND THE NWHL IS ON SWITCH AND EVERYTHING ELSE. WHY NOT HAVE AN NHL OF WOMEN'S HOCKEY. ERICA, MAYBE YOU'RE RIGHT. SO I'M GOING TO GO BACK AND TAKE MY WORDS BACK AND SAY, HEY, WHY NOT TWO LEAGUES BUT THEY'RE DIFFERENT. THEY'VE GOT AN EAST COAST LEAGUE, THE AHL, THE NHL. WHY NOT HAVE A FEEDER SYSTEM SO IT'S COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY HOCKEY FOR WOMEN, WE'LL CALL IT AN NHL OR A W NHL FOR WOMEN. I'D JUST LIKE TO THINK CREATIVELY, OUT OF THE BOX. YES, THEY NEED HEALTH CARE, SUPPLEMENTAL INCOME, BUT THERE ARE OTHER WAYS WE CAN DO THAT. WHY NOT RUN A CAMP EVERY SUMMER? EVERY INDIVIDUAL PLAYER. YOU CAN CREATE OTHER REVENUES OF INCOME BUT YOU'VE GOT TO BE CREATIVE, YOU'VE GOT TO BE WILLING TO DO THE WORK. YOU CAN'T JUST HAVE YOUR HAND OUT SAYING I DESERVE THIS BECAUSE OF THIS. LIKE YOU JUST SAID, 1970s, THERE WAS TWO COMPETING LEAGUES. ONE OF MY BEST FRIEND, HER DAD PLAYED IN THE NHL IN THE '70s AND '80s, HE CAME HOME AND WORKED ON A FARM. HE DOESN'T HAVE A RETIREMENT FUND. HE PUT IN THE WORK THAT THESE WOMEN ARE NOW DOING TODAY.

Steve says SORRY, GO AHEAD, ERICA.

Erica says I'M SORRY. I WAS JUST SAYING, I THINK YOU HIT ON SOMETHING THAT I THINK I WOULD LIKE US TO DRIVE HOME. INNOVATION IS THE FUTURE OF NOT JUST WOMEN'S HOCKEY BUT OF SPORT IN GENERAL. AND I THINK WOMEN'S ICE HOCKEY HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN FROM WHAT MEN'S LEAGUES DID IN THE '70s, TO LEARN WHATçó THE WNBA DID IN THE 1990s TO LEARN WHAT THE NWSL DID IN THE EARLY 2000s AND BE EVEN BETTER THAN THAT, ALONGSIDE WITH THE INNOVATION. SO I DON'T THINK WE REALLY DISAGREE. I THINK WE'RE ALL ON THE SAME PAGE. WE JUST WANT TO SEE SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

Steve says THAT'S ON THE ICE. I WANT TO ASK YOU ALL ABOUT OFF THE ICE. MEGHAN, LET ME START WITH YOU ON THIS ONE. WE ARE ACTUALLY STARTING TO SEE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE TEAMS, MEN'S TEAMS HIRING WOMEN TO DO JOBS IN THEIR FRANCHISES. HOW MUCH OF THAT IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW, AND WHERE DO YOU SEE IT GOING?

Meghan says I THINK THERE'S QUITE A BIT. I MEAN, THERE'S QUITE A BIT THROUGH MANY SPORTS AND BUSINESS IN GENERAL WHERE, YOU KNOW, COMPANIES ARE LOOKING AT VARY DIVERSITY, NOT JUST WOMEN BUT IN GENERAL, AND REALIZING THAT THERE ARE HUGE GAPS AND THERE ARE A LOT OF GREAT CANDIDATES THAT CAN FILL THOSE GAPS. THERE'S DEFINITELY NO LACK OF TALENT FROM WOMEN IN SPORTS, AND A LOT OF PEOPLE, WHETHER IT'S MEGHAN DUGGAN THAT HAVE HAD GREAT HOCKEY CAREERS OR OTHERS THAT ARE ABLE TO WORK FROM A DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT FROM A MORE TECHNICAL PERSPECTIVE, THERE ARE JUST SO MANY GAPS THAT WE CAN FILL IN THESE NHL TEAMS VERY QUICKLY. SO THAT'S REALLY PROMISING TO SEE. I'D SAY OTHER SPORTS ARE DEFINITELY ACCELERATING. YOU SEE ASSISTANT COACHES, YOU SEE REFEREES, I THINK FOR THE NFL, FOR THE SUPER BOWL, WE SAW A WOMAN ON THE SIDELINES. THERE ARE A LOT OF COOL MOVEMENTS AND CHANGES IN SPORTS AND I THINK HOCKEY IS NEXT FOR A COMPLETELY OVERHAUL.

Steve says JACLYN, LET ME PUT OUT THE CAUTIONARY FLAG HERE. IN 2001 THERE WERE IN FACT EIGHT BENCH COACHES IN THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, THERE'S NONE IN THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE. HOW COME?

Jaclyn says GREAT QUESTION. I THINK THE... THE MOST, I GUESS, JUNIOR "A" IS THE ONLY PERSON I'VE SEEN, WHAT WAS HER NAME, MALLORY, SHE COACHED JUNIOR "A" NOVA SCOTIA. THAT'S THE HIGHEST LEVEL I'VE SEEN COACHING ON A MEN'S BENCH. WHEN IT COMES TO THE NHL, I DON'T KNOW. I ALWAYS GET BACK TO, ARE THE COACHES COACHING THE PLAYERS OR ARE THEY TRYING TO HAVE THIS TYRANT MENTALITY? I DON'T KNOW. WOULD A FEMALE VOICE BE BENEFICIAL? MAYBE. BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY I BELIEVE MEN AND WOMEN BOTH HAVE THE FEMININE AND MASCULINE CHARACTERS WITHIN THEMSELVES. ARE THE MEN WILLING TO GO THERE? THE PLAYERS ARE DIFFERENT FROM 10, 20 YEARS AGO. THERE'S MORE EMOTIONS. THERE'S MORE AWARENESS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH AND HOW THAT AFFECTS PEOPLE. AND I KNOW WHEN I COACHED AT UCON, AGAIN IT'S WOMEN'S HOCKEY, NOT MEN'S. WE PUT PLAYERS THROUGH ALL THESE PERSONALITY TESTS AND EVERYTHING ELSE, AND WE WOULD BE CATEGORIZED AND WHEREVER OUR PLAYERS WERE... D-I-S OR C, THE ALPHABET, AND PUT IT ABOVE THEMSELVES SO I KNEW HOW TO TALK TO HOCKEY PLAYERS. IF SOMEONE MADE A MISTAKE AND I WANTED TO CALL HER OUT AND YELL AND BERATE HER, NOT THAT I WOULD, THAT WOULD BE THE WRONG PERSONALITY TO DO. A D WOULD KNOW HOW TO HANDLE IT AND HOW TO TAKE IT. TO GET BACK TO THE NHL, I DON'T KNOW. I DON'T THINK NECESSARILY THINK IT'S A MALE-FEMALE THING. COULD THE MEN DO IT? ABSOLUTELY. BUT THEY HAVE TO TAP INTO THAT FEMININE SIDE OF THEMSELVES OR MAYBE BRINGING A FEMALE ON WOULD BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THAT PERSPECTIVE OF UNDERSTANDING THEIR EMOTIONS, FEELING THEIR EMOTIONS, AND LISTENING.

Steve says LISTENING IS A REALLY GOOD POINT TO MAKE BECAUSE I'M NOT SURE THERE'S A LOT OF MALE COACHES THAT ARE REALLY GOOD AT THAT. BUT WE'LL SEE. I DO WONDER... I DO WONDER, ERICA, WHETHER PART OF THE PROBLEM IS, THERE'S CERTAINLY AN OLD-SCHOOL HOCKEY MIND THAT SAYS IF I'M GOING TO BRING THE MOST OUT OF MY PLAYERS, I NEED TO INTIMIDATE THEM, I NEED TO MAKE THEM FEAR ME. I'M WONDERING IF PART OF THE MINDSET HERE MIGHT BE, CAN A FEMALE COACH MAKE A MALE PLAYER FEAR HER? WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Erica says WELL, I THINK THAT LOGIC IS ANTIQUATED ON SO MANY LEVELS. IT'S OUTDATED. ESPECIALLY BECAUSE WE HAVE RESEARCH THAT SHOWS THAT THAT'S NOT, TO JACLYN'S POINT, THE RIGHT APPROACH FOR JUST, YOU KNOW, YOUR AVERAGE MAN WALKING DOWN THE STREET. EVERYONE REACTS DIFFERENTLY. THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT ADULT LEARNING STYLES. AND WHAT I THINK THAT WE'RE ALLUDING TO WHEN IT COMES TO HOCKEY CULTURE, SPORT CULTURE, IS THAT THE PRESUMPTION AND THE ASSUMPTION THAT THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY TO WIN, ONE WAY TO COACH, IS HEADED OUT THE DOOR. I MEAN, MEGHAN, I'M SURE YOU CAN APPRECIATE THIS, BUT WITH MONEYBALL, I COME FROM A BASEBALL BACKGROUND, I SHOULD SAY. SO WITH THE MONEYBALL, THAT COMPLETELY REVOLUTIONALIZED HOW BASEBALL WAS PLAYED, TO THE POINT WHERE YOU STILL DON'T SEE A LOT OF SMALL BALL. AND HOCKEY HAS SEEN ANALYTICS... AGAIN, MEGHAN, TO THE WORK THAT YOU DO... WE'VE SEEN ANALYTICS BE INTEGRATED INTO THE GAME. SO THERE IS A DIFFERENT WAY OF THINKING ABOUT HOW TO COACH. WHAT I THINK, THOUGH, IS THAT THE HOCKEY CULTURE HAS NOT EMBRACED FULLY HOW DIVERSITY AT MULTIPLE ENTRY POINTS IS ONLY GOING TO BE FOR THE BETTER OF THE SPORT. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT COACHES, BUT LET'S LOOK AT WHO'S ON THE ICE AND HOW THEY'RE TREATED. LET'S LOOK AT WHO'S IN THE BOOTH. WOMEN, LIKE BLAKE BOLDEN, SARAH NURSE, BEING ABLE TO BE ANALYSTS AND COMMENTATE IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS WHO THE BENCH BOSSES ARE. I BELIEVE, JACLYN, YOU SAID THERE'S SOMETHING TO WHAT WE WOULD CONSIDER GEN-Z. I DON'T THINK GEN-Z IS ATTACHED IN THE SAME WAYS TO THAT OLD-SCHOOL CULTURE. AND I'M HOPEFUL THAT AGAIN WOMEN'S HOCKEY WILL FOLLOW THE LEAD OF THE UP-AND-COMING PLAYERS AND DIVERSIFY TO MAKE THE SPORT BETTER.

The caption changes to "Producer: Eric Bombicino, @ebombicino."

Steve says AMEN. ERICA, JACLYN, MEGHAN, THANKS SO MUCH FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US ON TVO TONIGHT AND BEST OF LUCK TO ALL OF YOU AND WOMEN'S HOCKEY GOING FORWARD.

All the guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: The Future of Women's Pro Hockey