What it’s Like to Play Women’s Hockey in a Men’s World

One of the most known hockey players over the years has been Sidney Crosby. He plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL hockey team. [pullquote]Crosby is a leader in the league for points, he has had 338 goals and 600 assists over his career.[/pullquote] He is a has won two stanley cups, and has won a gold medal playing for team Canada in the olympics. Crosby is a male hockey player. Many people enjoy watching hockey and these great players like Crosby but, people really do not notice the great girls hockey players like Hilary Knight, Meghan Dugan and .

Girls hockey players do not get as much recognition as boys, it is shown through money, opportunities, and overall lifestyle.


Throughout levels of hockey for boys and girls money becomes a bigger factor. Equipment and team uniforms become more expensive, you start to travel, and you become more involved in different teams which is not cheap. Both boys and girls have to pay these fees as they go up in levels of hockey. But boys have the opportunity to reach the highest level which is professional men’s hockey hockey known as the NHL. Once they reach this level they are paid, hockey becomes their job. For girls hockey at the highest level is the women’s hockey league known as the WNHL.

They are also paid, but they are paid about 1/8 of what NHL men’s players are paid.

For boys, they can also earn money through being sponsored by hockey equipment manufacturers and get extra income and money by doing commercials, newspaper and magazine ads. This allows boys to get extra earnings in addition to their NHL salary.

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Most people have heard of the NHL or love watching men’s college hockey. But how many have heard of the WHNL and how many people actually go to a girls college hockey game. More people go to men’s college hockey games, and more people have no idea what the WNHL is or if it even exists. As far as college hockey goes they spend more money on men’s programs at colleges than they do for women. [pullquote]They bring in a better coaching staff for men than they do for women says Megan Kalmoe USA 2x olympian in her blog post “NCAA: Revenue vs. Non-Revenue Sports.” [/pullquote]There are more teams in the league of NHL and college hockey for men’s teams. Whereas, women have less teams in their league of WHNL and college hockey so they have fewer games or play teams multiple times.

Image by pixabay user ostgotasporten

 Overall Lifestyle

There are many shows made for NHL stars called Inside the Locker Room ESPN or 30 for 30 on NHL teams, and players. In these shows they talk about what these NHL stars do everyday and what their houses look like or the kind of cars they have. There are also movies like miracle, mighty ducks, slapshot and there is always boy’s or men’s teams featured in it. Or you may see kids wearing NHL shirts and sweatshirts with their favorite team and player on it. But when do you really see any women’s teams getting worn by little kids, it was mentioned earlier that many do not even know that the WNHL exists. Women teams do not have the same lifestyle as men’s teams have especially when it come to the NHL vs. the WNHL.[pullquote] Joe O’Connor from “National Post” says, “As in, girls’ minor hockey is all about going out and having some “fun.” [/pullquote]

 Different levels of boys and girls hockey

Boys hockey : mites (2 years) to peewees (2 years) to bantams (2 years or less) to high school hockey (4 years max) to Juniors or college hockey (2-6 years) to the NHL and possibly the olympics (play till retirement or for olympics when available every 4 years)

By Patrice_Audet from pixabay.

Girls Hockey: U8’s (2 years) to U10’s (2 years) to U12’s (2 years) to U15’s (3 year max) to high school hockey (4 years max) to college hockey (4 years) to the WHNL or Olympics (till retirement or every available 4 years)


So what can we change? How can boys hockey and girls hockey be more equal? For starters we can promote girls hockey just as much as boys hockey.

Girls should be just as inspired as boys players to start at a young age and look up not only to NHL stars, but to WNHL stars.

Girls and boys teams should receive the same amounts of money towards their programs, like girls U12’s and boys pee wee’s both get the same amounts of money toward them. They also should both be able to have paid non-parent coaches, that’s another thing boys teams get more than girls teams today. [pullquote]Lathum Hunter from The Hamilton Spectator is quoted saying, “Consciously or not, we lower the bar for girls’ hockey, and deprive them of the right to be challenged and meet higher expectations.”[/pullquote] As they go up in levels as far as high school hockey goes both the girls and boys team should be treated equally not one looked on highly than the other. Then when we go up to the college level, a college should spend just as much money and time into their girls program as they do in there boys programs.

In order to make the NHL and WNHL more fair and equal, the WNHL would need more recognition, more people to come to the games, and more people to think of it like the NHL. If this happened they WNHL players would be able to be paid more because they have more fans that pay to get into games, and buy merchandise. This would all help the WHNL grow and hopefully have as many teams as the NHL and be just as popular.

Featured image from Pixabay

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2 thoughts on “What it’s Like to Play Women’s Hockey in a Men’s World

  1. This was a wonderful post and I agree with it. The problem with issues like this, is they take a lot of time. The reason the NWHL doesn’t have many teams (4), is because it was just started in 2015. According to http://www.history.com, when the NHL was first started it too had 4 teams. So with time the NWHL will get more teams too, but it’s a huge process locating cities and arenas, and debating on if it is worth creating a huge club. I’m pretty sure you touched on this, but the reason women don’t get paid as much as men do, is because most clubs don’t have that kind of money to give to everyone. The NHL and their teams, like you said, earn tons of fan revenue and merchandise revenue. With this they clubs earn enough money to pay. So yes if more fans watched it would probably increase pay for the women. But one huge obstacle in this is the media. Because it probably wouldn’t bring much money to them, they would rather broadcast the NHL games rather than the NWHL games. So really everything just goes in a circle of people not knowing about the NWHL and the media. If both of those were fixed, NWHL would probably be more popular.

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