The IX: Hockey Friday with Erica L. Ayala, June 18, 2021

What is Juneteenth? — Quotes from NWHL FA Camps — Must-click links

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What is Juneteenth?

Okay, last week I said this week I would talk about how much WoHo players made. I also expected to review my notes from the two NWHL Free Agent Camps (some on that below). I still want to do that, but first I want to focus on a now federal holiday called Juneteenth.

June 19 is a holiday celebrating the day in 1865 slaves in Galveston, TX learned the Civil War had ended. Here’s the thing: Slavery had “officially” (that’s an entirely different post, but I accept the challenge of making it relate to hockey) ended two years prior. Texas decided it needed another harvest of free labor, because we gotta make the white man rich, amirite?!

As the celebration becomes more mainstream, I think it is important to know the true history. This holiday is celebrated specifically in Texas and has become a holiday for Black people over the years. So, while it is a celebration of culture, freedom, and perseverance of those enslaved in this country, it is not the type of holiday where we should honor the United States.

If anything, Juneteenth is proof the U.S is always a day late (or two years) and a dollar short (more like millions in 1860s money). The fact that Juneteenth is becoming a holiday as politicians and citizens (of all ages and races) argue to omit critical race theory from school curriculums is painfully par for the course for this country.

Tomorrow on Juneteenth, I will be co-moderating a Black Girl Hockey Club panel with Shireen Ahmed. We will be discussing Juneteenth, the Tulsa Massacre, the remains of 215 Indigenous children found in Kamloops, and the recent attack on Muslims in London, Ont.

When we ask hockey to do better, we aren’t asking for special jerseys or social media posts. We are asking that hockey, and everyone everywhere, bring these truths to light and ask aloud why since colonizers arrived in the 1600s we continue to kill strategically “marginalized” communities with impunity?

This is what we ask because for some of us our lives quite literally depend on your ability to see and honestly share the truth.

Coming up on Hockey Fridays

In the coming weeks, I’ll be breaking down what NWHL teams needs and how/if their draft picks meet the brief.

I’ll also start getting into this question from The Agenda host Steven Paikin: How much does the highest women’s hockey player get paid?

If you want to learn more about Juneteenth or the Tulsa Massacre of 1921, follow me on IG:@elindsay08 as I document celebrating Juneteenth 2021 in Tulsa.

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Week in Women’s Hockey

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Must-Click Links

Mark Joslin becomes the first Black head coach in the NWHL. There are still many firsts for BIPOC staff to be had in the six-year league.

A nice feature on Saroya Tinker and her mentorship program.

Dan Rice with some great takeaways from the Whale and Riveters Free Agent Camps last weekend.

NWHL MVP Mikyla Grant-Mentis aka Bucky is back for the Toronto Six.

Listen to Episode 000 of Locked on Kraken hosted by ME!

Hockey East announces new conference tournament format.

Former Whale assistant coach Sara Ugalde takes head coaching role at Wilbraham & Monson Academy.

Five BU alumnae shine during PWHPA Dream Gap Tour.

Flagging this study for a later newsletter: Epidemiology of female youth ice hockey injuries presenting to United States emergency departments from 2002 to 2019.

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Tweet of the Week

As I broke last week via my reliable source VENMO (hehehe). I asked Anya about the rebrand timeline during FA Camp (read more below).

Five at The IX: Quotes from NWHL Free Agent Camps

Laura Brennan on preparing for FA camp on the heels of COVID-19

it’s been tough, you know, navigating the whole pandemic for everyone. You know, we, we’ve talked about it a lot at the league level, and, and the team levels about, you know, what protocols we would have in place. And it was basically falling on what the rinks are doing currently and where we’re at is actually a more, what would you say, strict environment, which, you know, for me, I, like, you know, to keep everyone safe. And, you know, we’re messed up unless the players are on the ice, and, you know, even a security guard, I took a sip of my coffee, and he told me to put my mask up. So it was, it was good to know that even though we’re at different stages, people of all comfort levels can feel, you know, more confident coming in knowing that some people are vaccinated, some aren’t. But, you know, we’re gonna do our best to keep everyone as safe as possible.

We spread them out between a couple locker rooms based on (jersey) colors. So people that were friends weren’t all crammed in one. We tried our best in that way to keep everyone distance and had brand new jerseys for them. We’re making sure they’re getting washed before we use them again. So that’s, that’s what we put in place.

As far as Canadians coming (that) was tough because they couldn’t come down and then go back home and quarantine. So that’s why you didn’t see a lot of, you know, Canadians coming here. We did have a few girls from Slovakia. I heard they’re in the country for 30 days and then they’re going home. It’s been tough, but we did the best we could.

Whale owner Tobin Kelly on hiring a new General Manager

I think you’re gonna have an announcement within the next week. I’ve made an offer to someone and I think we’re going to be able to get there. But there’s a couple other steps for her to go through at this point. But I couldn’t be more excited about this and I’m excited to share it with you. So within another week, maybe 10 days aax, I think we’ll be checking the final boxes and be able to announce, which is great.

Author’s Note: Mike Murphy broke the news that Assistant Coach Laura Brennan – who has been managing player signings since Amy Scherer stepped away – has been named an assistant general manager.

Anya Packer on Riveters Rebrand timeline

You know what, I think our new social and digital lead would kill me, so I won’t share a timeline. I will say that it’s an iconic brand and it’s something that we want to enhance and make even stronger. I think we’ve done a tremendous job finding a through line in something that people can live for, can can relate to, can be associated with and I think that as we continue down the pathway.

Before we may have just been a sketch of a name and face that we all know very well. I want to continue to elevate … we’ve hired some really, really good graphic designers and I saw a couple portfolios and I just like to make things a little different. I like to come in and shake things up. And so now everyone has to go out and buy new jerseys and get back into it and fall back in love with the Riveters brand, but I believe that they will.

Author’s Note: Anya added the team will be launching their rebrand and launching their new merch store before announcing any signings for Season 7.

Tobin Kelly on minimum and max salary for Connecticut Whale

Yeah, and actually it’s funny if you see somebody in Boston, obviously Miles (Arnone) talked about it right away out of the gates. We haven’t.

What we’ve talked about as a group, it’s been about roster flexibility, and about the flexibility not to try to lock into a min or a max because depending on how we use players through the year, that may vary. So are actually known as to not necessarily attach a number and give ourselves, and give the players, as much flexibility as we can get.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal The Next
Thursdays: Golf
By Sarah Kellam @sarahkellam, The IX
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster
Saturdays: Gymnastics
By Jessica Taylor Price, @jesstaylorprice, Freelance Gymnastics Writer

Written by Erica L. Ayala