The IX: Hockey Friday with Erica L. Ayala – January 10, 2020

For the sake of the game - Interview with Jordan Juron - Must-click women's hockey links

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So, we have our first PWHPA player (re)join the NWHL since the boycott. Now what?

Well, in short, we continue to wait.

Here at The IX, I’ve continued to report that women’s hockey players are conflicted. This is not as cut and dry as right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, or pro labor “movement” vs. pro (super small) business.

As has been the case in every blip in the history of women’s professional and post-college hockey, it’s complicated.

Players are not making — correction — players not on a North American national team are not making a living playing ice hockey. And, to be honest, I don’t know what the funding for players looks like for the Canadian national team.

Therefore, if your favorite is playing ice hockey in North America after college, she’s not making a living. PERIOD! What I will say is, there needs to be more critical analysis of what exists now and more concrete discussion of the next steps.

I’d love for even a portion of the conspiracy theorizing that happens in the #WoHo community to turn into hard, thoughtful, well-researched analysis. We must document:

  • What is happening, why it’s not great, how it’s better (or not), and what it will take to move the needle?

  • How many more sponsors were brought in for the NWHL?

  • How much funding are PWHPA sponsors bringing to each event? Is any of that money being set aside for operations?





  • How many PWHPA games will non-national team players compete in during this (first?) gap year? What about national team players? Do the Canadian regions play more games than the American regions?

This is not an exhaustive list. Some of these questions have been asked and yet to be answered. Some partially. Some not at all.

I’ve realized I’ve wasted a lot of time getting frustrated with opinions with time I could have used asking for facts. I am aware now. I will do better.

I will do my part to document the good, the bad, the ugly, and the incomplete for the sake of the game.

This Week in Women’s Hockey

My full interview with Jordan Juron from Monday

Hailey Salvian also covered the Juron news for The Athletic

‘Closing the dream gap’: Dozens hit the ice in Toronto in support of women’s hockey

Sam Walther nearly makes history, writes Mike Murphy

Updates from the Friendship Series in Belfast

Amanda Thiele recaps winning gold in Slovakia

Black History Mobile Tour returns, BGHC has the recap. I’ll see you in Anaheim!

Kimberly Sass, Sarah Bryant among PWHPA players headed to the North Pole

Melissa Burgess joins WBFO to chat Beauts Hockey

NWHL’s Marketing Flexibility Continues To Resonate With Brands

Women’s Hockey History: I caught up with Doxie McCoy last month

On the Founding 4 Podcast, I offer my picks for the NWHL All-Star Game

2020 NWHL All-Stars announced

Tweet of the Week

Five at The IX: Jordan Juron

On Saturday, Jordan Juron signed a PTO with the Boston Pride for their series against the Buffalo Beauts. Juron, a former member of the Beauts, joined the PWHPA in the offseason. I spoke with her about her decision to join the PWHPA, how she ended up dressing for Boston, and what the future holds.

This interview was conducted Sunday after her second game with the Pride against her former team. Juron recorded a point in the 7-2 win. Boston is 17-0 heading into the season. She was officially announced to the Boston Pride roster today.

You’ve had the opportunity to return to the NWHL, but with a different team than you had played for in previous seasons. How did this first come onto your radar? Was it something you were looking for? Was it Boston reaching out?

It was actually extremely random and last minute. I no longer live in Buffalo, I moved to Syracuse for a new job. I was up this weekend visiting my boyfriend, he plays that Canisius, so I was coming up to watch the series. I happened to go over to the hotel that the Pride were staying at to see Kaleigh Fratkin who I played at BU with. I took her out to Whole Foods to get some food, dropped her back off and about 30 minutes later, their coach (Paul Mara) was texting me asking me if I wanted to play.

Sometimes I skate with my my boyfriend when they have open ice or something like that and I was like my bags in the car like I can play. I talked about it with my family quick, and with him quick, and it just seemed like a great, fun opportunity to play with a bunch of teammates and girls that I played against … in the past. And, it’s just hockey when it when it comes down to it and I thought it would be a lot of fun.

Let’s go back to May 2, 2019. What led up to you wanting to put your name and your weight behind the concept of for the game?

I think, as everyone knows, our entire buffalo team minus two players decided to do it collectively as a whole, and stick together. At the time, it was just all right. Like there’s this great opportunity. There’s a lot of things that could possibly happen for the future of women’s hockey, let’s all stick together. We loved our Buffalo team and we made that decision collectively as a whole. And I mean, it was all the stuff that’s come out all the conversations, everything has been super positive with everything that has to do with the PWHPA. I know they’ve put on some great events and they’re definitely making a lot of progress behind the scenes. I know that they had a big turnout, I think at some games they played this weekend (in Kingston). So I think what they’re doing is as great as well.

Jordan Juron confirmed her first PWHPA showcase was in New Hampshire in October

What you remember as far as the crowd and the fans, to maybe some of the logistics that were different than what you had been accustomed to with the Beauts in the past seasons?

It was an amazing event … with the PWHPA I was part of the Buffalo region. But when we went out to New Hampshire, they split the Buffalo region off on the same teams and ended up playing with primarily the group of girls from Boston. Again, I played at Boston University … and I knew a bunch of the girls in the room. So it was it was easy to walk into that locker room. It was fun.

They had a travel coordinator to coordinate all the flights. I actually had a Horrible trip out there. But we don’t need to get into that. Flight delays and I missed the team bus and all of that. But we stayed in a really nice hotel. It was it was a lot of fun. The place was packed. My dad was telling me that he was standing and it was three rows back from the glass at places where people were standing. It was a great showcase of hockey, skill, and competition. I think it really, everything they’re doing is positive.

What excites you about the possibility of having (a showcase model) as something for a women’s sports? What are some of the challenges or things that you still have questions about?

Well, I think right now, and obviously there’s there’s a lot up in the air. There’s a lot going behind the scenes that I’m not privy to and a lot of people aren’t privy to in terms of what the future of women’s hockey looks like. I don’t know what that’s going to look like. But I think that regardless of the players that are playing in the NWHL and the players that are playing in the PWHPA, the collective goal is is to form a sustainable future for women’s hockey and to give these little girls that come to the rink and that maybe the only girl on their boys team, the hope and the dream that … there’s another level, there’s something for you to strive for. I think that’s what it comes down to it. The game is the same no matter the format that you’re in, the league that you’re playing in.

It’s hockey, it’s three periods, you’re trying to put the puck in the net, you’re trying to win games. And if we can inspire girls across any of these platforms to continue to follow their dreams and pursue playing in the positions that we’re in then, then we’re doing it right.

To your knowledge does your participation in a PTO in the end who will eliminate you from being able to participate in any PWHPA showcases upcoming?

Yes, prior to the game, about two hours before I played yesterday when that media announcement went out around 5:45, I received the text from someone in the PWHPA stating that I will be removed from all future events and rosters.

So it seems as though, although you’re open to, from what from what you just said, any opportunity as it comes, it seems as though as of right now at least the PWHPA is not an option for you.

No, it’s not. And I had a feeling … I mean, obviously no one else has done it. No one else has made that jump. I can’t speak to what anyone else is thinking about in terms of where they want to play, but I did it because I wanted to play some hockey, to have some fun, and I actually will be finishing the season with Boston, in the NWHL.

You can hear my full interview with Jordan here.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Stephanie Livaudais, @Livaudais
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal High Post Hoops
Thursdays: Golf
By Carly Grenfell, @Carlygren
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster

Written by Erica L. Ayala