The IX: Hockey Friday with Erica L. Ayala, May 14, 2021
Breaking news: Nothing has changed! — Interview with Jincy Dunne — Must-click links
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Breaking news: Nothing has changed
It would appear the conversation about the relationship between the MNHL and WoHo is making rounds again. Wild thing is, the story hasn’t really changed all that much. Here is a recap:
The MNHL isn’t fully funding a women’s hockey league
Alright, wanted to keep things short and sweet as I get ready to head to Brooklyn for the New York Liberty season opener against the Indiana Fever. Catch you next week!
Jokes aside, what else is there to say?
All these think pieces by MNHL writers, more often than not, don’t offer any additional information. If you’ve read The IX for the last 2.5 years, you’ve read me write the same thing over and over and over again.
The NHL has been “talking” to women’s hockey leaders since before the NWHL started in 2015. There was one league, the CWHL and they didn’t move to do anything with the “WNHL”. Then the NWHL paid salaries (and then abruptly cut the salaries) and still, the WNHL remained on the shelf.
Then the CWHL and NWHL both paid players …
And then the CWHL folded …
And then the PWHPA started …
and where is the WNHL?
According to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly earlier this month (and always since the beginning of time), the MNHL’s position is to “let it remedy itself, and then we can evaluate what that means and how we move forward.”
I will say what I’ve always said about women’s hockey:
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for
WE DON’T NEED JUST ONE PRO OPTION!
Look at the WNBA, with only 144 (editor’s note: ish) spots and so much talent left on the table. If you wanna be like the best women’s pro league in the world, start learning from their mistakes.
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Week in Women’s Hockey
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Tara Watchorn tapped to lead Stonehill hockey program
Notorious MJP becomes first NWHL player to re-sign
Hockey Canada names Worlds roster, names Troy Ryan head coach
Gabby Fundaro with a solid breakdown of the roster.
“Me, my team, my staff, we had to do a deep dive of what it really means to be inclusive,”
Murphy, The Toronto Six, and the NWHL still have work to do, writes Ken Schultz
More from TIGs Overlooker Performance series:
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Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Jincy Dunne
O’Fallon, MO native Jincy Dunne and Team Minnesota get set for rescheduled St. Louis stop of PWHPA Dream Gap Tour.
What have been some of your main takeaways during this time, in life, and in hockey?
I guess you just never really know what’s gonna happen in life. You can plan as much as you want, but at the end of the day, a pandemic can just come right around. For me, it really got me to slow down. And I learned that I have everything I need, it’s right in front of me.
It was an opportunity for me to really fall in love with some things all over again … ice was really limited to come by, and I was home with my family. When we would get ice, I have five siblings, we would go out there and we would play, mess around, we would swim in the backyard when it was nice enough … so I’m really just inviting play back into hockey and kind of taking it out of that competitive setting and really slowing down.
Wow, that’s absolutely beautiful, and a welcome reminder for myself today. Now you do have this renewed opportunity to play hockey in an area of the country that you’re very familiar with. What excites you most about the upcoming PWHPA stop in Missouri?
I’m so excited about it. I think that you know once people begin to see (women’s hockey) more – because you’re not going to love something you know nothing about and you’re not attached to. So the fact that we can show ourselves and be on TV and get to play and people get to watch us shows that people do want to watch us play. People do want to see women’s hockey grow and become a thing. I love that the St Louis Blues offered to host us for this weekend. I think a lot of times, especially with COVID, something happens and then they cancel it and they don’t ever make the effort to reschedule it. The fact that the Blues took the time to reschedule it, to really make sure that we can get here and be seen, I think that’s great. I’m excited to see where it goes because I think it’s really starting to get some momentum now.
What have been things you really have enjoyed or that have surprised you, in a good way, as far as the unique scoring model?
I think the scoring is actually pretty fun. You have to think about it because there are a couple of times where we didn’t want to pull our goalie because then if they would have gotten another goal it would have given them an extra point. In a normal hockey situation, you would have pulled your goalie at that point. I love the option of on a penalty kill, you could potentially get a point if you score, because I think it gives you more of an offensive attack mindset. It’s just another opportunity for people to recognize women’s hockey. It’s important to separate it from the men and to really appreciate men’s hockey as it is and women’s hockey as it is.
Yes, they’re the same sport, but they’re different, as well. I like that it gives us a little uniqueness.
I love that. What excites you as someone who’s an up-and-coming professional, as you see a lot of different women’s sports take unique approaches to the business side of women’s sports?
I think that’s great! I think you have to have that foundation, that steady foundation that you can build off. But people love to see new things happen as well. And I think, again, if you can separate the men’s and women’s games, and people can learn to appreciate each one individually for what they are, I think people are going to stand behind that and fall in love with that. You have to be willing to take risks in certain areas or just not be afraid to try something new. When it’s authentic and it’s genuine and you really want the fans and the players and everyone involved, there’s a goodness that surrounds it. I think people get behind it.
I love it. And finally, this is your first PWHPA Dream Gap Tour. When you do hit the ice or when you have an opportunity to cross-train, what are some of the goals that you still have for yourself as a hockey player?
One thing, I would say I’ve learned and COVID is to just still have fun, like, still fall in love with it. It’s okay to be an amateur at some things, I don’t have to be a perfectionist in all areas. And there’s actually fun when you get to learn something new or when you’re not great at something, and you get to develop that skill over time. So I think just keeping that in the forefront of my mind and not being so hard on myself.
I learned that through Ohio State when our season was canceled, which was really sad because we were having such a great year. You never know what’s going to be your last game. And when you’re given gifts and abilities and talents, you have a responsibility to use those to the best of your ability. You could use Kendall Coyne and Hilary Knight as an example. They use their skills and their abilities not just for themselves, but they do it to help the next generation of young women as well. And I think that, especially at a professional level, as we are trying to develop this game, we all have that responsibility. I’m making sure I’m not wasting that and that I’m giving it the respect that it deserves.