The IX Newsletter: How to fall in love with hockey

Hello all:

A new issue of The IX Newsletter: Hockey Edition went out yesterday!  Be sure to subscribe so you get all the goods directly into your inbox. The latest newsletter includes how I became a hockey fan, great work about the CWHL and NWHL Championship games, and my interview with Isobel Cup Champions Kiira Dosdall. Here is a peek!

How to fall in love with hockey – Links around the sport – Interview with Isobel Cup winner Kiira Dosdall

For me, hockey started as something to get me through the baseball season. As Terry Kay in An Affair to Remember once said, winter is cold for those with no warm memories—bitterly cold as a Mets fan.

In the midst of the 2015 MLB Playoffs, I began taking my younger sister to hockey games. She always indulged my passion for baseball, so I returned the favor when she told me a new women’s hockey team, the Riveters, was coming to New York. What started as a casual interest quickly became more.

You see, growing the game is not only about enrollment in youth hockey. Growing the game is not only about giving players a place to play after college or a season or two overseas. Whether intended or not, growing women’s hockey also grows opportunities for women in sport. Either as writers, owners, or fans.

With forgiveness for delving into Annie’s territory, I would recommend reading Jamie Goldberg’s piece in The Oregonian/Oregon Live about Portland Thorns/Timbers owner Merritt Paulson. The story actually came to my attention because of a tweet by Cheryl Reeve. Like Lynx GM/Head Coach Reeve, I was taken by the line, ” … Paulson also took steps to make sure the Thorns’ logo was just as prominent as that of the Timbers at Providence Park and that the organization marketed the Thorns to fans of all ages, rather than treating it like a niche product for young girls.”

The NWHL now has half of its original teams partially or fully owned by NHL owners. Luckily for me, banter with a Kansas-native about baseball during the first hooked me to women’s hockey. However, in three seasons I have seen little active marketing and engagement for an older audience. Attracting younger fans is an important strategy, but so too is getting parents to enjoy the game as well. Furthermore, there is an untapped market of young adults who may not have children, but remember the 1998 Olympic Gold Medal, or when the CWHL began in 2007.

NWHLPA director Anya Battaglino often says a rising tide raises all boats. There are lessons to learn from the NWSL and the WNBA. So far, both the CWHL and NWHL seem to see their brother league, the NHL, as the gold standard. That may be true. However, diversification is considered good economic (not to mention social, more on that another day) practice.

This Week in Women’s Hockey 

Friend of The IX Jamie Lee Rattray and teammate Liz Knox join Puck Talks and bring The Clarkson Cup!

The Riveters have been led by Ashley Johnson for three seasons. The Athletic writes about her personal journey.

As the CWHL, NWHL and Swiss league wrap up, the Russian league heads into playoffs with one team way ahead of the pack.

Here is some insight regarding NWHL salaries via Isobel Cup Champion Tatiana Rafter‘s twitter thread.

Lifetime hockey player Serah Small sheds the shame associated with breastfeeding, shares her love of the sport with her infant daughter.

The NHL congratulates the Markham Thunder and Metropolitan Riveters on the Clarkson Cup and Isobel Cup Championships, respectively.

The Dynamic Duo Erica Howe and Liz Knox led Markham to a Clarkson Cup, writes Mike Murphy for The Ice Garden.

Digit Murphy shares strong feelings regarding NHL involvement in women’s hockey in this interview with Hannah Bevis of The Ice Garden.

Bonus links:

Chad Wiseman leads the Riveters one last time

Markham Thunder capture first Clarkson Cup, writes Kirsten Whelan

Tweet of the week!

For my interview with Riveters defender Kiira Dosdall, click here. Be sure to subscribe to The IX Newsletter for your weekly digest of women’s sports!

Your Curated Guide to Women’s Sports

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, AP Women’s Soccer
Twitter: @AnnieMPeterson

Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, High Post Hoops
Twitter: @HowardMegdal

Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, NWHL Broadcaster
Twitter: @Elindsay08

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