National Hockey League puts premium on women's game

Tanya Simon
January 16, 2020

In December 2015, teams representing the Canadian Women's Hockey League and the US -based National Women's Hockey League played an exhibition game in the lead up to the Winter Classic in Boston.

Last year, four women were invited to take part in All-Star weekend events in San Jose, California.

The players who will attend the all-star weekend are part of the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association and are now participating in the Dream Gap Tour where 200 of the top female hockey players in North America have been traveling across the continent to compete in a series of games.

The NHL is also adding a new event, called "Shooting Stars", in which eight NHL players and two of the female players will shoot pucks from the stands at targets on the ice.

The All-Star festivities in St. Louis later this month will reportedly have a women's US vs.

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The women selected to play in the All-Star weekend event are part of the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association, a pool of players who are boycotting professional hockey this year in an effort to find a more sustainable league.

Two years ago, the league invited members of the USA women's national team to demonstrate drills during the skills events.

The addition of a women's 3-on-3 game is seen as the latest step in the league's bid to promote women's hockey.

Sources told The Athletic that no players from the National Women's Hockey League are expected to participate in the event.

The all-star weekend will take place on January 24 and 25 with a skills competition and 3-on-3 tournament.

The 3-on-3 scrimmage will feature some of the world's highest-profile players. After the Canadian Women's Hockey League folded a year ago, more than 200 players formed the Professional Women's Hockey Players' Association and announced that they would be boycotting playing in North America until a single league received equitable and sustainable support. The NWHL is in the middle of its fifth season, with teams made up of patchwork rosters.

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