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More than 200 players call for overhaul of women’s pro hockey

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TSN Hockey Insider


More than 200 women — including superstars Marie-Philip Poulin of Canada as well as Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne-Schofield of the United States — have banded together in an effort to create a new future for the women’s professional game.

And that immediate future comes in the form of a bold statement, both literally and figuratively, that could mean there will be no high-level women’s hockey league in 2019-20.

“We will not play in ANY professional leagues in North America this season until we get the resources that professional hockey demands and deserves,” says a prepared statement released Thursday morning by a group of women players that is believed to number at least 200.

“We cannot make a sustainable living playing in the current state of the professional game,” the statement adds. “Having no health insurance and making as low as two thousand dollars a season means players can’t adequately train and prepare to play at the highest level.”

This stand by not only the game’s high-profile players but so many of the rank-and-file players would seemingly put the five-team U.S.-based National Women’s Hockey League out of business for the coming season or damage its credibility beyond repair.

The NWHL is the sole remaining professional league after the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) folded March 31 following 12 years of operation. A significant number of NWHL players are believed to have endorsed the statement.

“The thought of not playing in a pro league [next season] is daunting and nerve-racking,” said Knight, who played in the now-defunct CWHL last season. “But we firmly believe we’re doing the right thing for our sport and that when we do play, we will do so in a........