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HankScorpio
01-18-2014, 11:18 AM
So there's been a lot of buzz on Twitter recently of the announcement of a Women's Professional Hockey League that will be starting up. I've heard time frames of 2014 and 2015 so not sure on that. Basically they want to start up a women's league with 10 teams. First off before I get into more details here are some basic links:

- WPHL website: http://mycompanies.com/wphl/
- WPHL Twitter account: https://twitter.com/WomenProHockey

Sounds good so far, they want to start up a women's league that will pay higher salaries than what the CWHL does (which is pretty much nothing). Here is the info they have been passing out to potential players as what they could expect for being payed.

-1st year $60,000
-Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance
-Pension after eight years in the league. Paid out in 2028 30% of average league salary.
-pay $50 of game check to pension fund
-Must do personal appearances such as Radio, TV, and Magazine interviews
-Paid incentives for winning championships
-Some other incentives include:
-top point getter in league
-Top goal scorer in league
-Top assist getter in league
-All Star selection

Wow, 60k a year and a health plan? That's pretty good, a little too good if you ask me. I don't know what the CWHL is like for turning a profit, but considering every NCAA women's hockey team loses money I can see how a brand new 10 team league is going to start up out of nowhere and expect to pay, what I assume to be, an average salary of 60k to its players.

Upon closer inspection, the investors/owners behind the league are the same people that run the Premier Basketball League (PBL), Dr. Sev Hrywnak (http://thepbl.com/about-the-pbl/board-of-directors/dr-severko-hrywnak-chairman-of-the-board/) looks to be the man behind the curtain. Good on him for wanting to promote women's hockey, but when looking into the average salary of PBL players they get around 300-700 dollars a week for a 12 week season. (source: http://ww2.gazette.net/stories/012308/montspo174627_32355.shtml). So average that to $500/week for 12 weeks and you get 6,000 dollars. Maybe the WPHL people just put one too many zeros on their quoted salary.

Additionally, I've heard that their salaries will not be guaranteed, and instead will be "prorated". Even then, a 60k/year salary works out to 1,153 a week, so for a 12 week season it's only about 14k, a far cry from 60k. But still a bigger problem I see, how do they expect to pay women's hockey players more money than basketball players? Basketball is a much bigger spectator sport, and while minor league basketball isn't going to be as popular as the NBA, I still don't see a women's pro league out-drawing a basketball league.

Lastly, another big question. What about foreign players? They need work visas to stay in the U.S. for more than 3 months. And you can't get a work visa if you're salary isn't going to be guaranteed! Another big problem with the work visa issue is that I've heard they won't help foreign players get them, they are on their own for attaining visas. So pretty much scratch off any Canadian or Europeans playing in this league, unless they make a Canadian team.

I really hope a women's pro league could be started up in North America, but I think it needs to start with the NHL. Give each NHL team ownership over a women's team. The NHL team then sponsors them, they already have deals in place with equipment companies, hotels, travel companies, ice rinks, etc. And then have entry level jobs in the NHL clubs start with their women's team. You want to be the director of marketing for the Maple Leafs? Well start off as an intern with the Furies and see what you can do in a tougher market, and then work your way up. The NHL already has the infrastructure to support a women's league, we just need to give the ownership of the individual teams to the individual NHL team owners, i.e. English Premier League (soccer) teams have ladies teams that they support, do it like that. example - http://www.arsenal.com/ladies/players

I for one would like to see more from the WPHL in the coming weeks about how they expect everything to work. But for now, I'm going to stick to "sounds too good to be true".

ARM
01-18-2014, 12:27 PM
Basically they want to start up a women's league with 10 teams.I agree that they'd need involvement from the NHL to do it right. Personally, I wouldn't start with more than six teams, and teams could split their home games between two cities. I think that the talent pool gets too diluted if you try to go any deeper than that. But I'd wait. Once the NCAA starts drawing respectable numbers at more than one or two locations, then it would make more sense. If fans don't turn out for NCAA hockey on the East Coast, then they aren't likely to embrace a pro league either.

WiscDC
01-18-2014, 12:53 PM
I agree that they'd need involvement from the NHL to do it right. Personally, I wouldn't start with more than six teams, and teams could split their home games between two cities. I think that the talent pool gets too diluted if you try to go any deeper than that. But I'd wait. Once the NCAA starts drawing respectable numbers at more than one or two locations, then it would make more sense. If fans don't turn out for NCAA hockey on the East Coast, then they aren't likely to embrace a pro league either.

If they want to be bigger than the CWHL, it would need NHL involvement, like the WNBA has with the NBA. Also, I wouldn't expect more than 1 or 2 American teams in this league for an extremely long time, or ever.

HankScorpio
01-18-2014, 05:12 PM
If they want to be bigger than the CWHL, it would need NHL involvement, like the WNBA has with the NBA. Also, I wouldn't expect more than 1 or 2 American teams in this league for an extremely long time, or ever.

Exactly. I could see teams surviving in hockey markets, like Boston, Minneapolis, Providence and maybe Ann Arbor. But they also want teams in Chicago, Rochester, NY, Indianapolis, Iowa City, Columbus, and Nashville. There's no way a women's team could survive in Iowa City, especially right off the get-go.

pokechecker
01-18-2014, 05:20 PM
If fans don't turn out for NCAA hockey on the East Coast, then they aren't likely to embrace a pro league either.

this

the league is DOA

WiscDC
01-18-2014, 08:22 PM
Exactly. I could see teams surviving in hockey markets, like Boston, Minneapolis, Providence and maybe Ann Arbor. But they also want teams in Chicago, Rochester, NY, Indianapolis, Iowa City, Columbus, and Nashville. There's no way a women's team could survive in Iowa City, especially right off the get-go.

I just don't see pro women's hockey being successful in any of those places besides Boston (see the Blades) and Minneapolis. The WNBA has to fight for relevancy in its American markets, and women's basketball is worlds ahead of women's hockey everywhere in the US besides the top few women's college hockey market.

96IllinoisDad
01-18-2014, 08:45 PM
I was once in the market to buy a Junior team and reviewed the business economics. In general, the economics were not good, but it turned out economically that Chicago was a horrible place to have a team. It is saturated with other options and far more competition for advertisers and sponsors. The most successful teams were from areas with not much else going on like Fargo, Wenatchee (Wa.) etc.

So, as a business and a stand alone enterprise (i.e., not being supported by NHL), I wouldn't be surprised if Iowa City was far more successful than a place like Boston.

ExHockeyguy
01-18-2014, 09:15 PM
I was once in the market to buy a Junior team and reviewed the business economics. In general, the economics were not good, but it turned out economically that Chicago was a horrible place to have a team. It is saturated with other options and far more competition for advertisers and sponsors. The most successful teams were from areas with not much else going on like Fargo, Wenatchee (Wa.) etc.

So, as a business and a stand alone enterprise (i.e., not being supported by NHL), I wouldn't be surprised if Iowa City was far more successful than a place like Boston.

I agree Dad. Remember how the USHL was many years ago? Omaha (back before it was an actual hockey town); or the ECHL (deep in the south) or the IHL (Texas and the west)? They survived because they were in non-traditional markets and as such developed a cult following. The only show in town. That plus all the fighting and craziness that minor league hockey brings. Bottom line for the women, they would need a huge fan base - which doesn't exist anywhere (let's be real) - and be something of an oddity. Las Vegas comes to mind as another place it could have half a chance. Or maybe another country. Australia could work. And they need to get rid of the facemasks. I can't believe they still wear them on the international level (like worlds and Olympics).
Previous posters all made good points against the possibility. Like Dr. Phil would say "This dog ain't gonna hunt."

D2D
01-19-2014, 12:09 AM
I just don't see pro women's hockey being successful in any of those places besides Boston (see the Blades) and Minneapolis.

Even Minneapolis is a stretch, or more accurately probably a pipe dream, if this past weekend is any indication. For the Gopher women's game at 4:30, TCF Bank Stadium was nearly empty - very disappointing considering their No. 1 ranking and all the hype the media gave to the event. But it seemed that as soon as the women's game ended, the place really started to fill up, to the point where it was nearly full (45,000) for the men's game, which made for a totally different atmosphere. Given all the success the Gopher women's team has had over the past few years, and with their very low ticket prices, Ridder Arena should be selling out most every game...but it's usually only about two-thirds full. So given the expenses outlined for the pro league, with the salary levels and benefits they are advertising, I can't see a pro team coming close to making it financially, even in Minneapolis. Sad, but true - IMO.

WiscDC
01-19-2014, 02:46 AM
Even Minneapolis is a stretch, or more accurately probably a pipe dream, if this past weekend is any indication. For the Gopher women's game at 4:30, TCF Bank Stadium was nearly empty - very disappointing considering their No. 1 ranking and all the hype the media gave to the event. But it seemed that as soon as the women's game ended, the place really started to fill up, to the point where it was nearly full (45,000) for the men's game, which made for a totally different atmosphere. Given all the success the Gopher women's team has had over the past few years, and with their very low ticket prices, Ridder Arena should be selling out most every game...but it's usually only about two-thirds full. So given the expenses outlined for the pro league, with the salary levels and benefits they are advertising, I can't see a pro team coming close to making it financially, even in Minneapolis. Sad, but true - IMO.

Well, if the number of people who showed up for the women's game at TCF Bank Stadium showed up at whatever rink a pro women's team is playing at, they'd be doing about as well as they could expect in the US. Women's hockey is going to be way off of most people's radars, and I would guess a lot of American hockey fans who follow women's hockey to some degree do so largely through or because of college hockey. Even before the big streak, the Gopher women's team had a presence. If they're trying to draw regular crowds upwards of 5000, it doesn't look so great.

As for the other concerns you mentioned, I agree. The idea of a pro women's hockey league with many US teams seams absolutely insane to me, but Minneapolis is a place that doesn't seem so insane. No matter what, it will be a niche league with a small following, even more so than the WNBA, and more so than the professional women's soccer leagues we've seen. In the US, I could see teams in various northern "frozen outpost" type of towns, and in the Twin Cities. I could see something in Boston if the Blades were that team. (I say this having no idea what this rumored league's relationship with the CWHL would be, and that something there would have to give.) Other than that, it would be in Canada, and could be up there like the WNBA is here. I should note that when I say, "I could see," I mean that those options are at least slightly more realistic than only a pipe dream, not that I think it's likely.

D2D
01-19-2014, 10:27 AM
I should note that when I say, "I could see," I mean that those options are at least slightly more realistic than only a pipe dream, not that I think it's likely.

I just don't see this league being able to make it, even in the places you mention, if revenues are expected to cover the (high) expenses. At $60,000 each, player salaries alone would cost over $1,000,000, and that's just for starters. Salaries for coaches, trainers, equipment managers and officials; travel expenses; arena rentals; the cost of equipment and sticks; insurance...the list goes on. Hate to be a party pooper, just trying to be realistic.

pokechecker
01-19-2014, 02:04 PM
Well, if the number of people who showed up for the women's game at TCF Bank Stadium showed up at whatever rink a pro women's team is playing at, they'd be doing about as well as they could expect in the US. Women's hockey is going to be way off of most people's radars, and I would guess a lot of American hockey fans who follow women's hockey to some degree do so largely through or because of college hockey. Even before the big streak, the Gopher women's team had a presence. If they're trying to draw regular crowds upwards of 5000, it doesn't look so great.

As for the other concerns you mentioned, I agree. The idea of a pro women's hockey league with many US teams seams absolutely insane to me, but Minneapolis is a place that doesn't seem so insane. No matter what, it will be a niche league with a small following, even more so than the WNBA, and more so than the professional women's soccer leagues we've seen. In the US, I could see teams in various northern "frozen outpost" type of towns, and in the Twin Cities. I could see something in Boston if the Blades were that team. (I say this having no idea what this rumored league's relationship with the CWHL would be, and that something there would have to give.) Other than that, it would be in Canada, and could be up there like the WNBA is here. I should note that when I say, "I could see," I mean that those options are at least slightly more realistic than only a pipe dream, not that I think it's likely.

FYI, up until the 1st Wisconsin game last year, the typical MN crowd was 1,000, they sold out the first WI game because tickets were a buck and ... it was Wisconsin, that is the game and series that turned it around, since they have been pulling in about twice as many fans

a team in Minneapolis would draw nobody, everyone is too busy watching high school & college.

They'd be better off putting a team in Des Moines and other places that don't have the competition of pro leagues, but still, I doubt if anybody would come to watch.

Golden Tuuk
01-19-2014, 04:03 PM
a team in Minneapolis would draw nobody, everyone is too busy watching high school & college.

Yep, it's crazy talk.

You have the Gopher men, Gopher women, Wild, and quality high school boys.

WiscDC
01-19-2014, 04:12 PM
Yep, it's crazy talk.

You have the Gopher men, Gopher women, Wild, and quality high school boys.

Boston has the Bruins and a few colleges, and other big league sports teams. People are too busy with [I]everywhere. I just suspect that a handful of people in Minneapolis is more likely to warm up to a women's pro team than other places in the US. Again, the goals proposed below seem kind of crazy, and I'm not disputing that.

Edit: I brought up Boston because the Boston Blades exist. I know they're worlds away from the hypothetical league presented in this thread.

OnMAA
01-19-2014, 05:59 PM
I just don't see this league being able to make it, even in the places you mention, if revenues are expected to cover the (high) expenses. At $60,000 each, player salaries alone would cost over $1,000,000, and that's just for starters. Salaries for coaches, trainers, equipment managers and officials; travel expenses; arena rentals; the cost of equipment and sticks; insurance...the list goes on. Hate to be a party pooper, just trying to be realistic.

Agree with that sentiment. Unrealistic goals/objectives. Just look at the past experiences of the NWHL, CWHL and any other predecessors. None have even come close to succeeding on the financial front. Cannot see that changing anytime soon.

HankScorpio
01-22-2014, 10:56 AM
Haven't seen anything new from their twitter feed or website in a while. Did they collapse that quickly??

Just a Spectator!
01-22-2014, 02:37 PM
So there's been a lot of buzz on Twitter recently of the announcement of a Women's Professional Hockey League that will be starting up. I've heard time frames of 2014 and 2015 so not sure on that. Basically they want to start up a women's league with 10 teams. First off before I get into more details here are some basic links:

- WPHL website: http://mycompanies.com/wphl/
- WPHL Twitter account: https://twitter.com/WomenProHockey

Sounds good so far, they want to start up a women's league that will pay higher salaries than what the CWHL does (which is pretty much nothing). Here is the info they have been passing out to potential players as what they could expect for being payed.

-1st year $60,000
-Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance
-Pension after eight years in the league. Paid out in 2028 30% of average league salary.
-pay $50 of game check to pension fund
-Must do personal appearances such as Radio, TV, and Magazine interviews
-Paid incentives for winning championships
-Some other incentives include:
-top point getter in league
-Top goal scorer in league
-Top assist getter in league
-All Star selection

WOW!!! I'd Quit my job!!!

Veritas
01-22-2014, 11:10 PM
One problem with the CWHL (if Boston Blades is an example) is that they don't really have home ice. They move around like a bunch of gypsies. A couple of times I looked at their schedule and they were playing in Connecticut, Rhode Island, etc. Last year they played some games in SOmerville MA but at a rink with no real parking available and most of the parking in the area is resident sticker (and SOmerville meter maids are a bit like sharks)

Hux
01-23-2014, 07:00 AM
One problem with the CWHL (if Boston Blades is an example) is that they don't really have home ice. They move around like a bunch of gypsies. A couple of times I looked at their schedule and they were playing in Connecticut, Rhode Island, etc. Last year they played some games in SOmerville MA but at a rink with no real parking available and most of the parking in the area is resident sticker (and SOmerville meter maids are a bit like sharks)

That is because the league mandates practice times that are pretty much impossible to secure.

clarksoncluck
01-23-2014, 08:29 AM
That is because the league mandates practice times that are pretty much impossible to secure.

Whoever follows women's hockey tend to agree that pro-female hockey won't work currently. I feel the same, and I used to have an interest in a privately funded women's senior hockey team. Lost more money than my wife would endure and pulled out.

Butttttt - I think in this sport of female hockey, we all like to jump on the naysayer bandwagon. But it could work, should work, and will work at some point in time. "I hope"

Is the timing right, who knows, but what I can say is that all of you are big supporters of female hockey and we are the first ones to shut this down. Maybe we are thinking we are realists for the current environment, but it is a little sad that we are the first to shoot down the idea.

To me, a Canadian, if you asked me if a WNBA would ever work before it started up, I would have laughed out loud!

Am I surprised it works, absolutely!

So, I think the thing we should all do is help this group figure out how to make this work, not tear it down. There are many very bright posters within these blogs, and I think it's time to provide assistance not road blocks.