Two days after more than 200 women’s hockey players announced that they wouldn’t play in a North American hockey league until they receive adequate resources, the NHLPA has offered its support.
The labour union said in a statement posted to Twitter on Saturday that it was “encouraged” by the “#ForTheGame” movement, featuring players from both the Canadian Women’s Hockey League — which shuttered Wednesday — and the NWHL, including stars Marie-Philip Poulin, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Hilary Knight, Shannon Szabados, Amanda Kessel, Brianna Decker, Brianne Jenner and Noora Raty.
The NHLPA has been the target of criticism for the time it took to put out a statement.
The NFLPA, which represents NFL players, offered its solidarity Friday.
Following the announcement that the CWHL was closing last month, the NWHL revealed plans to create franchises in the vacated cities of Montreal and Toronto.
Despite assurances that the NWHL would offer increased salaries and a 50-50 revenue split of league sponsorships and media-rights deals, many players said the league doesn’t have a sustainable business model.
Upon its creation in 2015, the NWHL announced it would have an average salary of $15,000 per player, but the league cut pay by up to half the following year to save funds.
— With files from The Canadian Press