Good news first.
We finally have just one women’s pro hockey league in North America.
Everything about this is filthy.
This all started when the PWHPA players refused to play in the PHF(formerly NWHL) because it wasn’t going to compensate them well enough. They expected the PHF to fail without them. Instead, it made progress.
The PHF this year raised the salary cap, and some of the top players had salaries up to $150k! Finally could quit their day jobs and play hockey. They also had 7 whole teams worth of players.
The PWHPA though, had big time partners with deep pockets. Billie Jean King and some billionaire who owns the Dodgers. Just now, they bought the PHF.
Here’s what we know about this purchase so far. There will be six teams next season, not seven. A team will be eliminated. Each team will have 23 roster spots. A lot of players out there are not going to make the cut, especially many of those who had PHF contracts already signed.
PHF players had their contracts voided. They’ll get some health care, and some severance. They won’t be bought out fully. They just get hosed if they can’t get a spot in the new league.
There is a new CBA. It doesn’t seem likely that the PHF players will be part of the negotiating process, but PWHPA players will be. If that’s true, then if any PHF players make it onto a team in the new league they’ll just have to sign it and won’t be able to have input in negotiations until the next time.
The new league owns all the rights to the IP of the PHF. But will they use it? Will teams be renamed? Rethemed? Who knows.
TL;DR: Happy there will be one league with the best players to enjoy watching. Upset that it’s going to start with a really bad taste in the mouth.
I am slowly catching up with this and I think this is the best video to explain the whole (ice hockey) booktok v Seattle Krakens.
Fuck Mike Babcock and fuck the Columbus Blue Jackets for even trying.
For people not in the know, Babcock was an NHL coach who, despite winning a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008 and a gold medal with Canada in 2010, is absolutely despised by a large amount of players in the league. In 2019 he got fired from his position as head coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs after a 6-game losing streak while at the same time embroiled in a story of him mistreating his players. For example he had Leafs rookie Mitch Marner rank his teammates by work ethic, then turned around and shared the list with the team. Several other stories from his time with the Wings also come to focus.
Babcock became persona non-grata, but found a job with the University of Saskatchewan in 2021.
This summer the Columbus Blue Jackets hired Babcock as their head coach. Babcock lasted two months until a story surfaced where he went through players phones and projected their private photos onto a tv screen via air play. Babcock resigned yesterday. The pre-season hasn’t even started yet.
Here’s hoping that teams finally learn their lesson with the old hockey mans, but we know they won’t.
Yeah, they fucked up bringing him back, but at least they investigated and dumped him quickly. The leash was as short as could possibly be. This is an improvement over the old NHL that would have covered it up and such. And they did attempt to do just that before quickly changing the tune. They’re still far from where they need to be, but this is an improvement.
The person I’m most disappointed in is John Davidson, president of hockey operations for Columbus. I haven’t seen anyone bring his name up, but certainly he is the one ultimately responsible for this whole thing to begin with. The dude was a legendary broadcaster for the Rangers back in the day. Just great on TV, and such a likeable guy.
The Rangers eventually gave him the job of team president, but he fucked that up somehow. Piece of shit Dolan fired him and the GM somewhat suddenly and suddenly a few seasons back, which put us into the Drury era. At the time I was like WTF Dolan. Columbus took him right back.
But now I’m realizing that no matter how nice a guy JD seems to be, maybe he’s just shit at running a team. All the teams he has been president of have been bad on the ice, and are frequently bad off the ice as well. Dude needs to give up on this and go back to broadcasting, which he’s actually good at. Or maybe just retire. I feel bad for Columbus fans if he gets renewed at the end of his deal.
The tricky part is that hockey is random enough to where we might not have statistically significant samples to differentiate that influence from all the other factors in a playoff run or record.
Just in general. Some dynasties won a cup on dicey OT goals, some wildcards have gone deep out of nowhere. One really good player appears for some seasons.
But also, no wildcard has ever won the Stanley Cup