For Ottawa’s first PWHL players, new hockey league a dream come true

As one of only six franchises playing in the inaugural season of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL), Ottawa’s team has already scored three of Canada’s top players.

Forwards Emily Clark and Brianne Jenner and goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer have each signed three-year deals with the yet-unnamed team ahead of the upcoming draft.

All three played for the women’s national team and have earned Olympic medals for Canada. 

The honour of being the first player signed to the league is “still sinking in, but definitely a dream come true,” Clark told CBC Radio’s All In A Day.

From a young age, Clark said, she’d always wanted to be the “first girl” to play for the NHL.

The 27-year-old from Saskatoon said she never gave up on the dream of playing professional hockey — and joining the PWHL means she’s been able to make it happen.

“I feel like a kid, honestly, with the excitement around it,” said Clark, adding she’s excited to move to Ottawa and explore her neighbourhood and local restaurants.

All in a Day8:30Emily Clark embraces move to Ottawa’s new PWHL team

Ottawa’s new professional women’s hockey team has signed its first three players

Ottawa ‘the right fit’

Jenner said signing with Ottawa was “absolutely” her first choice.

“It’s the right fit for me, the right fit for my family,” the 33-year-old from Oakville, Ont., told CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning. “We’re just so excited to get there, get to know the community and become a part of the community.”

Jenner, who’s played hockey since she was just two, said she’s thrilled that young women and girls now have a professional league as well as the national team to look up to.

“It’s just so monumental for our sport [and] for our future generations of girls and boys,” she said.

Brianne Jenner said she can’t wait to build a community in Ottawa. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

The new league was created with participation from members of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association — a group for which Jenner served as a founding board member.

She said she’s proud to have been part of the players’ association bargaining committee, which negotiated salary minimums and controls over player distribution.

The collective bargaining agreement, Jenner said, is a good deal — and not just for the owners.

“[It’s] a great document for the players too, [one] that’s going to protect them and provide them a professional environment that we’ve never ever seen before in our sport.”

Jenner said that with the launch of the PWHL, she’s never been more optimistic about women’s sports. The pursuit of fair pay for the league, she added, is one of her many goals in building a team and fanbase in Ottawa. 

Ottawa Morning7:59Brianne Jenner on joining Ottawa’s PWHL team

The Canadian Olympian shares her hopes for the Professional Women’s Hockey League and what it means to play for team Ottawa.

Ottawa’s team joins other clubs in  Boston, Minnesota, New York, Montreal and Toronto for the inaugural season of the PWHL, which begins in January.

They’ll play 24 regular season games running through to late May or early June.

“We have a lot of hard work [ahead] between now and puck drop,” said Clark.

Source link

Source: News

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *