Back in May, more than 200 of the world’s best female hockey players announced that they would not play in an American hockey league during the upcoming season. The holdout is due to the CWHL shuttering and players’ dissatisfaction with the NWHL’s business model.
Those players, under the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association, have now announced a slate of tournaments and games they will play in the upcoming season. Dubbed The Dream Gap Tour, the showcases will take place in Toronto from September 20-22; Hudson, New Hampshire, from October 4–6; and Chicago, Illinois, from October 18–20.
— Hilary Knight (@HilaryKnight) August 28, 2019
According to The Athletic, the weekends will include a community engagement event on Friday and a four-team tournament Saturday and Sunday.
“There currently is not a league that consistently showcases the best product of women’s hockey in the world, pays its players a living wage and has the infrastructure to set the game up to succeed,” the PWHPA’s release states. “Such a league would represent an important step in closing the dream gap between young boys and girls.”
Additionally, cohorts of players will play against San Jose Sharks alumni on September 22 at SAP center and against Boston College on September 21 according to The Ice Garden.
Current sponsors of The Dream Gap Tour include Adidas and Billie Jean King Enterprises, according to the AP.
Billie Jean King hinted at collaboration at the US Open tennis tournament, where she snapped a photo with members of the PWHPA.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) August 27, 2019
Kendall Coyne Schofield noted that this model of traveling and playing tournaments is based in part on Premier League Lacrosse, which, like the PWHPA, consists of players frustrated with their current leagues and are holding out for better.
Coyne Schofield also said Premier Lacrosse League’s touring model was somewhat of an influence.
“We did talk about the PLL model and I know a few players have a relationship with some of the PLL players. We definitely did look at it, and what they’re doing is inspiring.”
— Marisa Ingemi (@Marisa_Ingemi) August 28, 2019
One important thing to note is that the players will not be paid for their appearances in these tournaments. Their goal instead, according to Coyne Schofield, is to attract stakeholders in the sport to financially back a new league.
“If you don’t have product, you don’t have anything,” Coyne Schofield told the Boston Herald. “We’re going to be showcasing an amazing product with some very high-level players in every corner of North America.”
Headline photo: @PWHPA
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