Mike Brophy - Wednesday Oct. 30, 2013 10:17 ET
Top 10 things to improve women’s hockey
Canadian icon offers he suggestions
Asked what she would do to improve the profile of women’s hockey, Hayley Wickenheiser had a number of suggestions:
- Encouraging international hockey countries and the International Ice Hockey Federation to show support for women’s hockey by putting the needed finances toward the preparation of women’s national Olympic teams. Hiring former successful female players and coaches in these countries and giving them the resources and positions to make a difference is essential.
- Creating a global long-range plan to get more women playing hockey. If the grassroots base expands and improves, national teams will be stronger in the long run.
- Requiring some of the top countries (teams ranked three through 10) to ‘hothouse’ their teams in North America prior to Olympic Games.
- Requiring countries that do not hothouse players to come to Canada and play in women’s leagues so they are playing competitive hockey for a longer period of time.
- Writing a strong business plan in North America with NHL teams helping the women’s game. Female players could then assist in their grassroots programming for female hockey.
- Making sure females have the same advantage as males in terms of the quality of ice time they receive so they are not just playing early mornings and late at night.
- Attracting and educating better coaches at every level in the women’s game.
- Expanding the exposure women’s hockey gets in North America by engaging current and former NHL executives to take an interest and advocate for developing the women’s game.
- Showcasing women’s hockey around the outdoor NHL games that are now played annually.
- Sending retired national team players from Canada and USA overseas to work with and mentor national teams and programs.