Professional Women Hockey Players Are Finally Getting Their Own League

The brand-new National Women's Hockey League is headed for the ice.

Most Popular

Hockey star Hilary Knight scored three goals 
in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, helping the U.S. women's team take home the silver medal. But when the Games ended, Knight had few options to continue playing. 

Why? Because, until recently, there was no pro hockey league for women in the U.S. "It's troubling when you've got this skill set and you can't get rewarded for it," says Knight, 26. "A lot of women give up their dream of playing hockey because there isn't a place for them." 

Until recently, there was no pro hockey league for women in the U.S.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Fortunately, the state of play is finally changing for 
the nation's female hockey players. On October 11, the brand-new National Women's Hockey League will take to the ice. 
The four teams—the Buffalo Beauts, Boston Pride, New York Riveters, and Connecticut Whale—will face off in 
18 matches throughout the six-month-long season. 

The 
salary is nothing like what their male NHL counterparts receive, but earning a paycheck (an average of $15,000 for the season) is huge for the league's 72 female players, who typically have to foot the bill for equipment, travel, and other expenses on their own. "Now, future generations can say, 'I want to be a professional hockey player,' and have that mean something," says Knight, who plays for Boston. 

Most Popular

And like the men who vie for the Stanley Cup, the women will also compete in championship playoffs when the season ends in March. The prize: The Isobel Cup, which, fittingly, is named after Stanley's daughter.

A version of this article appears in the November issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands now.

Follow Marie Claire on Instagram for the latest celeb news, pretty pics, funny stuff, and an insider POV.

More from Marie Claire:
Culture
Share
The 11 Most Essential Memes of 2017
Culture
Share
Ed Sheeran's 'Game of Thrones' Scene Might Have a Much Darker Meaning
Culture
Share
Let's Parse Through All the Deeply Awkward and Incredibly Painful Moments in 'Valerian'
Culture
Share
The 'Game of Thrones' Showrunners Are Working on a Controversial New TV Series
Culture
Share
A Teaser for 'American Horror Story' Season 7 Just Debuted, and It's Beyond Creepy
Culture
Share
2 New 'Harry Potter' Books Are Set to Be Published in October
Culture
Share
'Game of Thrones' Director Has Some Thoughts on How Much You Hated Ed Sheeran's Appearance
Culture
Share
Quench Your 'Outlander' Thirst with the Brand New Season 3 Trailer
The Little Mermaid
Culture
Share
Yesssss: Lin-Manuel Miranda Is Writing The New 'Little Mermaid' Score
Culture
Share
The First Trailer for 'Bachelor in Paradise's Recovered Season Is Here...and It's Weird