“It was a no-brainer, joining this league. I’m actually getting paid,” 24-year-old former Canadian women’s hockey league player Brianna Decker told Bloomberg. Decker is now a member of the Boston Pride, a team in the newly created National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). The annual salary in the league is $15,000 and players receive a percentage of their jersey sales. “I mean, I know I’m not going to be rich,” Decker said. “But I don’t play hockey to be rich.”
Decker is one of the many national team and former collegiate athletes playing in the inaugural season of Dani Rylan’s NWHL. Rylan, a former Northeastern University hockey player, launched the league in October and hopes it will one day rival the NHL in size. It is the first professional league for women ice hockey players in the US.
“Unless you’re good enough for the Olympics, your career basically ends with college,” Rylan told Bloomberg. The 28-year old wanted to create more opportunity for women on the ice. The league is currently funded through private donations and Rylan is seeking sponsorship opportunities.
The 18-game season lasts from October to February and so far, many of the fans are female, specifically, young girls.
“That’s what I want, for a little girl to watch one of our games and know, when I grow up, I can play hockey,” Rylan told Bloomberg. “And hopefully, when that girl grows up, she’ll be able to make more money playing it.”
Read the full story at Bloomberg.