June 26, 2022

Angela James stands at centre ice throughout a pre-game ceremony in Toronto, on Nov. 6, 2010.Chris Younger/The Canadian Press

Hockey Corridor of Fame member Angela James opened what may develop into a widening rift between North America’s high two girls’s skilled hockey organizations on the eve of becoming a member of the brand new possession group of the Premier Hockey Federation’s Toronto Six.

Days earlier than the PHF formally introduced the sale on Monday, James posted a prolonged notice on a Fb group web page wherein she accused the Skilled Girls’s Hockey Gamers’ Affiliation of stunting the game’s growth due to its refusal to affix forces. Her message drew extra consideration when Six participant Saroya Tinker reposted it on her Twitter account.

“Proper now, I’m so disenchanted within the PWHPA. Who’s pursuits are you making an attempt to guard?” James wrote.

“Why can’t you’re employed out these variations as an alternative of suppressing and handcuffing the elite girls’s athletes within the progress of the professional recreation already made,” she added. “Girls’s hockey is larger than the PHF and the PWHPA, collectively we will make historical past.”

James, a Six assistant coach this season, mentioned she was talking on her personal and didn’t notice she was a part of the group shopping for the Toronto franchise. The possession group can be made up of former NHL coach Ted Nolan, former NHL participant Anthony Stewart and Bernice Carnegie, co-chair of the Carnegie Initiative, which was established to advertise inclusiveness in hockey.

James’s criticism drew a response from PWHPA adviser Liz Knox. With out referencing James, Knox tweeted Sunday that “administration, coaches, entrance workplace (and so on) talking on behalf of gamers’ expertise as an alternative of supporting the true voice of the gamers is strictly why the PWHPA was fashioned.”

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The forwards and backwards overshadowed the Six’s sale to a bunch hailed for its variety.

James is the one Black participant to captain Canada’s nationwide group. Nolan is member of the First Nation’s Ojibwe tribe, who was the NHL’s coach of the 12 months with the 1996-97 Buffalo Sabres. Stewart, whose father is from Jamaica, is chair of Hockey Equality.

The group bought the group from BTM Companions, which established the Six as an enlargement franchise two years in the past.

The PHF, previously often known as the Nationwide Girls’s Hockey League earlier than rebranding final summer time, is North America’s lone skilled girls’s hockey league, established in 2015. The PHF plans to increase from six to eight groups, present well being care and likewise greater than double its wage cap to $750,000 a group subsequent season.

The PWHPA, who’s membership is made up of a majority of U.S. and Canadian nationwide group gamers, was fashioned in Could, 2019 following the demise of the Canadian Girls’s Hockey League.

The 2 sides have been at odds ever since, with PWHPA members balking at enjoying for the then-NWHL due to variations with former commissioner and founder Dani Rylan Kearney’s administration model. Issues have been additionally raised over the private-investor-backed league’s monetary shortfalls. The league slashed gamers’ salaries by greater than half a month into its second season and was criticized for not all the time reimbursing gamers’ journey and meal bills.

The PWHPA as an alternative pushed for forming a league with what it referred to as a sustainable financial mannequin with extra sturdy help for gamers.

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Indicators of the PWHPA closing in on its goal grew to become obvious the previous two weeks with talks intensifying with choose NHL groups and main company sponsors to kind a league throughout the subsequent 12 months.

The PHF, meantime, has spent the previous two years remodeling itself in a sequence of strikes. It has revamped its enterprise mannequin, its groups at the moment are independently owned and the league is headed by a board of governors.

And but, questions stay after commissioner Ty Tumminia cited private causes behind her resolution to step down after this season after overseeing a lot of the PHF’s transformation. Her departure additionally coincides with the sale of the Six, with whom Tumminia first joined the league because the franchise’s chairwoman.

James questioned what extra the PHF should do to satisfy the PWHPA’s calls for, citing the $25-million league house owners are committing over the subsequent three 12 months to extend salaries, add well being care and enhance infrastructure.

“They’ve already agreed to every thing on the PWHPA’s want record to my information and nonetheless not adequate,” James wrote. “How about combining your sources for the higher of the sport, and everybody put aside their egos?”