What Skates Do Pro Hockey Players Wear? [Answered!]

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Hockey has always been considered a man’s sport, and for good reason – it’s physical, aggressive, and very demanding on both the mind and body. But times are changing, and female athletes are breaking the boundaries of what was considered “traditional” to secure a spot on the sport’s biggest stages.

With the rise of social media and all-female professional hockey leagues, athletes are enjoying a level of visibility never before seen in the sport.

The Boom In Female Hockey

The growth of female hockey seems to have started right at the top with the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL). Founded in 1996, the league has had 12 teams across Canada, with teams in cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Edmonton. The team roster for any given game consists of mostly university students, many of whom are passionate about the game and enjoy the physicality and mental challenge it provides.

The league has grown significantly, and in 2018 it had an average attendance of just over 3,000 per game. This is an increase of nearly 50% from the previous year and follows a similar trend of increased interest in the game seen across North America.

Breaking Boundaries

The CWHL is just one of the many female hockey leagues that have popped up across the globe in the past few decades. Nowadays, pro hockey players compete in leagues like the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL), the American Women’s Hockey League (AWHL), and the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).

And just last year a new all-female professional league made its debut in the UK – the Transatlantic League (TALL). This is in addition to the multi-national league, the Hockey Women’s World Cup, which will be contested by 16 countries in 2020.

While the traditionalists may still be skeptical about the quality of hockey played by females, the numbers don’t lie. Interest in the game is at an all-time high, and with more and more professional athletes turning to the sport to further their career, the opportunities for girls and women to shine are endless.

Breaking Boundaries II

Of course, not all professional hockey players are interested in furthering their career through competitive sport, and some choose to pursue a different route. Whether through modelling, hosting TV shows, or acting, there are plenty of opportunities for athletes to utilize their status and build a brand for themselves.

On the topic of opportunities in hockey, Canadian Olympic gold medallist and CWHL Commissioner Cindy Blackstock said, “I think there are more opportunities for female players, coaches, and staff in the National Hockey League. It’s not uncommon for girls to grow up dreaming of playing in the NHL. But the reality is there are more opportunities in the CWHL and other leagues, as long as you’re willing to be diligent.”

Blackstock is certainly right – the numbers don’t lie. According to the CWHL, there are currently over 400 players on their roster who were once dream children, with many more pursuing a career in hockey.

With more and more women interested in the sport and breaking all kinds of boundaries, it’s an exciting time to be in hockey.

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