46 ways to make hockey way, way better. Maybe

If the NHL doesn't want to send its players to the Olympics, how about holding the World Junior Championship there? (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

In 13 years as Editor-in-Chief of The Hockey News, I’ve made a ton of suggestions on how to improve the game. You’d almost think I didn’t like it.

The truth is, I feel it’s part of my job to help stimulate conversation and debate. While hockey is still pretty darned fantastic, nothing is perfect.

What follows is a list of various things I’ve suggested, conceived, advocated or supported during my baker’s dozen years in my ivory tower.
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Indie director seeks crowdfunding for documentary on inaugural NWHL season

Jared Clinton
Kayleigh Fratkin poses during the trailer shoot for NWHL: History Begins (via Rachel Koteen)

Rachel Koteen’s love for hockey began in eighth grade at Rye Country Day School in New York State. Koteen loved getting out on the ice, but women’s hockey wasn’t prevalent when she was growing up. Her school offered a place to play, though, and she took the opportunity. But Koteen’s experience was different from the present day opportunities.

“(Rye Country) had a girl’s team, which pretty much no other school in the area did,” Koteen told THN. “We travelled pretty far and wide to play against other girls, and even played one adult women’s team pretty regularly. They were so much bigger than we were. It was pretty funny. But I switched back into the public school system (the next year) and I never played again.”

Koteen, who now works in the film and television industry, grew nostalgic for her playing days during the 2012-13 lockout and decided to participate in clinics around New York City. Then she joined a few teams to get back into the game. And, three years later, when the news of the NWHL came about, Koteen knew it was the perfect story for a documentary. That’s when she rounded up a crew and set out to begin her latest project, NWHL: History Begins, a documentary following the inaugural season of North America’s first paid women’s professional hockey league. Read more

Hilary Knight scores overtime-winner as USA defeats Canada to win 4 Nations Cup

Jared Clinton
Hilary Knight and Team USA celebrate (via Streamable)

When it comes to the Olympics, Canada has been dominant, winning four of the five gold medals in the tournament’s history. But in major competitions outside of the Olympic games, Team USA has been incredibly successful,earning their fair share of gold medals along the way and often giving the Canadians their toughest test. Sunday’s final of the Four Nations Cup in Sweden was no different, as USA and Canada renewed their rivalry.

Throughout the tournament, which began Nov. 4, the American squad had been the strongest in the tournament, which pits arguably the four powerhouse nations in women’s hockey — USA, Canada, Sweden and Finland — against each other over the course of a week. Out of the gate, the American side showed their dominance, defeating Sweden 6-2 to open the tournament.

The first marquee matchup of the tournament came on the tournament’s second day, when the American squad downed Canada 3-0 in what would be a preview of the eventual final. And when it came time for the championship game, Team USA doubled up on their victories over their arch rival, winning a 3-2 overtime thriller off the stick of Hilary Knight. Read more

NWHL goaltender Brianne McLaughlin has an awesome new mask

Jared Clinton
Brianne McLaughlin's new mask (via Twitter)

Believe it or not, the NWHL is already three weeks into its inaugural season. But Buffalo Beauts netminder Brianne McLaughlin is already ready to make an aesthetic change, as she has a new mask on the way.

There aren’t many goaltenders — NHL, AHL, NWHL or otherwise — that rock silver masks, but that’s exactly what McLaughlin will be putting on when she gets her new headwear. On a silver backdrop, the mask has the Beauts’ signature baby blue, black and white striping, with the team word mark in blue down the jaw line. It also features a pin-up model, wearing a Beauts jersey, sitting atop the ‘B’: Read more

NWHL’s Hilary Knight shows off her incredible skill in first-person video

Jared Clinton
Hilary Knight (via GoPro/YouTube)

Hilary Knight of the NWHL’s Boston Pride is one of the most iconic players in women’s hockey today, and it’s not hard to see why when you watch her train, stickhandle and shoot from a first-person perspective.

In a new video from GoPro, Knight talks about her training methods, about becoming bigger, faster and stronger at the request of USA Hockey and then hits the ice to show off why she’s one of the most unstoppable players in the women’s game today.

Make sure to listen to the sound off the pipe when she snipes that first shot: Read more

Watch Jessica Koizumi enter the record books with first goal in NWHL history

Jared Clinton

History began Sunday afternoon in Connecticut’s Chelsea Piers as the NWHL played its inaugural contest between the hometown Whale and the visiting New York Riveters. And less than three minutes into the game, Jessica Koizumi entered her name into the record books with the league’s first goal.

Early in the first period, the Whale went on the power play thanks to an interference minor called on the Riveters. With the extra skater, Connecticut skillfully worked the puck around the offensive zone. After working the puck down low, Kelli Stack made a pass through the Riveters’ penalty-killers, the puck was tipped back to Koizumi and she made no mistake on a net-front scramble: Read more

NWHL announces free streaming service, inaugural game to be broadcast on YouTube

Jared Clinton
The NWHL unveiled its jerseys for the 2015-16 season and opened its online shop. (via NWHL)

Hockey fans worldwide will be able to witness a piece of hockey history Sunday, and it won’t cost a dime.

The NWHL has announced the league’s inaugural contest between the New York Riveters and Connecticut Whale will be broadcast live via YouTube Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. ET. The game, which sold out earlier this week, will be the first contest to test out the league’s streaming service, called Cross-Ice Pass. Read more

NWHL sells out inaugural game, Manon Rheaume to drop ceremonial puck in Buffalo

Jared Clinton

With four days remaining until the opening contest of the inaugural NWHL season, fans looking to get a ticket to watch the new league open on Oct. 11 are out of luck.

The NWHL announced that tickets for the first game in league history, which features the Connecticut Whale hosting the New York Riveters, have completely sold out. While it’s not an NHL-sized crowd, it’s remarkable that the league was able to sell what neighbors on 1,000 tickets for their first game. Read more