The NHWL & Las Vegas, how do they compare again? They normally don’t but bear with me here. The NHL is getting flack for their lack of assistance with the NHWL. A league built by women that were highly motivated by the WNBA and its success. And don’t go comparing WNBAs success to men’s leagues… We all know it’s not comparable.

The NBA’s David Stern helped create the WNBA in 1997 and was instrumental in building its brand. Gary Bettman on the other hand has not been much of presence to the women of the NHWL. Why is that? Well maybe NHL owners have balked at such an idea.

“Humph, imagine letting women use our ice. Never.”

Some owners think it’s non-traditional, so therefore they have no time or money for it. Heck even here at the we have our own balkers (Ken said, “A women’s hockey league, what a dumb idea”)

Sure Ken and Jeremy Jacobs won’t be attending a Connecticut Whales game together anytime soon, but girls might. Up north the Flames, Leafs, and Habs ownerships have supported the CHWL. So why are American women being snubbed? Is it because it’s non-traditional? You know what else can be considered non- traditional? Las Vegas.

“Humph, imagine a team playing in a gambling city. Never.”

Las Vegas in the eyes of some is still considered a question mark. There’s nothing that will change minds other than getting a team and proving the doubters otherwise. For one thing owners are nervous about their bottom line. Some have the same uncertainty to women’s hockey as they do expanding to Las Vegas. They don’t want something risky and non-traditional to hurt their stake.

Sure it’s crusty, and old but this isn’t new. Unlike the NBA, Gary Bettman has tried too convince his ownership to take a small hit now to impact the game later. The NBA made it a point to market and reach out to women. When David Stern said to the owners were doing this, they didn’t fight it. Since 1997 the WNBA has been in operation.

Are the NHL owners chauvinistic asswipes or is it purely money? Well it might be a little of both, but it’s mainly money. Owners in the NBA have considerably more money than their NHL counterparts. The NBA is worth more and strictly an American entity (I know, I know the Raptors) which helps financially. Also the NBA is much more diverse, progressive and… Ahem, I hate admitting this, but popular. The NBA is more popular. With less capital NHL owners can be more hesitant to invest in their league.

Will the owners take a more progressive approach? Take a small hit for the future of the game? We’ll see, hopefully in December. The league needs more exposure in new markets like Las Vegas, Seattle, Kansas City, Portland, etc. As well as reaching out to the growing number of women who love hockey.

NHL owners should be aggressively trying to advance their sport. Even if it hurts their income for a few years. And let’s be serious they won’t be losing money, just make a little less. Expansion to Las Vegas, other cities, and Women’s hockey may be non-traditional but it’s the future.