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A Timeline of the #ForTheGame Movement

The Players are making their voices heard

Canada v United States Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Today over 200 women’s hockey players from across the globe banded together and prepared to move mountains by pledging their support of the #ForTheGame movement on social media platforms.

As this story continues to develop, The Ice Garden will keep you posted with news and analysis. For now, here is a timeline of the events leading up to the #ForTheGame movement to help put everything into context.

Timeline of Noteworthy Events

  • 5/1: The CWHL ceases operations.
  • 5/2: Over 200 women’s hockey players unite and pledge that they will not play professional hockey in North America. This is effectively a boycott of the NWHL, reportedly led by Hilary Knight, Kendall Coyne Schofield, and Shannon Szabados, and a collective demand for a more financially sustainable league that provides greater compensation to its players as well as benefits like health insurance.

The NWHL’s announcements of its two new general managers as well as the expansion of the regular season schedule leading up to today’s historic statement suggests that either the league office was in the dark about the pending #ForTheGame movement, or that the movement came together relatively quickly.

Whatever the case may be, today’s statement by players both in and outside of the league could prove to be the death knell for the NWHL.

Prior to the series of events listed in the timeline above, Gary Bettman, the commissioner of the NHL, had stated on multiple occasions that he would not interfere by creating a women’s professional league (often referred to as the “WNHL”). The boycott announced today by women’s hockey stars from around the world, including many of the NWHL’s biggest stars, puts the future of the NWHL into jeopardy while also putting the ball in Bettman and the NHL’s court.

The players are ready for change. They want a sustainable league that provides more financial compensation for their talent. They want health insurance. They want something bigger and better.