Who would be on your NWHL/PHF Mount Rushmore? It’s not as easy of a question as it seems on the surface. It’s also a question with no wrong answers. We all have different opinions, and other things have different meanings to us. Maybe you want to acknowledge four players who made an impact across the entire league, or perhaps you want to keep it based on the team that you followed so passionately for each of the past eight seasons.
Some of you may want to pick one player from each of the Founding Four teams, or four players that went above and beyond to sign something for you or spent five minutes talking with you or your children.
I’ve wrestled with this question for over a month now, or since the PHF’s doors were closed forever during a ten-minute Zoom call that informed players that the league was shutting down and its ‘assets’ were being bought by the group associated with the PWHPA. my list hasn’t swayed much from what I initially thought back when I dropped the question on a recent episode of the Around The Rink podcast (available wherever you listen to podcasts - just search for The Ice Garden).
My NWHL/PHF Mount Rushmore:
Dempsey, Turner, and Packer all played in the league from day one and they all played eight seasons with their original teams. Their impact goes beyond stats, but those help their cases, too. They weren’t just players racking up goals, assists, and blocked shots; they were also pillars of their communities and faces of their respective franchises.
For Leveille, she was without a shred of a doubt the best goaltender to strap on the pads during the lifespan of the NWHL/PHF. And there needed to be a goalie included in this exercise. Like Packer with the New York/Metropolitan Riveters, Turner with the Connecticut Whale, and Dempsey with the Boston Pride, Leveille was a crucial part of her team’s successes on and off the ice. But she did it for not one, but two franchises - first for the Buffalo Beauts for two seasons, and then with the Minnesota Whitecaps when they joined the league ahead of Season 4.
Maybe I took the easy way out by choosing the top two scorers in league history (Dempsey, Packer), and the winningest goalie (Leveille), but that’s for you to decide. Those who just missed the cut for me included Jonna Albers, Harrison Browne, Kaleigh Fratkin, Allie Thunstrom, and Kelley Steadman.
Who are the four players that would make up your Mount Rushmore? Let us know in the comments, or tag us on Twitter (@TheIceGarden) with your answers!