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Is it time to allow contact in women's hockey?

(Photo by Andrew Francis Wallace / Torstar Network)     

What’s the most entertaining component of sports entertainment as it relates to hockey? 

At the top of that list, we’ll find talented players, phenomenal leadership and exceptional teamwork amongst most fans. Some hardcore hockey fans may even include epic fights above even these. You know what would trump even the best punches and throw downs in hockey though?

 A women’s hockey fight...

Women have reputations for being somewhat... catty at times. Wouldn’t you agree?

So women’s hockey is a contact-free game. That doesn’t mean they’ve lost their edge. It means they’re finding a different way to release a domineer of toughness without giving a punch in the face.

Except for Molly Engstrom that is.

Engstrom plays defence for the National Women’s Hockey League’s (NWHL) Connecticut Whale and after sucker-punching the Buffalo Beauts team Captain, Meghan Duggan, Engstrom has become the first NWHL player to get a suspension.

I wonder what set her off? That punch seemed completely unprovoked.

Since this was the first player suspension in the league, the situation has been very unique. Involved in the decision-making process were representatives from each NWHL team not involved, as well as Erika Lawler (Director of the NWHL), Dani Rylan (Commissioner of the NWHL), as well as consultation from the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Director of Player Safety, Patrick Burke.

When it was all said and done, Engstrom was suspended for one game for her actions.

But such incidents do beg the question, should body contact be allowed in women's hockey? Clearly, Engstrom’s sucker-punch was unwarranted, but her degree of aggression, along with Duggan’s level of fortitude illustrates a capacity to engage in non-lady-like behavior. Does it not?  

By:Leah Dyck| 19/12/15 | (0) Comments

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