The New York Rangers will host a 2021 Secret Dream Gap Tour game at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 28 after becoming the first NHL team to partner with the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) on Wednesday.
The opening game of the tour, which will feature Minnesota vs. New Hampshire, will be the first women’s professional game to be played at the Garden. Additional showcases will be added in the United States and Canada.
“The talent level of women’s hockey is simply incredible, and the Rangers organization is honored to host this game,” New York president John Davidson said. “We’re excited to play even a small role in helping elevate visibility for the women’s game. We all love this sport so much and any opportunity the Rangers have to participate in its advancement is something we want to be a part of. It’s a win for everyone involved.”
The PWHPA consists of about 125 players and was formed to advocate for and advance equity, fairness and opportunity in women’s professional hockey. Its goal is to create a league that pays living wages and provides resources and marketing that showcases the games.
“This is a major milestone for women’s hockey and young girls who aspire to play professional hockey but don’t have the option to make it a career today,” said PWHPA operations consultant Jayna Hefford, a retired forward and four-time Olympic gold medalist for Canada.
“NHL teams are uniquely positioned to elevate women’s hockey to the next level. They bring major brand strength, corporate relationships and access to a fan base. I want to thank the New York Rangers and Bauer Hockey for helping us reach this achievement. We’re even more excited to celebrate this milestone on National Girls and Women in Sports Day.”
The 35th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day in the United States, which recognizes the importance of equal opportunities in sports for girls and women, was Wednesday.