Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Crosby's Mother Takes on New Role in Hockey

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Crosby's Mother Takes on New Role in Hockey

Article excerpt

It was the hockey mom in Trina Crosby. That's why she took up the cause of a growing women's league.

"I have a very unique position," said the mother of Penguins superstar center Sidney and Northeastern University freshman women's goaltender Taylor. "I have a son who grew up playing and now is in the NHL and playing with the best and never imagining having to give it up. I have my daughter who has to contemplate not being able to play one day."

Trina Crosby is in her second year on the board of directors of the Canadian Women's Hockey League, a collection of four teams from Canada and one from the United States.

If all goes as planned with the CWHL and Taylor Crosby continues to develop in college as she did at Shattuck-St. Mary's High School in Minnesota, she will have a shot at playing professionally. If not for a league such as the CWHL, her only options would be to play recreationally or, if she can outdo the competition, for Team Canada.

"She's been playing for such a long time, so instead of having to just stop, it would be nice to have something organized where at least there would be a place to continue to play [after college], maybe an opportunity professionally," Sidney Crosby said.

Lack of money hurts league

The CWHL opens its eighth season Oct. 18. For now, the league can't offer salaries to players. Commissioner Brenda Andress and two coaches per team get paid, and all travel and equipment expenses are covered. With an operating budget of $1.7 million, Andress likes to say, "I run my league on one [NHL player's] salary."

Andress is ambitious and has a strategic plan. Her vision is to start paying players in two years, with the CWHL's second priority being to expand, including at least one more U.S. team. Clubs now are in Boston, Montreal, Calgary, Toronto and Brampton, Ontario.

Further, she would like to see the CWHL be a proving ground for women who could go on to hold management jobs not only in that league, but also in the NHL. "We can do that by training them and partnering with the NHL for things like job shadowing and learning job skills."

There already are relationships between the CWHL and the NHL's Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.

What the CWHL lacks is financing. Andress is seeking that through sponsorships and direct donations.

"It may not happen with the snap of a finger, but I do think that one day it can get to that point. I would love to see that," said Jennifer Botterill, the sister of Penguins associate general manager Jason Botterill and a four-time Canadian Olympian.

She is a Harvard graduate, broadcaster, keynote speaker and owns a high-performance center. She played in the CWHL for two years, just before and after the 2010 Olympics, before retiring as a player. "Even the last 20 years, you can see how much it's grown and improved," she said of the women's game. …

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