In 2017, the New Jersey Devils became the first NHL team to join forces with a National Women’s Hockey League team-the Metropolitan Riveters. The NWHL itself began in 2015.
Minnesota Wild’s vice president of customer service and retention Maria Troje Poitras was named a 2018 Women in Business Honoree. Troje Poitras has been with the Wild for 17 years incentivizing reward programs and was instrumental in bringing the Stadium Series to Minnesota in 2016.
Knight and Wickenheiser have not been the only women to play with men in professional leagues. Goalie Shannon Szabados became the first woman to post a shut out in the Southern Professional Hockey league while playing for the Columbus Cottonmouths. She is scheduled to join the NWHL by signing with the Buffalo Beauts in June.
In 1992, NHL legend and Tampa Bay Lightning founder Phil Esposito dropped jaws and suited goalie Manon Rheaume for an exhibition game where she played the 20 minutes against the St. Louis Blues. This was the first time a woman played for an NHL team in any capacity.
Regardless of Rhéaume’s initial, “it didn’t’ matter to me why I was invited,” attitude she told Sportsnet last year, Rhéaume’s participation along with all the aforementioned women have blazed paths for both men and women to recognize that something as frivolous as sex is irrelevant when determining who has a better hockey mind.
Who Cares About the Sex of a Person if They Know Their Shit.
The Feminist Theory began in the 1980s and has evolved into a way “to explore how gender identity shapes foreign policy decision making and how gendered hierarchies reinforce practices that perpetuate inequalities between men and women,” (Charles W. Kegley, Jr. and Shannon L. Blanton, World Politics: Trend and Transformation, 2013).
In her 2013 book Fortunes of Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis Nancy Fraser provides her own critique on Jürgen Habermas’ The Theory of Communicative Action: Reason and the Rationalization of Society stating that even Habermas’ perspective of transformative social norms excluded the role and potential of women.
Kegley, Jr., Blanton, and Fraser were all arguing the similar point that whether it is in Habermas’ ideas of material and/ or symbolic reproduction, policy implementation, and professional sports, women like Wickenheiser, Braid, Dr. Popovic, and others show fans that all sexes and genders can contribute to the improvement on the sport equally.
Objectively speaking, the question can be begged: who cares about the sex of a person if they know their shit.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and general manager Dubas have helped further establish a place for women and everyone alike in professional hockey, and regardless of what fans may think of the team of hiring a woman in a player development role, the Leafs can benefit from her expertise.