Minnesota Wild: Partnership With Whitecaps A Positive

ST. PAUL, MN - MARCH 25: The 2018 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team takes part in a ceremonial puck drop along with Mikko Koivu #9 of the Minnesota Wild and Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins prior to the game at the Xcel Energy Center on March 25, 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - MARCH 25: The 2018 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team takes part in a ceremonial puck drop along with Mikko Koivu #9 of the Minnesota Wild and Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins prior to the game at the Xcel Energy Center on March 25, 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Wild announcing a partnership with the newest addition to the National Womens’ Hockey League, the Minnesota Whitecaps should prove a hugely positive step.

As announced on their official NHL website, the Minnesota Wild will be supporting the team in it’s inaugural season in numerous ways:

"This includes hosting the team’s games and practices at TRIA Rink; the Wild sharing their extensive resources, including support in marketing, promotions, communications, social and digital media, and community relations; and pairing of the clubs’ regular season home openers on Oct. 6. (NHL.com)"

This news comes within the same week that the Toronto Maple Leafs brought Hayley Wickenheiser on-board as their Assistant Director of Player Development; a move that points to the considerable faith that is being placed in players, male or female, that have performed at an elite level.

For the Minnesota Wild, such a commitment isn’t a big deal to them realistically. It boosts potential revenue from female fans, it is a great way to embrace the community spirit of hockey and long-term, should the NWHL and NHL form a partnership, it puts Minnesota in a very good place.

The Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils already saw sense in partnering with the Buffalo Beauts and Metropolitan Riveters, so of course it was a common sense more for the ‘State of Hockey’ to be represented.

Perhaps that is the biggest question here; should the NHL get involved with its’ female counterpart and help broker a deal with the Canadian Womens’ Hockey League (CWHL).

That league has its own NHL affiliations with the Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs all providing assistance to the women’s’ team based in their cities.

Should that eventuate, the logical thinking would be to partner womens’ markets with mens’ markets.

It could limit the overheads by providing shared staff across some roles and as seen in the Minnesota Wild and Whitecaps case; it could provide a ready-made arena for the NWHL games, albeit provided their attendance numbers don’t significantly climb.

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With the Minnesota Wild staff providing guidance, there’s little doubt that the Whitecaps can have some success in their first season in the NWHL. Now all we need is for the fans of the Minnesota Wild to show a decent level of support and we’re set.

More and more, females are getting involved with hockey and the more spotlight it receives, the better. When NHL head offices take notice, it’s typically a good thing. So well done, Minnesota.