The NWHL (National Women's Hockey League) is the first paid professional women's hockey league in North America. Its inaugural season started last week on October 11th. The NWHL was only announced in April and has been very ambitious in both its marketing and operations. The NWHL has private investors and has promised (and delivered) salaries and full gear to its players. They have been very present on social media using hashtags such as #HistoryBegins, #HistoryIsNow and #tbt to when playing professional hockey was a dream. It coexists with the CWHL (Canadian Women's Hockey League) which provides some forms of compensation and gear but not a salary.
New York Riveters
They stream all their games for free on youtube. You should watch: http://nwhl.co/cross-ice-pass/
Connecticut Whale vs NY Riveters: 4 - 1
Boston Pride vs Buffalo Beauts: 4 - 1
Connecticut Whale @ Buffalo Beauts 3:30 EST
Boston Pride @ NY Riveters 7:00PM EST
Cute #tbt Pics
[lots of embedded tweets]
Although the players are being paid this is essentially a part time job to most of the non-national team members. Gabie Figueroa is 23, a project engineer, a real estate agent and a professional hockey player!(10) Jessica Koizumi, who scored the first NWHL goal, is an assistant coach at Yale!(11) Kelley Steadman, who scored the only Beauts goal in their home opener, is Director of Hockey Operations at Robert Morrison University! Steadman is a practice player (non-salaried) as she only wanted / could commit to attend home games.(12)
The NWHL often brings up the lack of sustainable (salaried) options to continue playing hockey after college. All of these women were the best of their college hockey teams and had put in years of discipline only to peak / stop at 21(ish). Most national team members receive a stipend but even that is not enough in some cases. National teams also do not play as many games as a league team would.
Good articles on the creation and background of the league are:
TL;DR You need a hobby. The NWHL streams its games on youtube every Sunday.
Sources: My friend with wifi / me, 2, 3, 3 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14