Canadian Women's Hockey League

Mike Burse@Burse21Correspondent IMay 13, 2009

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 20:  Goalkeeper Kim St-Pierre #33 of Canada holds the Canadian flag next to her teammates Gillian Ferrari #9 and Vicky Sunohara #61 as they celebrate winning gold in the final of the women's ice hockey against Sweden during Day 10 of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games on February 20, 2006 at the Palasport Olimpico in Turin, Italy. Canada won 4-1.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

The CWHL was launched for the 2008 season, and it's goal is "to build a future for women in hockey and help produce world-class female players and role models".

The league is made up of the following six teams: Montreal Stars, Brampton Thunder, Mississauga Chiefs, Burlington Barracudas, Vaughan Flames, Ottawa Senators. These teams play a forty game schedule beginning in January and ending in March.

In March the Clarkson Cup game is played and this season the Montreal Stars defeated the Minnesota White Caps (of the Western Women's Hockey League) in the inaugural game by a score of 3-1. Adrienne Clarkson will present the Clarkson Cup on a yearly basis (the former Governor General of Canada).

Current and former Team Canada players are scattered throughout the league. With names such as Jayna Hefford, Jennifer Botteril, Vicky Sunohara, Becky Kellar, Cheryl Pounder, Sami Jo Small, Kim St-Pierre, and many more.

This is a not-for-profit league, so needless to say these players do not get paid anywhere close to the NHL, if they do at all. They play because they love the game and want a future for women's hockey in Canada and the world.

I personally enjoy the skill and finesse of the Women's game. It is not a game devoid of contact, they still bump each other around quite a bit out there. The Women's game removes the big hits you see in the NHL. I do not miss them when they are gone.

When you are tired of the politics of the Men's game, get some tickets and go see the Women play. They are very skilled and in the coming years their viewership will only grow.

Please comment below on your feelings regarding Women's hockey.