Angela Ruggiero To Develop Women's Professional Hockey League

Mike BurseCorrespondent IJuly 4, 2009

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games will be the last time Angela Ruggiero, a 5'9" defender for team USA, suits up to play for the American National Team. She is a big physical defender. Ruggiero will be retiring at the age of 30-years-old. It is very common to see women retire at earlier ages as they do not receive the same financial backing that men do.

She competed with the National Team for her first Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan during 1998. Over the past eleven years Ruggiero has become an important fixture on the National Team and for Women's hockey in general. Her goal in her final Olympics is of course to beat USA's main rival Canada and in the process win the gold medal.

In 213 games for the US National Team she has recorded fifty six goals and 122 assists for 178 points as a defender.

Also, She has appeared on the sixth season of Donald Trump's popular television series "The Apprentice". Trump offered her a job following the show but she decided to decline and train for one final Olympic Games. Prior to this she had attended Harvard University and obtained a degree, showing that this is one driven and multi-talented individual.

Her plans for retirement? Helping to develop a Women's professional hockey league for players from all over the world to participate in. She believes that the Canadian Women's Hockey League and the Western Women's Hockey League are the foundation that the new league could be formed out of. Even the NHL only started as a 6 team league with mostly Canadian players.

Ruggiero believes that the two current Women's hockey leagues in Canada should allow players from all over the world to showcase their skills. This is the only way to create a league in the Women's game that is the equivalent of the NHL in the Men's game.

She also still has a working relationship with Donald Trump whom seems to be getting more involved with the sports entertainment business. With the kind of financial backing that Trump could supply this makes Ruggiero's vision a real possibility.

Could the National Hockey League one day be competing with the "Women's Professional Hockey League" for television ratings? As long as there are intelligent, driven people like Angela Ruggiero working for it anything is possible.