A few days ago, the NWHL announced their updated plans for starting Season Six. We will be moving into the second quinquennial (five year period) of our first decade, in January of 2021. The NWHL and the NWHLPA have put together a solid plan to bring the players back to the rinks, and you can read the announcement below. https://www.nwhl.zone/news/nwhl-announces-season-6-timeline Since it is the latest start of any of the pro leagues after the cessation of play due to Covid, there will be ample time to observe what works and what doesn’t with the other leagues. It will be a vexing task to accomplish, but the league has the opportunity to make this as safe and viable as possible. Cetacean Nation is confident they will. What it will look like exactly, is unclear. But we all need to be preparing ourselves for the new normal of our sport as fans, just as the Whale are doing as athletes.
It has been a busy offseason for General Manager Bray Ketchum Peel, and she has accomplished what she set out to do: add scoring and size to the squad and return a core group of veteran Whale. After a strong finish to the NWHL's fifth season, she has wasted no time in assembling the component parts of Bray’s Bunch that Coach Colten Orr will need to finish the push to the Isobel Cup Championship next season.
The Whale already have twenty players under contract including that strong core of 13 veteran members of the Pod, two prize veterans playing their first NWHL season, and five highly regarded rookies. They represent the 11 forwards, 7 defenders and two goaltenders that comprise the roster. Another one or two high profile additions could be announced before play begins. And looking ahead to Season Six, our opponents in the NWHL are currently home to six former members of the Pod. At least one player with Whale roots skates on every team. They are Emma Greco, Shiann Darkangelo, ans Kelly Babstock with Toronto; Kayla Meneghin with Buffalo; Sonjia Shelly with the Riveters; Amanda “Boo” Boulier with the Whitecaps and Kaleigh Fratkin with Boston.
TRI AS WE MAY
We had posted during this past week about our former #24 Nicole Stock our former goalie, turned Ironman Triathlete. It was a year ago she had a terrific race up on the Whistler, BC course. You can read about her preparation and race in a couple of her stories on this site. We touched base with Nicole this week, and she gave us some updates, including a new line item on her resume. She told us
“It is crazy to think about how different things look after a year. As you mentioned Lake Placid Ironman was cancelled, and this was supposed to be my week of vacation following my Ironman. Instead, my summer has looked very different, with much less bike and run time. We are trying to figure out the plan for our kids coming back to campus (at Lawrenceville School in NJ where she works and coaches) and what all that looks like to best protect our students and faculty. It is a crazy time. I saw the Whale season was postponed until at least the new year. Hopefully it will be able to come back this season even if on a shortened schedule. I am just happy that the NHL is back. I need that right now, to take my mind off of things. I am currently registering for my level 2 reffing certification as I decided to go that route last year and spent my first year reffing in NJ. So hopefully I will be able to climb the ladder a bit and ref womens hockey at a higher level down the road. Other than that just trying to stay safe. I did get my Ironman Lake Placid registration pushed to 2021 so I will be doing next year's event given Corona is under control!”
We will certainly be looking forward to that, and we offered this thought to Nicole: since she has now added referee to her list of hockey achievements along with player and coach, we think she has completed a unique Hockey Triathlon as well! Fins Up to that!
UPDATE. 8/5/20: in our continuing conversation with our amazing former #10 Kaliya Johnson, we discussed what comes after the sadness, outrage and sense of injustice. We have to find a watpybforward. But who exactly is we? Kaliya had some measured thoughts which we believe are important to share. She told us
"My personal opinion is that white people need to realize this and try and change. This is a problem created by white people and it needs to be fixed by them. Not only because they are the only ones who can bring actual change, but because black people are oppressed because of it. It’s not a problem we created or asked for. Once people realize it’s a white problem they need to fix, rather then a black problem they need to help, then we will get somewhere. Recognizing and owning is how we move forward"
Recognizing and owning that it is a white problem, not a black problem. That is also why keeping the issue front and center is important. Legislation is important too, but laws are broken quite often and can have loopholes or caveats. People’s hearts and minds need to change, so that laws are embraced. So that “We the People” means all of us. White people’s hearts and minds have to embrace who we really are, rather than who we pretend we are. .If the racism was only emanating from white supremacy groups, that problem could be addressed quickly. But if a person tolerates racism or ignores history, then they are culpable. They are defacto members of a white supremacy club. In our hearts, Cetacean Nation still want to believe that if a person can be good, then by extension, a people can be good. But it starts with each of us as individuals. We all have to ask, what's in our hearts.