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(photo:cwhl.ca)

The Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) announced yesterday the addition of Arlene Dickinson to its board of directors.  Dickinson is widely known for her participation as a venture capitalist on the television show Dragons’ Den and as the CEO of Venture Communications and YouInc.com. She has been honored as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

The CWHL has sought to stack its board with leaders from within the hockey and business community. Dickinson’s addition to the board comes on the heels of news that the CWHL may be expanding further into the U.S., and—more importantly, perhaps—putting a heavier emphasis on trying to figure out how to pay players a salary.  Salaries may be part of Dickinson’s agenda as a new board member, if her recent tweet is anything to go by:

Arlene Dickinson

“Arlene is a legendary success in the business community, and her experience and expertise are first-rate,” said Brian Burke, CWHL board member and hockey operations president for the Calgary Flames. “She will help us reach our goal so these marvelous athletes have an equal opportunity to pursue their dreams and fulfill the league’s vision.”

At this point, it seems as if salaries are a huge part of that vision, and hopefully in the immediate future. With Dickinson’s history in building and growing business, that goal looks more and more achievable by the day. Adding an entrepreneur like Dickinson to the board suggests that the CWHL is prioritizing a growth in not only the league, but the sport as a whole—after all, it’s hard for little girls to dream of growing up to be hockey players if their best professional option is unpaid.

In Dickinson’s own words, “The remarkable success of the league in just six seasons is a testament to the powerful force of female entrepreneurs in this country. I look forward to working with the board and the league administration to build on its success.”

Here’s to looking forward.

Molly is not an athlete. She quickly got used to winning the “Best Smile” award at her family's Summer Olympics (an award made up especially for her by her grandmother, who felt bad that she never won anything else). But as they say, "Those who cannot do, write about it from the sidelines and provide orange slices at half time."

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