An overwhelming amount of positivity has flooded the women's hockey community in recent years, with an endless amount of news stories surfacing, including:
- The Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) expanding to seven teams, adding two teams from China
- The National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) being founded in 2015, creating healthy competition for the CWHL and giving more women a place to play professionally
- The CWHL announcing that they'll be paying their players for the first time during the 2017-18 season
- Both leagues securing more sponsorships as a result of a growing fanbase, meaning more financial security and freedom
- 13 million Canadians tuned in to watch Canada defeat USA in the gold medal game at the last Winter Olympics, and that number is only going to continue to grow
- The potential merger between South Korea and North Korea in women's hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, enabling the sport to break political and social barriers
- Registration numbers for young girls in hockey increasing nationwide
So what's next for this sport?
Some people may argue that it's best to simply stay the course, and allow for steady growth over a longer period of time, as women's hockey is doing a tremendous job as is.
Others argue that while we're riding this wave of momentum, the community should be trying to make significant leaps while they have the hockey world's attention. Whether this is a merger between the CWHL and NWHL, more expansion teams, or a massive television deal, this may be the right time for a major play.
Regardless of what happens, one thing is for certain - this train isn't slowing down any time soon, and the continuous push towards gender equality is inevitable.
There is no wrong play, as there are far too many bright and passionate people involved in the community to falter this progress.