Women's hockey: Karell Emard's glass ceiling
Karell Emard was looking for a way to stay associated with women's hockey. She found a niche when she was named director of Quartexx's new women's hockey division.
This agency is recognized throughout the hockey world. It represents some sixty players including Patrice Bergeron, Taylor Hall, Kris Letang and Mitch Marner.
Before accepting the proposal, Emard had approached Giodarno Saputo, the head of operations, for another project.
“ We had several discussions about women's hockey and the needs of this sport, said Karell Emard. I almost convinced him to become a team owner in a future women's league.
“But he wanted to help women's hockey in a different way. He wanted to raise the standards of representation in women's hockey. He didn't want to do it without me.
Saputo wanted to be able to use its knowledge of the past 30 years to build this new department.
” The Saputo family has wanted to push women's hockey for years, added the 34-year-old woman. Even in Canadian League time. For both parties, this opportunity is a win-win situation. »
An untapped sector
Few female players are represented by agents. For one reason or another, agencies are hesitant to approach female hockey players. A situation that could change in the coming years.
“Historically, it was mainly the great players like Hilary Knight and Marie-Philip Poulin who were approached by the agencies, said Emard. They have always been professionally represented.
“We want to represent the best players from national teams and professional leagues. However, our biggest challenge will be to help grow women's hockey. After the university ranks, there is a void.
“There is a lack of support for those who are not on the national teams. You are on your own. ”
In a few weeks, Quartexx will announce the identity of the first players who will join its already well-heeled stable. Emard did not want to go into details, but we felt his excitement about the identity of the hockey players.
Not just the money
The development of women's hockey has often been held back by a lack of significant investment. Often the salaries do not allow players to live from their passion.
A few weeks ago, forward Daryl Watts announced that she will pocket $150,000 next season with the Six from Toronto, in the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF). Could this contract help the players' cause in the medium term?
“It shook their league. After such an announcement, we could see the creation of a salary cap. You can't give everything to one player and nothing to the rest of the team. It's not worthy of a professional league.
“If the contracts become more attractive, the agencies could be more interested in women's hockey. On our side, this is not what interests us. Salaries and leagues will grow over the years.
“Women's hockey is on the upswing. At Quartexx, our stamp will not only be the contract. It will be more marketing, visibility and sponsors. We want to focus on visibility and development. »
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