Ontario Hockey League Breaks A Barrier

Today, the OHL made history as the Sarnia Sting drafted female goalie Taya Currie in the 14th round of the annual draft. Currie, like many other talented female hockey players, has routinely played on boys travel teams up through the Bantam level. Following in the skates of her idols, Shannon Szabados and Manon Rheaume, who also broke barriers in the WHL and the NHL, respectively, Currie now has the opportunity to prove herself at the major junior level.

Given the far too many recent examples of continuing issues of inequity for girls, women and people of color in the sports world, this event is cause for special celebration and reflection. As the first Tweets began to appear, this longtime hockey mom – and retired hockey player – was thrilled to hear from former students as well as her own hockey playing daughters reveling in the moment. We know there is A LOT more work to do, but this is a great step forward.

Congrats to the Sting, Taya Currie, and of course her parents and family. No more changing into your gear in the bathroom, ladies, because nobody bothered to reserve a locker room for the only female on the team. No more having to hope for a “good guy” coach who will take the girl on the roster (special thanks, Coach Gormley). No more seeing a player’s sex, rather than their ability and contributions to the team.

Best of luck, Taya. Hope to see you in the crease for the Sting soon.

#OHLDraft history! Clapping hands sign Congrats to goaltender Taya Currie of @ALLIANCE_Hockey‘s @EMCChiefs, the first female ever chosen in the Priority Selection, joining @StingHockey at 267th overall: https://bit.ly/3wLe7Nn1:58 PM · Jun 5, 2021·Twitter Web App919 Retweets339 Quote Tweets2,577 Likes

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Helen A. “Nellie” Drew is an expert in sports law, including professional and amateur sports issues ranging from NCAA compliance and Title IX matters to facility construction, discipline of professional athletes, collective bargaining and franchise issues. Drew formerly served as an officer and in-house counsel to the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, after previously working as outside counsel to the Sabres and the NHL. Among her more interesting experiences were assisting former USSR superstar Alexander Mogilny in obtaining asylum status in the U.S. and working on multiple NHL expansions, including San Jose, Ottawa, Florida and Tampa Bay.
Drew teaches a variety of courses that incorporate topics such as drug testing in professional sports and professional player contract negotiation and arbitration. She is especially interested in the evolving research and litigation concerning concussions in both amateur and professional sports.

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