Sauce Us a Follow

The Czech native is ecstatic to be staying in Canada after signing a brand new two-year deal with Montreal last week.

Picture this it’s March 2023 and the Toronto Six are facing off against the Minnesota Whitecaps in the Isobel Cup Final being played at Mullet Arena in Phoenix Arizona. After three tight periods of amazing fast-paced hockey, the team’s head to overtime with one goal to decide the league champions.

With 15:42 left in overtime the Strakonice, Czech Republic native steals the puck from Whitecaps defenseman Sydney Brodt and beats Rose Leveille top corner to win it for the Toronto Six. Fast forward to June and the PHF who was making massive strides in trying to make life as a professional hockey player for women easier with a record salary cap of 1.5 million per team was bought out and a new league the PWHL was formed.

Backed by the likes of Billie Jean King and investors who had stakes in the Los Angeles Dodgers it finally seemed like women hockey players would have a chance to live their dream to play and inspire young girls that anything is possible. With the six major franchises awarded to Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Boston, New York, and Minnesota the goal was simple to have a well-run league that could go the distance.

After an inaugural draft in Toronto and training camp, the teams participated in a warm-up event in Utica in anticipation of the January 1st official puck drop of the season and Montreal made a major move signing the Czech forward to a two-year ( financial terms were not disclosed).

I ran into Vanisova at practice at the 21.02 Centre in Verdun, a suburb of Montreal, and asked for her thoughts on staying in Canada and playing with another Canadian market for the next two years.

“I had no idea”, Vanisova answered me when I asked if Montreal had reached out before the draft to inquire about her services. ” I know my agent was talking to the GMs but I was very happy when I found out and personally I wanted to stay in Canada.”

The Czech native has been super pleased with the experience so far and says the team has been treating her super well and she is excited to start playing.

“They are very professional and I feel it is going to be a very good year. Playing in Utica was very intense and I can’t wait for the season to get started. “

Vanisova will be reunited with three of her former teammates from the Toronto Six Elaine Chuli, Katie Tabin, and Leah Lum and she already feels the chemistry working well.

“It’s always nice to be on a new team and see some familiar faces and obviously we played together last year in Toronto so we know each other and we know what to expect from each other on the ice and it’s great.”

She admitted to me that she wasn’t aware of the rivalry between Montreal and Toronto and laughed when I brought up the question in regards to it.

Montreal will commence its season on Tuesday, January 2nd in the nation’s capital in Ottawa and I asked Vanisova about the fact that almost 8000 tickets were sold for the game and what to expect from a sellout crowd.

“It’s awesome and I love to play in front of the fans, they bring so much energy and it feels completely different and I really can’t wait for the first game.”

Vanisova feels like she is living her dream and the fact she gets to do it as a career is just a bonus.

“I can finally say I achieved my dream of becoming a professional hockey player but I honestly feel this league is going to be something else.”

I also spoke to Danielle Sauvageau the team’s general manager and Kori Cheverie the team’s head coach and they are super thrilled to have a strong power forward on the team.

“We drafted her so we are super happy that she was available.”, Sauvageau told me in her opening answer. ” She’s a good skater and she reads the play very well and she’s fast and creative so we wanted to bring that aspect to our team.”

Sauvageau confirmed to me that she went to the draft in Toronto with a list of 140 players and Vansiova’s name was on it and repeated that she was elated to draft her.

“She was very high on our list”, Cheverie responded. ” We wanted to go with as many offensive players as we could and we felt when we drafted her she was the best player we could get and we were really happy with that.”

I asked Cheverie what exactly she saw in Vanisova and what she could bring to the team and she feels her speed and her offense will help the team a lot.

“She’s very skilled and very creative which is something that we loved in her game and in Utica we saw an evolution of her game and we saw the physical North American style of play and our focus was physicality and to see her adapt is something we ask our players to do at this level.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated.”

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In this article: #PHF, #ProfessionalWomensHockey, #ProHockey, #PWHL, #WomenInSport, #Womenshockey, Danielle Sauvageau, grow the game, Hockey, Kori Cheverie, Montreal, PWHL Montreal, Tereza Vanisova
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