Get the latest from Women's Hockey Life straight to your inbox

Chasing the Dream of Women’s Pro Hockey: The Final Roster

Friday September 30, I anxiously waited for the email from the coaching staff of the Burlington Barracudas of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) with news about the final roster.

Finally, my friend sent me a text messaging saying there was a tweet on Twitter with a link to the final roster on the team’s Facebook page. I was told I’d receive an email with the final roster, but in this age of social media, I guess things work differently.

I scanned the list of players, but did not see my name.

A million thoughts ran through my head. Was I still an affiliated player or was I going to be released?

I finally got the answer I had been waiting for when I received an email from the coach addressed to myself and one other player, the only two players from training camp to be cut from the team. “A numbers issue” is what it was referred to.

In all honesty, I was devastated by this news; it completely ruined my day. I thought even if I hadn’t made that final roster, I’d be sticking around to attend practices with these elite players to gain experience for next season, but instead, I was told I had to go back to a senior league and gain experience there.

“Obviously you are in great shape, however, off-ice fitness has very little to do with on-ice fitness,” said general manager and coach Ray Baumgaertner when I asked for feedback on why I was cut.

“For the level that you would be expected to play at in the CWHL, your foot speed needs work and carrying the puck with your head up needs to improve,” Baumgaertner said.

Next year I will have to re-enter the draft again. Hopefully with the extra year to train, fully heal my old injuries, and work on my weaknesses, I will make a CWHL squad next season.

As for this upcoming season, I will be playing in the Golden Blades Hockey League once again but in the Senior AA division for the Toronto-Leaside Wildcats. 

I wish all the best to the Burlington Barracudas this season and hope that with a new coaching staff and upgraded roster they will have a better season than last.

This journey to play women’s professional hockey has been an eye-opener for me. With everything I’ve gone through, even though I didn’t make the team, I’ve met a lot of great people who have supported me along the way and will continue to do so until my goals have been reached.


More about Jaclyn Hawkins