In the domain of women’s hockey, 2015 may definitely be described as the year of Janine Weber. Currently donning the red, white and blue of the New York Riveters, Weber has emerged as a fan favorite and
Among the remarkable accomplishments from this year, Weber has seen her hockey stick from the Clarkson Cup gain a new home in the Hockey Hall of Fame, while making history as the first player signed to an NWHL contract. While Weber is exceptionally proud of such accomplishments, her focus is on the future, determined to give the Riveters a chance to win.
“I think that these accomplishments will be fun to look back to in the future and show that all the hard work paid off. Right now I am focused on winning hockey games and playing well and I am hoping we can make this a successful first season for the Riveters.”
With a newfound celebrity status, Weber and her Riveters teammates have been graciously welcomed into New York’s proud sporting community. As the first-ever free agent signing in NWHL history, it is not uncommon to see Weber featured in dialogue about the Riveters, the league, and the feeling of excitement and empowerment that comes with the arrival of America’s first-ever professional women’s hockey league.
Along with NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan, Weber has been featured in a series of interviews, talking about the league and its potential with the likes of Steve Mears on the NHL Network, and Maggie Gray, host of SI Now, featured on the Sports Illustrated website. Among the faces of the league, Weber is proud to help bring exposure to the game?
“All these appearances have been a lot of fun and I am very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this and to be able to raise awareness about the NWHL and women’s hockey.”
Along with goaltender Nana Fujimoto of Japan, Weber has helped provide an international flair to the Riveters. Their presence is akin to when Pele and Franz Beckenbauer signed with the New York Cosmos, the city’s first professional soccer team, generations ago.
While Weber and numerous Riveters teammates have also had the chance to attend NHL matches in the Big Apple, even gaining screen time on the jumbotron, the New York experience has provided Weber with a worldly appreciation, equally gaining the time to refine her palate at some of New York’s finest eateries.
“It has been really fun to get to know everyone, come together as a team and push each other to get better. We have a very hard working team and I think that will be one of our biggest strengths this year.
I really enjoy walking around and exploring the city and trying new restaurants. There are so many places to choose from and I have had a great time trying new places with my teammates.”
In a cosmopolitan city such as New York, with its captivating sights and legendary history, Weber has enjoyed the chance to absorb its greatness, falling under its magical spell. It is a feeling reciprocated by Riveters fans, who have been captivated by Weber and her teammates, eager to leave their mark on New York’s sporting map while hoping to gain a special place in the hearts and minds of their loyal fans.
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo credit: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images North America, Image obtained from Zimbio.com