Last Thursday, more than 200 of the top women's hockey players announced they would not play in any professional leagues in North America until, in the upcoming season, their demands for a single, financially stable league are met. That came a day after the Canadian Women's Hockey League officially ceased operations, leaving only the U.S.-based National Women's Hockey League as a pro option in North America.

Puck Drop editor Randy Johnson asked Star Tribune veteran hockey writer Rachel Blount about the players' boycott and what we might see going forward.

Q: Did this come as a surprise to those connected to the game?

A: It did catch people off guard, since the (CWHL) had not indicated it was in distress. On the other hand, the CWHL didn't have strong financial support. The CWHL operated as a nonprofit and didn't pay players until 2017, when it began giving what it called "stipends" rather than salaries.

RANDY JOHNSON