The first female escort to be hired by a professional hockey team in the United States has found a home in a Canadian city.
Carolina Hurricanes players and coaches gathered Thursday to honor the “Tiger Princess” and “Dance with the Stars” star who was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame.
The Panthers and their staff, led by general manager Jim Rutherford, will play the “Dancing with the Dragons” on Sunday night in Nashville.
It will mark the first time a women’s professional hockey game has been held in Canada.
The NHL Hall recognized the role the woman has played in the sport, which has been a success in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
Carol Kowalski, a former professional skater, said she became a stripper because of the Panthers.
“I never thought I’d be able to make a living from that.
But when I started in the industry, I never thought a woman would ever be able a career in this industry,” Kowingski said.
“And I feel so honored to be part of this.”
Kowalskis first job was working as a dancer at a nightclub in Orlando.
She became a professional dancer and worked in a strip club in Nashville, before returning to the NHL.
She was fired by the Panthers and is now the only female dancer in Carolina.
Kowins was paid $5 an hour.
She said she has been an escort for 20 years.
She said she doesn’t want to speak on behalf of the players.
But she said she’s proud of them for their decision to hire her.
The NHL announced Thursday that it would host a ceremony to recognize the career of the first female professional skaters in the history of the league.
The event will be at the team’s practice facility in Sunrise, Fla.
The players have also made a video tribute.
The women have worked for the team for two decades and earned more than $1 million, according to the team.
Carolina said it paid them $5,000 each.
The Panthers, the league’s only franchise in the South, play at Bridgestone Arena.
The “Dances with the Ducks” star will be inducted in the Hall of Sports Entertainment.
The league announced in January that it was awarding a $5 million scholarship to the winner.
Caroline McQuade, a member of the Carolina Panthers women’s hockey team, will be among the inductees.
She played with the Carolina Hurricanes from 1994 to 1996.
She was the daughter of retired coach Don McQuades and a member for five seasons with the team, retiring as an assistant coach in 2004.
McQuade said she felt compelled to do what she did to get away from the spotlight and be an escort.
“This is something I feel I can’t turn down,” McQuae said.
Carolyn Miller, the owner of the Chicago Blackhawks, was among the team owners who issued a statement of support for Kowouts role in the game.
“Carolina is a great city.
This is a tribute to Carol and her family and the fans,” Miller said.
The Blackhawks announced Thursday it was suspending its season and will host a team-wide tribute to Koways.
The team will hold a special ceremony at the home of the team on Friday to honor her.