Yesterday was the Flyers' first preseason game since the offeason announcement that its female, lightly dressed ice cleaners were being done away with, to be replaced with 12 dudes in orange jackets. Fans most definitely noticed the change:
Flyers winger Jakub Voracek got a kick out of the booing, but pleaded the fifth after being asked if he missed the ice girls:
"I have a girlfriend. I don't want to answer that question."
The Flyers eliminated the ice girls within months of a Mother Jones story in which members of the crew complained about shitty work conditions, draconian rules, and meager pay—not too dissimilar from what NFL cheerleaders have been alleging in various lawsuits against their teams. Consider this the Flyers being proactive: the Rangers scrapped their all-female ice team in 2007, but only after settling a lawsuit that included claims of sexual harassment.
Meanwhile, the San Jose Sharks announced plans to roll out their own co-ed ice crew, though only the girls' sweaters will be form-fitting and midriff-baring. The Sharks will roll out their ice girls at their first preseason game tonight, despite the loud objections of a number of fans.