Riveters Beauts Boston Pride Whale

(Images: NWHL)

The National Women’s Hockey League, or NWHL, is a brand new league that will kick off next season and has announced it comes with a major perk for its players: a paycheck.

The Canadian Women’s Hockey League has been one of the most successful women’s leagues to date–with sponsorships, broadcast deals, and some teams establishing relationships with NHL franchises–but it does not play its players.

Mike Burse of Outlook Hockey released a statement from the league about its formation and its intentions to pay its players and for players to have a say in league rules. The statement said it will have a founding four teams: the Boston Pride, Connecticut Whale, New York Riveters and Buffalo Beauts. Each team has social media platforms established.

League commissioner Dani Rylan is a Northeastern grad who, in a past CUNY Sports Report, reported she was an advocate of expanding the CWHL with a sixth New York team. The CWHL remains a five-team league.

The NWHL has no affiliation with the CWHL.

The NWHL has announced it will hold a draft in which junior and senior college hockey players will be eligible. All players who have completed a college degree will be considered free agents. Players must register to be drafted by June 1.

A player may designate which team she prefers to play for if she is already committed to living with a family in that city, already has a full-time job in that city or is already committed to living with a partner in that city.

The NWHL has set up a Pointstreaks website which includes its mission:

“The NWHL Foundation is a charitable and educational nonprofit corporation that provides long-range financial support for the NWHL and promotes the growth of women’s hockey.

The Foundation’s primary goals are to enhance the NWHL’s mission and activities; to provide funding for education, training, and opportunities to increase women’s participation throughout the country.  The Foundation will leverage the sport of hockey to advance the lives of women and teach the core values of hockey: loyalty, sportsmanship, commitment, perseverance and teamwork.”

The NWHL will host a launch party in New York City on April 13.

Yahoo! Sports editor Jen Neale contends, per the NWHL, there are at least 20 verbal commitments to the league, and Rylan is targeting both national and local sponsors for the teams. Neale also writes that Rlyan has approached the NHL about a possible partnership, and that Rylan sees her league as co-existing with the CWHL.

What about equipment?

“…This a professional league. The women will have their equipment provided to them. The equipment, tape, sticks, the necessities to play, will be given to them,” said Rylan, as quoted by Neale.

Stay tuned to The Pink Puck for more information on this new league as it continues to develop.

We want to hear from you: What is your immediate reaction to the news? What questions or concerns about it do you have? Let us know in the comments.

A college hockey fan and hockey player, Krista Patronick decided to pursue a career in sports management after earning a degree in English from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell in 2009 and spending three years in journalism. She received her Master's of Sports Management from Southern New Hampshire University in 2013. After realizing she was meant to work in the hockey world, Krista went to work in any press box she could get into. She kept statistics, wrote shot charts, tweeted and live-blogged her way to a job as an operations coordinator and marketing director at The Hockey Academy in Hudson, N.H. She works with the company's two junior teams, adult hockey players, and youth teams. Krista is a goalie and enjoys playing hockey in her spare time. She is a die-hard Bruins and River Hawks hockey fan. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @KristaPatronick

2 COMMENTS

  1. As a fan of women’s hockey, I think this is great!! More hockey opportunities for women beyond college is a fantastic thing. As a Canadian, I am slightly worried about how this is going to affect the CWHL. I would hate to lose American stars like Hilary Knight, Brianna Decker and Julie Chu. And I wonder if both the Boston Blades and the Boston Pride can co-exist. There are enough talented players to fill both rosters in my opinion, I’m just uncertain about both teams competing for the same audience/dollar.

    All in all, I’m very curious to see how the next few months unfolds for the NWHL. I’m already a fan of the Buffalo Beauts since I’m a Sabres fan too!

    • Definitely big issues a lot of people are wondering about and how they will pan out! Thanks for the comment Jennifer!

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