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.
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