New Professional Women’s Hockey League reveals six franchises

The brand new Skilled Girls’s Hockey League was formally revealed Tuesday with six inaugural franchises and a 24-game common season that begins in January 2024.

The PWHL will characteristic three groups within the U.S. and three groups in Canada. The American franchises are positioned in Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and the New York Metropolis space. The Canadian franchises are positioned in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto. Particulars on dwelling arenas, staff names and logos are forthcoming.

The 2024 season schedule will likely be introduced within the coming months. It is anticipated to incorporate a break for the IIHF girls’s world championships in April.

Rosters for the inaugural season will begin forming throughout an preliminary free company signing interval commencing Sept. 1. Nearly all of the league’s founding gamers will then be chosen in the course of the 2023 PWHL Draft on Sept. 18.

The PWHL says it’s within the “closing phases” of securing six common managers for the franchises, all of whom are owned and operated by the league.

The PWHL is funded by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter and spouse Kimbra. The Mark Walter Group bought belongings of the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) in June to successfully dissolve that league to be able to launch the PWHL as the one professional girls’s hockey league in North America.

The PHF was based in March 2015 because the Nationwide Girls’s Hockey League, which on the time was the primary girls’s skilled hockey league to pay its gamers. It was rebranded in Sept. 2021. 5 of the six PWHL franchises are in cities that had PHF groups in the course of the 2022-23 season, save for Ottawa.

The demise of the PHF ended a multiyear feud between that group and the Skilled Girls’s Hockey Gamers’ Affiliation, which was comprised of stars from the U.S. and Canadian nationwide groups. These gamers have been unwilling to hitch both the NWHL or the PHF, citing a scarcity of religion of their enterprise fashions. The PWHPA toured North American arenas, enjoying a collection of USA vs. Canada exhibition video games in preparation for worldwide tournaments.

The PWHPA had been working with the Mark Walter Group and Billie Jean King Enterprises for over a 12 months to create a league of their very own to compete with the PHF. As a substitute, the years-long journey to “one league” ended with the disbandment of the PHF with the formation of the PWHL.

The brand new league is supported by a Board of Administrators that features King, sports activities government Ilana Kloss, Dodgers President Stan Kasten and Dodgers senior VP of enterprise technique Royce Cohen.

“On behalf of possession and our board, I’m honored to announce the official title of our new league, and to unveil the blueprint for this historic inaugural season. And we’re particularly proud to be offering this new platform for elite girls athletes,” stated Kasten. “Our nice sport has the ability to captivate and join sports activities followers in every single place, and we’re thrilled to plant roots in six of North America’s most passionate hockey markets.”

Jayna Hefford, the commissioner of now-defunct Canadian Girls’s Hockey League, is the PWHL’s senior VP of hockey operations. Longtime NHL government Brian Burke, who was fired as Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations in April, will assist run the PWHL Gamers Affiliation.

Any gamers within the 2023-24 PWHL season should declare for the draft by Sept. 3. There will likely be a 10-day free-agent interval from Sept. 1-10. forward of the draft wherein groups can signal as much as three gamers every. Present or graduating NCAA or collegiate program gamers aren’t eligible for this preliminary free company interval.

Per the PWHL collective bargaining settlement, groups can have as much as 20 gamers signed prematurely of November’s coaching camps. Six gamers on every staff will likely be signed to three-year contracts of “a minimum of $80,000 per league 12 months.”

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