NHLPA partners with Women’s players association
The NHL Players Association is partnering with the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association.
The partnership, which was announced on Friday, Sept. 20, will result in NHLPA patches on player jerseys at PWHPA on-ice events.
The arrangement kicks off with the first stop of the PWHPA’s Dream Gap Tour this weekend in Toronto.
The tour is a series of weekend mini-tournaments featuring PWHPA personnel.
"The success of women's hockey is integral to the growth of the sport," NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr in a statement. "NHL players are proud to continue with their support of the women’s game by sponsoring the PWHPA. We look forward to seeing these talented hockey players on the ice as they demonstrate their skill and passion for the game throughout the PWHPA’s Dream Gap Tour."
The NHLPA is also a premier sponsor of the PWHPA's gala event to be held later this season in Toronto.
Almost 200 of the top female hockey players in North America will be competing in Toronto as well as in Hudson, N.H., Oct. 4-6 and Chicago Oct. 18-20.
The PWHPA was founded in May after the 12-year-old Canadian Women’s Hockey League – which had six teams – ceased operations in April. That leaves the U.S.-based National Women’s Hockey League as the sole professional women’s hockey league in North America.
The NWHL, which debuted in 2015-16, has five teams – founding members the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and the Metropolitan Riveters, as well as the Minnesota Whitecaps, which joined the league in 2018. The NWHL took control of the Buffalo Beauts franchise on May 8 of this year.
But players are not satisfied with the pay and working conditions in the NWHL, and the women who have formed the PWHPA have pledged not to play in the league. According to the PWHPA’s mission statement, the organization’s main goal is a sustainable women’s professional league.
"It is our time to close the 'dream gap' for the generations who will follow us,” said PWHPA Operations Consultant Jayna Hefford in a statement, “by creating a women's professional league that consistently showcases the best product of women’s hockey, pays its players a living wage and has the infrastructure to ensure the sport can achieve sustained success."