Six NHL cities get another professional hockey franchise as historic announcement is made

Published August 29, 2023 at 8:18

The new Professional Women's Hockey League is scheduled to drop the puck on their season in January of 2024 and now with the countdown less than five months away there is a clearer picture as to where the league intends to have their first six teams and to be perfectly honest, it shouldn't surprise anyone as to which cities are initially going to be hosting games, at least for the inaugural season.

The six cities that have been chosen are a mix of Canadian and American cities and although they're all towards or on the east coast, they appear to be the perfect mix of markets that are overall hockey hotbeds or have shown that they can and will support the womens' game. The markets within Canada include Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal while New York, Boston and Minnesota round out the teams in the United States. Other cities that are under consideration but are not scheduled to be a part of the initial PWHL include London, Ontario, Pittsburgh and Chicago among others.

Key dates to consider are as follows:

PWHL Player Draft – September 18, 2023
Free Agency Period Begins – September 1st, 2023
Draft Declaration Deadline – September 3rd, 2023
Initial Free Agency Ends – September 10, 2023
Training Camps open – week of November 13, 2023

The unfortunate part amongst all of this was that teams in Connecticut and Buffalo have not been included in the plans of the new league, at least not yet. Given that the women's game has grown exponentially since becoming an official sport at the Olympics in Nagano in 1998, it would make sense for the league to ease other markets into existence after a year or so of being back in North America.

The goal of the executive should be to make sure that the league continues to be a viable option for those women who up until now have had to either go to Europe to play in other leagues to supplement an income or pick up other jobs to make ends meet. Let's be honest here. This isn't the early twentieth century where professional athletes of any kind worked more than one job in a calendar year so they could pay their bills. It will be interesting to see how the league manages and let's be honest the idea of having a younger generation looking up to their heroes with the dream of playing a game for a living is a pretty cool thought and for women's hockey something that is long overdue.

More details about the league will be announced during a virtual press conference Tuesday August 29, 2023.
August 29   |   107 answers
Six NHL cities get another professional hockey franchise as historic announcement is made

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