Professional women’s hockey will soon be returning to the Great White North.
The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) officially announced the addition of a new franchise in Toronto on Wednesday morning. It will be the league’s sixth team and its first in Canada, joining the NWHL’s existing franchises in Monmouth Junction, N.J., Danbury, Conn., Buffalo, N.Y., Boston and Saint Paul, Minn.
“Launching our first team in Canada is a pivotal and proud moment for the NWHL,” commissioner Dani Rylan said in a statement on the league’s website. “Everyone in the Toronto hockey community can be sure that this first-class team of professionals will make bold strides for the women’s game.”
It marks the return of a professional women’s team to Canada for the first time since the Canadian Women’s Hockey League folded last year. At the time of its discontinuation, the CWHL consisted of six teams from across Canada, the United States and China. It ultimately failed due to financial issues.
The new ownership team will be led by former Harvard women’s hockey captain Johanna Boynton, who is the CEO and co-founder of Massachusetts-based construction company Boynton Brennan Builders. She is joined in the front office by executive Tyler Tumminia and club chairman Digit Murphy.
“We aspire to build a perennial Isobel Cup contender for Toronto,” Boynton said. “This will be an organization with strong fan, community and corporate support, outstanding coaching, training, and player development, and a club dedicated to promoting hockey as a game for everyone.”
The new franchise also announced on Wednesday that it had already signed five players to contracts: forwards Shiann Darkangelo and Taylor Woods, defenders Kristen Barbara and Emma Greco and goaltender Elaine Chuli. Darkangelo is the most notable of the five, having been part of the United States national team that won the 2016 IIHF World Championships.
The team’s name, logo and colors will be decided by fan suggestions on the club’s official website. Other details, such as the venue and additional staff, will be announced in the next few months.
“The advancement of a professional women’s hockey league for Canada and the U.S., one that will stand and flourish on its own, is a passion for me and everyone associated with the NWHL,” Boynton said. “We are driven every day to increase the opportunities available to women’s hockey players of all ages, and that’s what this expansion is all about. There is so much potential, and Toronto is the logical next step.”
The 2020-21 NWHL season is scheduled to get underway in mid-November. The league’s championship, the Isobel Cup Final, was postponed this March because of the coronavirus pandemic. The two finalists, the Boston Pride and Minnesota Whitecaps, are expected to make up the finals before the start of the new season.
Source: Read Full Article