PHILADELPHIA — The Professional Women's Hockey Players' Association that includes national team players from Canada and the United States opens its season Oct. 14.
The PWHPA rose from the ashes of the collapsed Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) in 2019 with the goal of a sustainable women's professional league offering the same competitive and financial supports male pros have.
The association includes 43 Olympians as well as other players with national-team and collegiate experience.
Canada's 23-player roster for the world championship in Denmark starting later this month features 21 PWHPA players, including captain Marie-Philip Poulin.
Thirteen players on the U.S. roster, including Kendall Coyne Schofield and Hilary Knight, are also in the association.
After its inception, the PWHPA barnstormed across North America in Dream Gap Tour events to showcase player talent and draw fan and sponsorship interest.
The PWHPA plans five weekend series this fall plus a special event in North America with locations and dates to be announced later this month, the association said Thursday in a press release.
“Coming into our fourth season, we continuously look for ways to increase opportunities for our players to compete as we move toward our ultimate goal of a professional league,” PWHPA operations consultant Jayna Hefford said in the statement.
“We also want to continue to provide an exciting product for hockey fans to enjoy, and we’re confident this will be our biggest, most competitive season to date. The depth of talent in women’s hockey increases every year and we’re excited to continue to support our world-class athletes and provide a platform for the best players in the world to perform.”
The PWHPA, Billie Jean King Enterprises and the Mark Walter Group — Mark Walter co-owns Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers — have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to explore the creation of a women's pro league.
"At this time, the PWHPA is under NDA with potential partners and is unable to provide further comment," it said in Thursday's statement..
The PWHPA intends to ice four teams in each Dream Gap Tour event from a pool of 150 registered players. Rosters will be announced in September. Players continue to train in groups in five regional hubs: Boston, Calgary, Minnesota, Montreal and Toronto.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 18, 2022.
The Canadian Press