Tampa Bay Lightning, PWHPA to co-host women's games

TAMPA, Fla. — The Professional Women's Hockey Players' Association and the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning will co-host a four-game Dream Gap Tour event in February.

Four teams will participate in the Feb. 25-26 event at Advent Health Center Ice in Wesley Chapel, Fla.

The PWHPA, which includes women's hockey stars Marie-Philip Poulin, Sarah Nurse, Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield, was formed after the collapse of the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) in 2019.

The 100-member PWHPA plays Secret Dream Gap Tour tournaments and games to raise awareness and support for a sustainable women's pro league that offers a living wage and the competitive supports their male counterparts get.

“Partnering with the Tampa Bay Lightning is exciting for multiple reasons,” said PWHPA operations consultant Jayna Hefford said Monday in a statement.

“They’re a winning organization who have experienced tremendous success in a growing hockey market, which demonstrates both on-ice and off-ice accomplishments — something we highly respect."

The women have played showcase tournaments in Montreal, Pittsburgh and Truro, N.S., this season, and held an all-star weekend in Ottawa in December.

Another tournament is scheduled Jan. 21-22 in Owen Sound and Collingwood, Ont.

PWHPA members have not joined the seven-team Premier Hockey Federation, which will double its salary cap next season to US$1.5 million per club.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 9, 2023.

The Canadian Press