NWHL announces shortened schedule, Year 3 plans, and possible expansion

The NWHL dropped a few major announcements on Thursday evening that gives a glance into what the league’s plans are going forward.

The biggest change impacts the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. Instead of the regular season ending on April 16, it will now conclude on March 12.

The season bleeding into April was due to a three week league-wide break for national team players to play at World Championships and an increase in the number of regular season games played.

Now the three week break is gone as are 12 regular season games that would have taken place had the playoffs not been moved up. Boston and Buffalo will miss out on four games each while New York and Connecticut will lose two each.

As for the playoffs, they will take place between March 17-19. Biggest change here is compact schedule.

Last year, the Isobel Cup semi-final and final took place over two weekends with each round featuring a best-of-three series.

That’s gone now.

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Dani Rylan, NWHL commissioner, opens up about scandalous offseason

In March 2016, the first ‘leaked’ National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) emails made their way to the inboxes of several women’s hockey writers. Others followed. They alleged unpaid debts, mismanagement behind the scenes and general chaos for the first-year league.

How did NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan feel about this campaign?

“Someone has a lot of time on their hands to try and undermine the NWHL and all the hard work we’ve put into this league,” she said in an interview with Puck Daddy. “I would much prefer to actually handle a problem someone has with me rather than hear about it through a blog post.”

What a difference a year makes.

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NWHL, new women’s hockey league, promises to pay players

Congratulations, you’ve graduated college! With your degree in hand, you’ve got years of memories and a bag of hockey gear that’s seen its full potential as an NCAA student-athlete. You were a good collegiate hockey player but not, like, national program good.

What’s next for you? The NHL? NOPE. Overseas? Too complicated. Southern Professional Hockey League? Unlikely, but not impossible.

Oh, forgot to mention: You’re a women’s hockey player.

How about the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL)? That’s an option, but you’re not sure if you can afford it, time and money wise. They don’t pay their players. You’ll have to provide most of your own gear, among other expenses, and somehow work in a full-time job in order to support yourself just to play the game you love.

Looks like your hockey glory days are coming to a beer-league-only end…

At least they were, until now.

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