New Women’s Hockey League Set To Drop The Puck In 2024

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This is the latest attempt to create a lasting women’s circuit.

The Professional Women’s Hockey League has started operations and will put a six-team product on ice in January. The PWHL is the latest attempt at putting women’s sports into the mainstream American culture but other than women’s tennis, it has been an uphill battle for women to establish a foothold in American sports. The Ladies Professional Golf Association has been around for decades but it pales in comparison in popularity to men’s golf. The Women’s National Basketball Association is the oldest of the active women’s leagues and there are still problems with travel and salaries are quite low. There is another women’s soccer league slated to start in 2024 affiliated with the second-tier men’s circuit, the United Soccer League. Women’s soccer leagues have come and gone in North America despite  past American championships.

The PWHL plans to have franchises in Boston, in the New York City area and in Minneapolis-St. Paul in the United States while Toronto, Montréal and Ottawa will house Canadian teams. There will be a 24-game scheduled in 2024 and that will expand to a 32-game schedule in 2024-2025. The league’s ownership is taking very small steps in a hope of building a lasting league. Previous attempts at building a women’s hockey league have failed for various reasons. Each team will have 23 players and will invite a minimum of 28 players for training camp. Players have already ratified a collective bargaining agreement that runs through 2031. The players will make between $35,000 and $80,000 annually. The National Hockey League released a statement welcoming the new league but is not an investor. “We remain committed to supporting the women’s game and look forward to working together with the PWHL to grow our sport.” The league has a hard row to hoe.

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