“We didn’t just google it. #awhl2018”
That’s what the sticker found on the floor of the pro shop at the 2017 IIHF World Championships in Plymouth, Michigan read. The tweet got some attention tonight on Twitter almost a week after Worlds ended.
The quote the sticker alludes to is one by NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan from her Player's Tribune article. Immediately, the theories started flying.
That bumper sticker is a clear reference to this: pic.twitter.com/S3xj7Qr4Du— Melissa Burgess (@_MelissaBurgess) April 13, 2017
Is this the beginning of a third women's pro league in North America? Is this simply a crack at a financially struggling NWHL? Is this the most elaborate prank that women's hockey has ever seen? Everyone, including us here at The Ice Garden, have been left shaking their heads with little to no idea of what is happening and no choice but to engage in what feels like the worlds most complicated treasure hunt.
When you follow the hashtag, one of the only posts is by @AWHL_Hockey, a Twitter account that as of today, had tweeted just once.
Their bio reads “coming soon to a rink near you”. Sure, THAT’S NOT AMBIGUOUS AT ALL.
When asked about the AWHL, USA Hockey had never heard of it. When a search was run through the US Patent and Trademark Office system, no records were found. So far, the AWHL has done a really good job of coming out of left field: no one seems to have heard of it before now.
Found this in the women's bathroom at the USA Hockey arena. It wasn't there yesterday. Hmm. HMM. pic.twitter.com/ga4b0DNCUW— uncle k8 (@creature57) April 7, 2017
Regardless of what the AWHL is if the person or people behind it wanted our attention, they have it now. But can you just answer us when we ask - what exactly are you?