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Report: Noora Räty, Kelli Stack sign with CWHL’s Kunlun Red Star

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Stack, Räty leave respective teams for newest CWHL expansion team; Stack’s departure major blow for NWHL

Finnish superstar goaltender Noora Räty will join Team China’s CWHL team Kunlun Red Star in the fall, according to reports.

The news broke in the Finnish media today that Räty, 28, has left Nokian Pyry to sign with Kunlun Red Star. “This is a unique opportunity for a unique athlete,” Pyry CEO Pekka Palonen told Jatkoaika.

While reporting the news about Räty, Finnish national public broacaster YLE let another big name drop: American Olympian, world champion and Connecticut Whale forward Kelli Stack, who was snubbed by USA Hockey for PyeongChang centralization, was named as an ‘American reinforcement’ for the Red Star. Stack previously spent four seasons in the CWHL with the Boston Blades prior to the NWHL’s formation.

While the Kunlun Red Star team has yet to be officially confirmed in North America, it’s possible the CWHL will formally announce the news at a press conference tomorrow evening in Toronto. The Ice Garden broke the news about Kunlun Red Star coming to the CWHL last month.

UPDATE: Noora Räty confirmed her departure from former team Nokian Pyry to Kunlun Red Star today in an article posted on the team’s website here.

She thanked Nokian Pyry for her time there and also left the possibility of a return open, but said that she is “look(ing) forward to new challenges in China.”