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Transaction Tuesday: Red Star shaking things up

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 5 - Switzerland v Finland Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

Two weeks ago in the first edition of Transaction Tuesday the Connecticut Whale were making the biggest waves of the offseason. A lot has changed since then. Today the spotlight is off of the Whale and the NWHL entirely. The CWHL will have a sixth team next season and it will feature some elite international players.

Once again it’s time for The Ice Garden to catch you up on all of the major roster moves that have happened thus far in the 2017 offseason.

Note: All signings, departures and other news that has taken place since the last edition of Transaction Tuesday are noted in bold text.


NWHL

  • Hayley Moore has been named the league’s deputy commissioner and director of player development.

Boston Pride

  • Centralization: Gigi Marvin, Kacey Bellamy, Alex Carpenter, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Brianna Decker, Amanda Pelkey
  • Out: Blake Bolden (HC Lugano, Swiss League)
  • Re-signed: Lexi Bender, Jordan Smelker, Jillian Dempsey, Mary Parker, Emily Field
  • Signed: Kathyrn Tomaselli (practice player last season), Michaela Levine (practice player last season), Kaliya Johnson
  • Front office: Thomas Poeck replaces Bobby Jay as head coach, Hayley Moore will leave her post as the team’s general manager

The Pride now have eight players under contract which is as many as the Beauts and Whale have combined. Boston’s forward group was bolstered by the signings of Smelker, Dempsey, Parker and Field. Dempsey’s 28 points in the NWHL leads all

Jillian Dempsey of the Boston Pride scoring a goal against New York Riveters goaltender Sojung Shin.
Al Saniuk

Johnson became the first NWHL player to switch teams in the 2017 unrestricted free agency period. She is one of just two Pride defenders under contract for next season.

Buffalo Beauts

  • Centralization: Emily Pfalzer, Megan Bozek
  • Re-signed: Corinne Buie
  • Signed: Kelsey Neumann (practice player last season)
  • Out: Harrison Browne (retirement), Brianne McLaughlin (retirement), Ashley Vesci (retirement), Devon Skeats (retirement)

The Beauts power play will keep one of its biggest weapons thanks to two-time Isobel Cup Champion Corrine Buie signing with the team. Buie led the league in power play goals last season.

Pat McCarthy

The 26-year-old Kelsey Neumann has been promoted to the Beauts main roster. She served as the team’s third string goaltender behind Brianne McLaughlin and Amanda Leveille last season.

Connecticut Whale

  • Re-signed: Kelly Babstock, Elena Orlando, Cydney Roesler
  • Signed: Sydney Rossman (Quinnipiac), Shannon Doyle (practice player last season), Anya Battaglino (practice player last season)
  • Out: Kelli Stack (Kunlun Red Star, CWHL), Kaliya Johnson (Boston Pride)

It’s been nothing but bad news for Whale fans. Johnson signed with the Pride and Connecticut is once again without a captain thanks to Stack returning to the CWHL.

New York Riveters

  • Centralization: Amanda Kessel
  • Pyeongchang-bound: Sojung Shin (Korea)
  • Out: Madison Packer (retirement)
  • Re-signed: Katie Fitzgerald, Tatiana Rafter, Rebecca Russo, Alexa Gruschow, Miye D’Oench, Kiira Dosdall, Lauren Wash, Ashley Johnston
  • Signed: Sarah Bryant (practice player last season), Cheeky Herr (practice player last season)

The Riveters have been the busiest NWHL team thus far in the 2017 offseason. Since last we checked in veteran defenders Dosdall and Johnston both signed on for a third year with the club and rookie forwards Gruschow, D’Oench and Wash all re-signed.

Bryant and Herr have both been promoted from the ranks of the practice squad. Both rookies played in two games with the Riveters last season. Bryant will serve as Fitzgerald’s backup goaltender.

Julia “Cheeky” Herr of the New York Riveters.
Al Saniuk

CWHL

Boston Blades

  • Out: Kayla Tutino (trade with Les Canadiennes)

Brampton Thunder

  • Centralization: Laura Stacey, Laura Fortino, Jocelyn Larocque, Erica Howe (alternate)
  • Front office: Jim Jackson will replace 2016-17 Coach of the Year Tyler Fines as head coach

Calgary Inferno

  • Centralization: Rebecca Johnston, Jill Saulnier, Bailey Bram, Brianne Jenner, Haley Irwin, Blayre Turnbull, Brigette Lacquette, Meaghan Mikkelson, Geneviève Lacasse, Emerance Maschmeyer (alternate)
  • Pyeongchang-bound: Iya Gavrilova (Russia), Akane Hosoyamada (Japan), Aina Takeuchi (Japan)

Kunlun Red Star

  • In: Kelli Stack, Noora Räty
  • Front Office: Digit Murphy - head coach, Rob Morgan - associate coach

It’s official, the CWHL will have a sixth team next season and that team is going to have plenty of star power. International stars Stack and Räty will headline Kunlun Red Star’s roster next season. The rest of the team will be built through the CWHL Draft and is expected to feature many players from the Chinese national team.

Kelli Stack has left her role as captain of the Connecticut Whale to return to the CWHL with Kunlun Red Star.
Al Saniuk

Les Canadiennes de Montreal

  • Centralization: Marie-Philip Poulin, Lauriane Rougeau
  • In: Kayla Tutino (trade with Boston Blades)
  • Out: Leslie Oles (EV Bomo Thun, Swiss League)

Toronto Furies

  • Centralization: Natalie Spooner, Renata Fast, Erin Ambrose
  • Pyeongchang-bound: Sena Suzuki (Japan)
  • Out: Kelly Terry (retirement), Michela Cava (Modo, SDHL)

Cava was second on the Furies in points last season, Spooner was first. That’s a lot of offense out the window for a team that finished with the fourth-best offense in the CWHL this year.

Michela Cava was one of the CWHL’s most productive rookies last season. She signed with Modo of the SDHL this offseason.
Al Saniuk