Hello and welcome to The Ice Garden’s 2018-19 CWHL season preview!
We’ve got a whole week of content to get you ready the upcoming season of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, from team previews and players to watch to a look at the league. You’ll find all the links below our brief FAQ!
How many teams are there?
Six teams play in the CWHL. Four of the six are based in Canada — Les Canadiennes de Montreal, Toronto Furies, Markham Thunder, and Calgary Inferno. The Worcester Blades are in Massachusetts, and the final team is in China, the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays.
Wait, China? Explain more, please!
Yes China. This is the second season of a Chinese team in the CWHL. Last season, there were two teams: the Kunlun Red Stars and the Vanke Rays. Then, this off season the CWHL contracted the Vanke Rays leaving only one team, which was later rebranded to the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays.
Every team travels to China once to play and the KRS Vanke Rays travel to North America to play each team as well. Part of the league’s reasoning for contracting the Vanke Rays was to ease the travel schedule on the players.
The KRS Vanke Rays are made up of a mix of international players and Chinese National Team players. Due to CWHL international player limits, they can only have six international players, not including goaltenders. Players with Chinese heritage - that is, not born in China but with grandparents who were - do not count towards the international player limit. Non Chinese National Team players are paid a little differently then normal players. In addition to playing, they also paid (a lot) to coach or train or work in another capacity within hockey. Reports put their salary in the six figure range.
How can I watch games?
In person is the most ideal! Tickets can be bought online or in person at the games.
Who won the last Clarkson Cup?
Markham Thunder! They beat the Kunlun Red Stars in overtime.
What’s the best way to follow the league?
The Twitter community around the CWHL is really active. Our CWHL Twitter List of teams and players is a great place to start.
Do you have any other questions?
Ask us in the comments!