A historic collaboration between the NWHL and the SDHL could be on the horizon.
Sweden’s SVT Sport reported news this morning of talks between Luleå Hockey/MSSK and the Metropolitan Riveters for a September exhibition series to be held in Luleå. This meeting of champions would mark the first time the NWHL and the SDHL have partnered together.
SDHL Communications Director Angelica Lindeberg acknowledged to SVT that talks are underway between the leagues but did not provide additional details. The NWHL declined comment when contacted by The Ice Garden.
While a series between the Riveters and Luleå would undoubtedly make for some great hockey, one question immediately comes to mind: who’s footing the bill? The Riveters would incur significant travel costs to transport their players, staff, and equipment from the United States up to northern Sweden. The NWHL has faced financial questions from day one and these additional expenses are sure to raise eyebrows, especially as the league expands into Minnesota.
From the SDHL’s perspective, the publicity of a North American championship team coming to play their reigning victors is nothing but positive. It’s an acknowledgement that both the game and its audience are truly international, and also exposes the Riveters’ fanbase to a league they may not be familiar with. It’s a positive way for both leagues to...wait for it...grow the game.
The NWHL’s newest team, the Minnesota Whitecaps, traveled to Sweden last fall for exhibition matches against the SDHL’s three Stockholm-area teams.