Update on Monday, March 7 at 8:05 a.m.:
The PHF officially announced the sale of the Toronto Six from BTM Partners to a new ownership group. The group is led by
Retired National Hockey League forward Anthony Stewart leads the group along with Hockey Hall of Famer (and current Six assistant coach) Angela James, Carnegie Initiative co-chair Bernice Carnegie, and former NHL Coach of the Year Ted Nolan. The full group will be announced when the sale is closed.
“Local ownership who believe in our vision to grow women’s hockey and are committed to supporting these phenomenal professional athletes represents another significant step forward in the overall growth and sustainability of the PHF,” said Johanna Boynton, founding Chair and Principal Owner of the Toronto Six, in the release. “We are beyond excited for the PHF family to evolve by welcoming diverse leaders who will be difference makers and take the organization to the next level by enhancing the experience for our athletes, community partners, and passionate fans.”
Jeff Marek of Sportsnet dropped a bomb Saturday night on 32 Thoughts. The Toronto Six have been sold to a new ownership group that includes some noteworthy names in the world of hockey.
Current Toronto Six assistant coach and Hockey Hall of Famer Angela James is a member of this new ownership group. So too are former NHLer and current broadcaster Anthony Stewart, former NHL head coach Ted Nolan, and Bernice Carnegie, the co-founder of the Carnegie Institute. “There are some other names, I haven’t been able to pin those down, but we’ll look for an announcement in the next couple of days,” Marek reported on Sportsnet’s broadcast.
All the members of this new ownership group that have been identified are BIPOC, which is incredibly significant in a sport of privilege like hockey.
The Six have Black women and men in key roles in the organization — head coach Mark Joslin, assistant coach Angela James, and general manager Krysti Clarke. The team also has two Black stars on the ice: Saroya Tinker and reigning MVP Mikyla Grant-Mentis. That makes tonight’s news that much more significant and historic.
Johanna Boynton is the current principal owner of the Toronto Six. The Boyntons have made it clear that it is their intention to continue as owners as one of the league’s teams but it was their aim to sell the others. The Boyntons are also the co-owners of the Boston Pride and the owners of the Metropolitan Riveters franchises. The PHF has bylaws against the same ownership group owning multiple teams for more than a few years. Now it is just a question of which franchise they sell their stake in next — the Riveters or the Pride.
“Someday we’ll have just one team,” [John] Boynton noted. “Our first divestment would have to happen within five years. I would expect it to happen earlier than that. I certainly hope it does. Local ownership is the key to sustainability.”
When this change in ownership officially takes place remains to be seen — Johanna Boynton was at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston today and was introduced as the owner of the Six. Needless to say, there are a lot of moving pieces here and we need to know what the rest of the ownership group looks like before we can call this a done deal.
We’ll keep you updated on this story as details emerge.