The PWHPA announced on Thursday the return of the Dream Gap Tour. Starting on Oct. 14, four PWHPA teams - separate from their training region - will compete in multiple weekend series in cities across North America, including a new “special event” all leading up to a championship weekend.
The five stops in the fall portion of the Tour will be announced “in the coming weeks.” The PWHPA confirmed to The Ice Garden in an email that this is planned to be an October to March tour with the winter dates coming later this fall.
The fourth iteration of the Dream Gap Tour is a combination of what the organization has done in the past for rosters. There’s once again five training hubs - Boston, Calgary, Minnesota, Montreal, and Toronto. New for the 2022-23 season is that the players on these rosters will be ranked, then placed onto one of four region-less rosters based on these rankings. The team names will remain the same through the season - Team adidas, Team Harvey’s, Team Scotiabank and Team Sonnet. Each will have 25 players for a total of 100 players playing and practicing across the organization.
The goal, the organization said in an email, is to avoid players having to relocate while also having more parity amongst teams.
The PWHPA told TIG the “[r]ankings are based on a combined numerical score of skill rating, experience rating and tryout performance.” They also confirmed the National Team players who were unable to make tryouts due to camp were ranked based on skill and experience.
This differs from past Dream Gap Tours were the rosters ranged from randomized (2019-20) to mostly set (2020-21) to a mix of both (2021-22).
When asked about player compensation, salary caps, disclosure of both, as well if players would be paid even if they do not make a Dream Gap Tour stop team for a specific weekend, the PWHPA said compensation information was “to be confirmed.”
In the past, PWHPA players have not been paid salaries. In previous seasons, the winners of each weekend stop was awarded an unspecified prize amount.
This announcement comes after months of speculation about the PWHPA’S new league. Reports all summer have indicated that a new league spearheaded by the PWHPA is coming, likely in January. The league would provide a suitable platform for the elite players and pay them fairly. It would erase the need for showcases and hubs.
The PWHPA stated they are still pursuing creating a paid professional league but declined to give any further details via their press release, stating they are “under NDA with potential partners.” Any thoughts about when or if this league will happen is speculation. The PWHPA will presumably someday replace the DGT with a league but when that happens remains in the air. It appears that the Tour is here to stay for another year.
The PWHPA will announce the schedule and locations of their five showcase weekends and other special events later in August.