Harrison Browne delays retirement, signs with New York Riveters

Isobel Cup Champion joining New York for third season with the NWHL.

Well, we sure didn't see THIS signing coming.

After announcing that he was hanging up the skates after he won the Isobel Cup with the Buffalo Beauts last season, Harrison Browne signed a contract with the New York Riveters on Monday, delaying his retirement from professional hockey.

Browne became the first openly trans athlete to win a championship in a pro team sport last year when he was a part of the Beauts squad that upset the Boston Pride in the Isobel Cup Final.

“I took a lot of time these last four months to reflect on my career, my rights, and future steps that I am eager to take in my life,” said Browne in the press release. “After thinking long and hard about exactly what those signify and how they can connect, I decided that I wasn’t ready to retire from the NWHL.”

After he initially announced his plan to retire, Browne was announced as a member of the NWHL's Board of Advisers, where he would be "lending his insight and experience on matters of inclusion."

Per the NWHL, now that Browne is an active player again, he will not serve as a member of the board; he will join the league as an advisor once his playing time in the NWHL is over.

This will mark Browne's third year in the NWHL; he spent the first year as a member of the Buffalo Beauts. In two years with Buffalo, he's racked up seven goals and 11 assists for 18 total points in 35 games. He'll join a New York group that is looking like a serious contender for this year's Isobel Cup.

UPDATE: Browne released a YouTube video later this afternoon explaining his decision to come out of retirement and play for New York.

He also mentioned some plans he has for the upcoming season:

"I'm gong to be going to a lot of LGBTQ organizations, I'm going to be going to a lot of groups and a lot of centers and volunteer my time there. I'm also going to be hosting members of LGBTQ organizations for every home game that I go to, and I'm excited for that, I'm excited to really embrace the sport and really bring people into hockey and show that they are wanted, and I really want to celebrate people being who they are."

You can watch the video in its entirety below.