Today, during a conference call with selected media members, the NWHL announced its plans to invest in two Canadian markets. The league expects to have teams in Toronto and Montréal for the 2019-20 season and is currently in discussion with the stakeholders of the Toronto Furies and Les Canadiennes de Montréal.
BREAKING: The @NWHL Board has approved investment for two teams in Canada in the Montreal and Toronto markets. Plans in place to have teams there next season. Doors are not closed on further plans. #NWHL— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) April 2, 2019
The league also announced that the NHL has made a financial commitment that has made them one of the NWHL’s biggest sponsors. NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan reached out to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Sunday not long after the news broke on Sunday morning that the CWHL was planning to fold on May 1. Rylan met with Bettman yesterday to discuss the NHL’s new level of financial commitment to the women’s league.
Details about the 2019 offseason and the league’s fifth season were also shared in the conference call. There will be no restricted free agency this offseason, which will allow players to sign wherever they choose. The 2019-20 season will also be expanding in length to what is expected to be a 24-game regular season schedule.
We’ll have more details and analysis on today’s news for you right here at The Ice Garden.
UPDATE: The NHL’s initial investment, which was previously labeled as “significant” in the original title of this article, is reportedly $100,000.