The PHF dropped some pretty big Tuesday morning news when they announced a commitment from their Board of Governors to invest over $25 million in direct payments and benefits to its players over the next three years. This includes more than $7.5 million in salary and benefits for Season 8 (2022-23).
Obviously, this will attract more players, and the PHF also announced that it would be adding a team not only in Montreal but also somewhere else TBD. So in addition to expanding the salary cap, and the number of PHF teams, they are also expanding the schedule to a 28-game season.
You can read all of the juicy details here as outlined by my colleague Holly Morrison:
Still in shock. 🤯— Audra Morrison (@audra_21) January 18, 2022
If you were on social media during the past 8-10 hours you probably saw a lot of player reactions, but me being me I wanted to dig a little deeper and give some players a slightly bigger platform to expand upon their initial thoughts while the news was still fresh. So here is what the nine players I reached out to had to say when I asked for their reactions.
Shannon Turner, Connecticut Whale defender (7 seasons): Literally a dream come true! I can’t wait to see my high school girls playing in the PHF one day!
Allie Thunstrom, Minnesota Whitecaps forward (4 seasons): This is such a monumental day...it has taken a few hours to fully process how incredible this investment is to not only the current generation of women hockey players - but even more so the future. Girls and women playing today in high school and college can actually look forward to a league that pays them a living wage, a league where they no longer have to choose between a career and hockey..where hockey can be the primary.
It has been so incredibly special to be a part of and I truly cannot thank the Board of Governors enough for making this woman’s childhood dream a reality. Your continued commitment to growing the game means the absolute world and we are so incredibly thankful for your support and for believing in us.
Rachael Ade, Metropolitan Riveters defender (4 seasons): It’s a little surreal right now, but truly amazing to see everyone’s hard work over the last seven years and more paying off! Especially with it not only being a current investment but also a future investment in our sport - showing that our board truly believes in us and is working right alongside us for our shared goal.
Grace Klienbach, Buffalo Beauts forward (4 seasons): It’s amazing to see the support of our league and women’s sports in general. I’m so proud to have been a part of the growth of this, and I’m beyond excited for the future of the PHF!
Emma Vlasic, Connecticut Whale forward (3 seasons): Today’s news is huge for the PHF and for the sport. It’s another step in the right direction for women’s hockey and the growth of the game. I’m grateful for the Board of Governors, and the support and belief they continue to show for our game.
Huge W for womens hockey today! Thank you to @PHF Board of Governors for your investment in our league and for supporting us. Can’t wait to see how this league continues to develop for the young kids that dream to play in our league one day https://t.co/8Nzub1eWKk— Taylor Wenczkowski (@Twencz_12) January 18, 2022
Kayla Friesen, Boston Pride forward (2 seasons): I think the news today is incredible. The Board of Governors not only see how strong this league is but they truly believe in it. They continue to see the endless potential it has, just as we players do.
This is going to continue to push us players and future players to do what it takes to get to where we deserve to be with the continued support we are given.
This news today is going to get A LOT more eyes on the league, which is only going to create more opportunities and more growth. Which is all we want. The PHF is going to be around for the long haul; I’m very proud to be a part of it and excited to see it continue in the right direction year after year.
Carly Jackson, Buffalo Beauts goaltender (2 seasons): I can’t thank the people who have built this league from the ground up, the board of governors, and our fans enough. Today’s news has put the biggest smile on my face as I am beaming with pride to be a professional athlete in the PHF. Thank you to those who have come before us, those who compete every day, and I can’t wait for the excitement that is yet to come. Go Beauts!!
A HUGE thank you to everyone who believes in us as athletes & people!! The confidence and support from the Board of Governors & beyond is so encouraging as we continue to move the game forward ➡️➡️➡️ https://t.co/dwW1f9tBXO— Allie Olnowich (@allie_o18) January 18, 2022
Leah Marino, Toronto Six forward (1 season): When I woke up to the news this morning I was honestly stunned. I think I can speak on behalf of all players when I say a huge thank you to the Board of Governors for believing in us and helping us grow. This is a milestone moment for all women’s professional sports and allows us to continue to play the sport we love while inspiring the next generation of athletes.
I’ve dreamt about having a career as a full-time hockey player since I was a little girl, and after today's announcement, we are one step closer to this becoming a reality.
Stephanie Sucharda, Toronto Six defender (1 season): I was thrilled seeing this morning’s PHF announcement. This marks a pivotal moment not just for the PHF, but for all of women’s hockey and women’s sports more broadly. Ownership has made an incredibly strong statement that they believe in the value of this league today, and for years to come. As a current player in the PHF, I feel extremely proud, yet humbled to be a part of this historic moment.