NWHL Free Agency Begins June 1
The National Women’s Hockey League in preparing for its fourth season announced on Tuesday that the free agency period will begin on June 1.
In addition to the free agency period, the league also noted that any player that was not drafted by one of the member clubs are currently eligible to register for free agency at www.NWHL.zone/freeagency, if they have graduated from college.
NWHL Made Huge Strides in 2017-2018
This past season, the NWHL took some huge steps forward as they become the second women’s professional sports league in the world to sign a broadcast agreement with Twitter. The NWHL All-Star Game, at the Minnesota Wild’s practice, TRIA Rink back in February drew 580,000 viewers on Twitter Live. All three post season games this past March received a combined rating of 1.4 million fans streaming the games.
Strategic Partnerships with NHL Teams
Prior to the season the New Jersey Devils became the first National Hockey League team to form a strategic alliance with the league, as they partnered with the Metropolitan Riveters. Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the ownership group of the Buffalo Sabres and the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills, fully acquired the Buffalo Beauts in December. The Riveters defeated the Beauts in the Isobel Cup Final this past March.
In addition to the Wild hosting the All-Star Game, the Pittsburgh Penguins continued their partnership with the league in hosting a neutral site matchup between the Beauts and Connecticut Whale, at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. The Penguins were also the host of the 2017 NWHL All-Star Game.
Exhibition Games with USA Hockey
Prior to the PyeongChang Olympics, the NWHL sent a contingent of all-stars down to battle Team USA at their training facility, Florida Hospital Center Ice in Wesley Chapel, Florida. USA Hockey invited Team NWHL as warm up games for the 2018 Winter Olympics. A little more than half of the roster of the gold medal winning team spent some time in the NWHL as well.
The league also received some recognition on ESPN, NHL Network and other newscasts around the country with the spectacular “Bobby Orr-like” goal Riveters forward, Alexa Gruschow scored in the Isobel Cup Final. Riveters goalie Katie Fitzgerald, who earlier this week was named to the USA Hockey Women’s National Goalie Development Camp, received shout outs for not allowing a goal through both games of the Isobel Cup Playoffs.
Season four of the NWHL is slated to begin October as the league looks to continue to grow the game and continue to move forward for future generations of hockey fans and players.