pro womens hockey toronto

New pro women's hockey league launches and Toronto has a team

There's a new pro hockey league heading to Canada.

After months of rumours, the Professional Women's Hockey League (PWHL) officially announced the details for its first season, kicking off in 2024 with six new franchises.

Three Canadian markets will be represented: Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, as well as Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and the New York City area.

Most of the world's top players are expected to play in the new league, with a free agency period kicking off later this week and games commencing in January 2024. Each team will play a 24-game regular season schedule.

The roots for the PWHL were set over two previously existing organizations — the Premier Hockey Federation (formerly known as the National Women's Hockey League), which was operating since 2015, as well as the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association, operating since 2019. In June 2023, Mark Walter Group and BJK Enterprises, led by Los Angeles Dodgers chairman Mark Walter and tennis icon Billie Jean King, purchased the PHF and merged the player pool for both leagues.

"We are especially proud to be providing this new platform for elite women athletes," said board of directors member and Dodgers president Stan Kasten. "Our great game has the power to captivate and connect sports fans everywhere, and we are thrilled to plant roots in six of North America's most passionate hockey markets."

The Toronto Six were the reigning champions of the PHF before its operations ceased earlier this year, their first title in team history. Currently, the new teams in the PWHL only have city names, with more details to be announced in the coming months.

"Today, we look ahead to a phenomenal future for the PWHL," said Jayna Hefford, PWHL senior vice president, in a release. "We have never seen more excitement and demand for women's sports, and through the launch of this league, the top women’s players in the world will have the opportunity to reach even greater heights."

Lead photo by

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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