Montreal is lastly getting its long-promised girls’s professional hockey franchise, although the Premier Hockey Federation put the brakes on including a second growth workforce coming into its eighth season. PHF Commissioner Reagan Carey tells The Related Press it was within the U.S.-based, privately backed league’s greatest curiosity to take a slower method towards development to make sure long-term stability in including a seventh franchise, and second in Canada. The yet-to-be-named Montreal franchise has been within the works for some 18 months, with its launch already delayed a 12 months by the COVID-19 pandemic. PHF officers in January additionally had dedicated to increasing right into a U.S. location, with out disclosing the place.
Montreal is lastly getting its long-promised girls’s professional hockey franchise, although the Premier Hockey Federation put the brakes on including a second growth workforce coming into its eighth season, the league introduced Tuesday.
In unveiling the U.S.-based, privately backed league’s seventh franchise and second in Canada, PHF Commissioner Reagan Carey stated it was within the sport’s greatest curiosity to take a slower method towards development to make sure long-term stability.
“Generally, there’s a bit of vitality and enthusiasm and urgency so as to add groups. However on the similar time, it’s important to do it in a very considerate means and be sure that we’re doing every thing on the proper time with the correct folks transferring ahead,” Carey instructed The Related Press.
“There’s been plenty of evaluating, assessing and plenty of conversations in simply attempting to get a greater understanding of what the league wants on the speedy second, and what we’d like long run for a sustainable future,” she added. “And Montreal has been on the prime of that since Day 1.”
The yet-to-be-named Montreal franchise has been within the works for some 18 months, with its launch already delayed a 12 months by the COVID-19 pandemic. PHF officers in January had additionally dedicated to increasing right into a U.S. location, with out disclosing the place.
Employed in April, Carey stated she wanted to raised familiarize herself with the PHF earlier than including a second growth workforce this 12 months. As for the potential of increasing subsequent 12 months, the previous USA Hockey govt stated: “I’ve no reservations about committing to growth in Season 9.”
Girls’s hockey returned to Montreal for the primary time since Les Canadiennes spent 12 years taking part in within the nation’s second-largest metropolis earlier than the Canadian Girls’s Hockey League folded after the 2019 season.
The workforce shall be primarily based in Montreal’s borough of Verdun, and play dwelling video games at Centre 21.02, which has a 2,500-seat capability. The 2-rink facility is a excessive efficiency heart established and run by former Canadian nationwide girls’s workforce coach Daniele Sauvageau.
The Montreal franchise would be the league’s third owned by BTM Companions, and have an area affect amongst its govt. French cable TV broadcaster Kevin Raphael will function workforce president with Emmanuel Anderson named vice chairman. Raphael and Anderson have labored on many initiatives collectively, together with internet hosting a hockey fundraiser to help youngsters’s most cancers foundations.
BTM additionally owns the Boston Satisfaction and New Jersey-based Metropolitan Riveters. BTM additionally owned the Toronto Six earlier than promoting the franchise to a bunch which incorporates former NHL coach Ted Nolan and former Canadian girls’s hockey star Angela James.
Montreal already has some catching as much as do in establishing a roster some two months after the PHF’s free company interval opened.
Carey stated that shouldn’t be a priority in citing the big pool of expertise the workforce can draw from in Quebec. Montreal can even benefit from the PHF’s choice to extend its wage cap to $750,000 per workforce this season — greater than double the $300,000 cap final 12 months.
Montreal marks the league’s third growth workforce after including the pre-existing Minnesota Whitecaps in 2016, and establishing a brand new workforce in Toronto two years in the past.
The PHF, beforehand referred to as the Nationwide Girls’s Hockey League, was based in 2015 and have become North America’s first girls’s hockey league to pay gamers a wage. The league additionally has groups in Buffalo, New York, and Danbury, Connecticut.
The PHF’s continued push into Canada coincides with the rival Skilled Girls’s Hockey Gamers’ Affiliation in discussions to launch its personal league throughout the subsequent 12 months. The PWHPA’s membership incorporates a majority of U.S. and Canadian nationwide workforce gamers who’ve balked at taking part in for the PHF.
Although rivals, Carey helps the PWHPA as a result of it’s working towards the identical goal because the PHF in in search of to develop the ladies’s sport.
“Transferring into Canada and with the ability to present alternatives for gamers there in addition to the U.S. is necessary for us. So it’s a North American league for certain,” Carey stated. “However on the similar time, we’re not resting and settling. Our intent is to proceed to develop and supply extra sources for gamers as we transfer ahead.”
By John Wawrow, AP Hockey Author