This weekend was a disappointment for most hockey lovers as Canada's Women's Hockey League announced that they are officially shutting down as of May 1. Playing a huge role in Canadian women's sports since 2007, many Canadians were sad to see that it would go. However, not all hope is lost. Today, The U.S. National Women's Hockey League announced that they are planning on expanding into Canada next season.
In a press release from the Canadian Women's Hockey League, they state that the decision to cease operations was due to the economic unsustainability of the league. Since CWHL is run as a not-for-profit organization, it's business model was no longer allowing the organization to continue for another season.
While the news is still disheartening and many still do not want to see the six-team league come to a final end next month, women's hockey in Canada may still live on. As Canada's official national sport, hockey is something that will not fade into the background, and the National Women Hockey League is making sure of that.
The NWHL announced today that our Board has approved investment in two Canadian markets. We expect to have teams in Toronto and Montreal this upcoming season and we’ll be pursuing opportunities to work with current stakeholders and partners. pic.twitter.com/iRCxLY51wI
The U.S National Women Hockey League announced today that their board has approved expansion into Canada. While this expansion will not directly replace all six teams which included Toronto, Montreal, Boston, and China, fans can expect to see a Toronto and Montreal team by next season.
Shortly after the news broke about the CWHL not returning to the world of hockey next season, the NWHL was quick to respond. Many hockey lovers reached out over Twitter to ask about the players of these Canadian teams and NWHL ensures that they, "will pursue all opportunities to ensure the best players in Canada have a place to play,".
In response to requests for comment about the players and fans in 🇨🇦, here’s @DaniRylan: “We will pursue all opportunities to ensure the best players in Canada have a place to play. Those conversations have started already and have quickly become a priority.” pic.twitter.com/cAtBYDynVi
According to CBC News, the NWHL has gained the NHL as one of their biggest financial sponsors which will allow for this expansion into Canada to take place.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly states the importance of ensuring that Canadian women do not lose the opportunity to participate in the sport, "We want to be supportive of women's professional hockey. We endorse these opportunities,".
Canadians may soon be able to tune in to their own home teams competing during NWHL's next season.