NWHL Moves Ahead With '19-20 Season; Expansion Unlikely
The NWHL "reiterated its plans to push forward" with the '19-20 season and "signaled that it would be willing to discuss a partnership with any group that plans to start a new league," according to Randy Johnson of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Earlier this month, more than 200 of the top women's hockey players in North America "vowed not to play" until a "financially stable league is established." The NWHL on Thursday said that all five of its teams -- the Minnesota Whitecaps, Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Metropolitan Riveters and Connecticut Whale -- "will return" for the upcoming season, which starts in October. But the league's plans to expand by two teams "might be on hold until the following season" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/31). NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan had previously suggested expansion "would include a team in Toronto and Montreal." But the league said that adding teams this season “remains an open-ended question for a few more weeks” and that the league continues to explore its options. The league also said that while the investment for two additional clubs has been "secured," it "wanted to take its time to 'expand properly.'" THE HOCKEY NEWS' Jared Clinton noted it is "possible -- and plausible -- that the change of course on expansion is tied to the decision" of the more than 200 players to boycott (THEHOCKEYNEWS.com, 5/30).