The Toronto Six Club begins a year of expansion 2.0 on Saturday, facing the Buffalo Beauties.
With the Premier Hockey Federation (FPH), formerly the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL), the Toronto roster’s second season will be played in front of spectators, with home games and tours missing from all games. First year due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re actually going to be a little bit more normal this season, so I’m looking forward to that,” Six defenseman Lindsay Eastwood said on a video call this week.
The league, known as the NWHL for six seasons, was renamed the Premier Hockey Federation in preparation for the seventh.
FPH plans to expand to Montreal, but Toronto is currently the only Canadian club. Other teams play in Buffalo, Boston, New Jersey, Minnesota and Connecticut.
The league announced in April that it would double the salary cap for each team this season to US$300,000, or an average of $15,000 per player on a roster of 20 players.
Also this season the league has a US broadcast agreement with ESPN+ to cover all 60 regular season games and the Isobel Cup playoffs.
Each team will play 20 games, 10 at home and 10 away, during the 19-week regular season.
Players from the Canadian and US national teams do not participate in FPH activities.
They came together in the Professional Hockey Association (PWHPA) when the Canadian Women’s Hockey League closed in 2019 after a dozen years of activity.
Their goal is a sustainable league that pays a living wage and provides the same competitive support as their male counterparts.
Players from the North American national team are currently centralized in their respective countries in preparation for the Beijing Winter Olympics, but the PWHPA will put their main events on the calendar this winter.
The first will take place on November 12-14 in Truro, Nova Scotia.
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