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Premier Hockey Federation to increase salary cap, add 2 teams

 
premier hockey federation salary
Michelle Jay/NWHL
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The cash influx will also lead to the PHF providing full health-care benefits to its players, improving facilities and increasing the number of practices. Players will also gain a 10% equity in their respective team and have control over their likeness for marketing opportunities.

 

“This is the time to double-down,” PHF board of governors chairman John Boynton said. “We think this is a giant step forward of making it possible for the best women’s hockey players to earn a living playing the game they love.”

 

The league doubled its salary cap already from $150,000 a year ago, while also adding an expansion team in Toronto.

 

The PHF has made numerous sponsorship and broadcasting inroads over the past year, including having games aired on ESPN-Plus in the U.S. and Canada’s TSN.

Tumminia noted the league was able to generate those agreements based on this being an Olympic year.

 

“This is a very pivotal time in women’s hockey. There’s no denying the impact the Olympics have on the interest in the women’s game and how the the landscape can change after Beijing,” she said.

 

The PHF currently has teams based in Boston, Toronto, Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, St. Paul, Minnesota, Danbury, Connecticut, and Buffalo, New York.

 

The fast-tracked approach follows two years in which the PHF overhauled its business and ownership model, and underwent a rebranding by changing its name from the National Women’s Hockey League last summer.

 

PHF teams are now privately owned, though some ownership groups control more than one franchise.

 

Upon being founded as a start-up four-team venture in 2015 by Dani Rylan Kearny, the league previously controlled all its franchises and relied on outside investors to make up the revenue gap from ticket and merchandise sales to pay for salary, travel and administrative costs.

 

The instability of the business model led to the NWHL slashing players salaries by more than half in its second season. The move led to a distrust among players, some of whom bolted to play for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, which folded in May 2019.

 

The CWHL’s demise led to the world’s top players forming the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association in a united bid to establish a single North American professional league — ideally backed by the NHL — with a long-term sustainable economic model.

 

The PWHPA has spent the past two years holding a series of barnstorming weekend events called the “Dream Gap Tour” across North America.

 

Tumminia believes the PHF’s latest investment, and the inclusion of health-care benefits, meets the PWHPA’s vision.

 

“We can’t speak for them, but our position has always been that a single professional women’s hockey league in North America provides the best opportunities for growth and sustainability of the game,” she said.

 

“This investment supports everything we all want to see, and that’s enhance opportunities for athletes and take the sport to the next level.”

 

Boynton said the PHF’s growth is sustainable based on the resources at hand, and hinted there’s more to come.

 

“I think we’re moving as fast as we possibly can, and it’s never fast enough,” Boynton said. “Our top priority is to increase compensation as quickly as we possibly can. So are we moving it up quickly? Yes. Are we finished moving it up? No.”

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  • 4 weeks later...

Premier Hockey Federation playoffs in Florida; final on ESPN2

12:51 PM ET
  • wyshynski_greg.png&h=80&w=80&scale=crop
    Greg WyshynskiESPN

The Premier Hockey Federation's 2022 Isobel Cup Playoffs are headed to Florida in March, marking the first time the women's hockey league will play its championship game outside of its franchise markets.

 

The Isobel Cup Playoffs are scheduled for March 25-28 at AdventHealth Center Ice in Wesley Chapel, Florida. It's the largest ice sports facility in the southeastern U.S., housing events like the 2017 Four Nations Cup and the 2021 NHL Prospect Showcase.

 

All six PHF teams will travel to Florida for the three-day tournament. The four lowest playoff seeds will play in a preliminary round on Friday, March 25, with the winners seeded to play the first- and second-highest seeds on Sunday, March 27. All of those games are on ESPN+, which is the exclusive home in the U.S. for the PHF regular season.

 

The championship game for the Isobel Cup is scheduled for Monday, March 28 at 9 p.m. ET and will be shown on ESPN2 -- the network's first linear broadcast of a professional women's hockey game.

 

PHF Commissioner Tyler Tumminia said the idea of a "neutral site" Isobel Cup started in 2021. What was then known as the National Women's Hockey League attempted to stage its season in Lake Placid due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

That experiment failed due to multiple outbreaks on teams, and the playoffs were eventually completed in March at Boston's Warrior Arena, the Boston Bruins' practice rink. The Boston Pride won the Cup for the second time.

 

"I really felt passionate about it. Not only for the competitive advantage of equalizing the playing field for all the teams, but I really feel like the playoffs should be a special event. Having a destination with the playoffs really gives the athletes that extra drive," said Tumminia. "And I'm sure they're not going to complain coming out of the cold. I know I'm not."

 

Tumminia acknowledged that bringing the PHF playoffs to Florida "is not cheap," but that it's "definitely something the Board of Governors and I believe in doing to create excitement about the playoffs."

 

The league had been in talks with the NHL's Florida Panthers for some time but couldn't make the timing work out. "Since our mindset was already there in Florida, we were talking with a lot of others," said Tumminia.

The PHF had done a sponsorship partnership with "HerStory: A Virtual Women's Sports Museum" during their Lake Placid playoffs last year. That interactive museum, which includes information about the 2018 Olympic women's gold medal team that trained there, is housed at AdventHealth Center Ice. Gordie Zimmerman, the facility's CEO, worked with the PHF to bring the playoffs to Florida.

 

"Hosting USA Hockey's Women's Nationals every Spring has helped lead to an exponential increase in the number of female players we now have in our leagues and in the sport as a whole. We expect the PHF championship to only further that excitement and participation," said Zimmerman.

Tumminia said the PHF is in talks with the Lightning about having the Isobel Cup-winning team appear at their game at home against the Carolina Hurricanes on March 29.

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  • 3 months later...

The rivalry between the United States and Canada on the international level in Women's Hockey should prove to many people that there is a place in sports for a professional Women's Hockey League to thrive. One major thing for this to happen is to have a television network to go out on a limb and broadcast some of these games across America and Canada. Not only does each organization in this league need to heavily promote themselves, but the league seriously needs to promote itself. The league may also think about not going directly head to head with the NHL and having the majority of their games being played within the Summer months while the NHL is off. 

 

Things like ESPN coming on board for playoff finals is a huge plus for the sport. 

 

The more and more the sport is promoted the more it can develop into something. 

 

I love the idea and I think these women are extremely talented. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Rat Trick said:

The league may also think about not going directly head to head with the NHL and having the majority of their games being played within the Summer months while the NHL is off. 

This just isn't an option when you have things like NCAA Women's Hockey and the Junior Women's Hockey League playing during the normal seasons.  There's plenty of room for both leagues to be successful and profitable.  The market is there, without a doubt.  And, as women's hockey grows in other countries as well, it's only going to continue to succeed.

 

The fact that their regular season games are already on ESPN+ is the step in the right direction they need.  It's only a matter of time before ESPN is televising more of these games on their other networks.  The step towards ESPN being their exclusive network for their regular season instead of just ESPN+.

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9 minutes ago, FireDillabaugh said:

This just isn't an option when you have things like NCAA Women's Hockey and the Junior Women's Hockey League playing during the normal seasons.  There's plenty of room for both leagues to be successful and profitable.  The market is there, without a doubt.  And, as women's hockey grows in other countries as well, it's only going to continue to succeed.

 

The fact that their regular season games are already on ESPN+ is the step in the right direction they need.  It's only a matter of time before ESPN is televising more of these games on their other networks.  The step towards ESPN being their exclusive network for their regular season instead of just ESPN+.

ESPN being onboard is a major plus for the growth of the sport. I agree that there is room for both leagues to succeed. In many ways, especially here in America when it comes to the Olympics and Ice Hockey the team that the fans get more excited about is the women's team as they almost always make it to the Gold Medal game. 

 

The women just like the WNBA can be ambassadors for the game of Hockey for younger girls coming up and wanting to play in college and possibly even have a career in the sport after college. What an opportunity for many young girls growing up who love this sport. 

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THE ISOBEL CUP CHAMPIONS

 

2016 - Boston Pride
2017 - Buffalo Beauts
2018 - Metropolitan Riveters
2019 - Minnesota Whitecaps

2020 - Coronavirus Pandemic

2021 - Boston Pride
2022 - Boston Pride

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