As of writing, 57 player signings have been announced by teams in the Premier Hockey Federation for the 2022-23 season. Of those signings, 20 involve players who will be joining the PHF for the first time, though many have prior professional experience elsewhere.
One of the biggest free agent signings of the offseason saw Buffalo Beauts goaltender Carly Jackson move to the Toronto Six. Jackson was easily the Beauts' best player last season & was a difference-maker night in and night out. In 20 games, she recorded a 3.08 GAA and .908 save percentage, but her on-ice contributions to the team were undeniable.
Concurrent with the loss of Jackson, the Beauts' signing of free agent netminder Kassidy Sauvé could be a nice replacement. Sauvé last played for HPK in Finland, where in eight games, she went 8-0-0 with a 0.88 GAA and .964 save percentage.
In offseason front office moves, the Six appointed Angela James as general manager, Geraldine Heaney as head coach, and Kevin Greco as assistant coach. The Beauts hired Jeff State as assistant coach, while the Pride introduced Maddie Rigsby, the team's former equipment manager from 2019-21, as their new general manager.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the PHF and PHFPA's statements/reaction about the recent United States Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that effectively legalized abortion in every state in the US. The PHF's statement came hours late and is nothing more than word salad. The federation continues to call itself a "women's professional league" despite changing its name from the NWHL to avoid that connotation, and the statement references abortion rights as "women's rights" – completely disregarding transgender & nonbinary people who may also be impacted. The difference in approach between the two organizations is notable.
On the other hand, the PHFPA's statement came a few hours later, but is a significantly stronger & more inclusive statement. It specifically states that every person has the right to bodily autonomy & reproductive healthcare, which is a strong use of inclusive language.
Both the NWSLPA and the WNBPA issued statements as well on social media.
Storylines to Watch
More player signings will undoubtedly be announced soon. Both the Riveters and Beauts recently held free agent tryouts, with a few players likely to be signed from tryouts by each team. (Word has it that the Beauts aren't certain if they're going to carry two or three goalies, so there may or may not be something there.)
Although the sale of the Toronto Six to a group of BIPOC and Canadian investors was announced in March, it still doesn't appear to have been completed. The initial announcement said the full list of participants in the new ownership group would be announced the sale's closing; no such announcement has been made yet. In addition, the recent Six press release announcing the hiring of Kevin Greco implied that Digit Murphy remains involved with the team, despite being hired as President of the Riveters in April. Both the Riveters and the Six are owned by BTM Partners.
At this point, it seems pretty clear that the two-team planned expansion for the 2022-23 season isn't happening. It would certainly be a choice if they chose to move forward with it this late in the offseason. It's unclear whether there will be an official announcement about this.