The Professional Women's Hockey Players Association has released its plans for the upcoming 2022-23 season, with five weekend series scheduled for fall and a new "special event," along with a new roster format.
The upcoming season will not see the association form a formal league. Per the organization's media release:
"The PWHPA continues to work toward the launch of a top tier professional league for the best women in the world. At this time, the PWHPA is under NDA with potential partners and is unable to provide further comment."
However, this season's format will be slightly different than the past years. The four teams will be "region agnostic." Players will train in one of five regions: Boston, Calgary, Minnesota, Montreal, and Toronto.
Teams will be comprised of athletes from different regions, with rosters based on a new player ranking format. The format was developed & reviewed by an external panel of women's hockey experts, including representatives with NCAA, USports, and international knowledge.
"We continuously look for ways to increase opportunities for our players to compete as we move towards our ultimate goal of a professional league," said Jayna Hefford, Operations Consultant. "We also want to continue to provide an exciting product for hockey fans to enjoy, and we're confident this will be our biggest, most competitive season to date."
More than 150 players from six countries registered to participate in the PWHPA for the upcoming season. The top 100, ranked by the aforementioned format, will be distributed amongst the four teams. More than 75 players with national team experience and 43 Olympians are among those on the roster, along with recent college graduates.
"The depth of talent in women's hockey increases every year, and we're excited to continue to support our world-class athletes and provide a platform for the best players in the world to perform," Hefford added.
Each team will have a 25-player roster, with team sponsorships from Harvey's, Scotiabank, Sonnet, and adidas. Teams will once again participate in The Secret Dream Gap Tour, which will feature weekend stops in cities across North America and a championship weekend.
Team rosters will be unveiled in September, but I can confirm from speaking with both players earlier this week that Jincy Dunne and Aerin Frankel will both be competing with the PWHPA this season. Frankel said she will be based in Boston, Massachusetts.
The full schedule will be released at a later date, with The Secret Dream Gap Tour scheduled to begin the weekend of October 14.