The GIST: Just a day before the NWHL postseason was set to begin (and just hours after we sent you a playoff preview!), the league suspended the remainder of the 2021 season. *cries a single tear*
The bad: The super-condensed two-week season was being played in a bubble in Lake Placid, New York. Needless to say, it was too-close quarters for players and staff who had no pre-season quarantine requirements.
- Unfortunately, after the Metropolitan Riveters withdrew from competition due to multiple COVID-19 cases, the Connecticut Whale followed suit, and with a third team on the verge of withdrawing, the league decided to suspend play.
The good: Aside from some off-ice messes, the NWHL was on a path to success. They hit viewership highs on streaming platform Twitch and were set to become the first women’s pro hockey league to ever air on a national broadcast.
- The league also successfully introduced a new team, the Toronto Six, and signed a sponsorship deal with Discover, their biggest contract yet.
The future: We’re not totally sure what the NWHL’s next steps are, but our hearts break for the players and staff who put so much of themselves into this season. And still, the state of women’s hockey remains splintered.
- So in the meantime, the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) continues to make big moves: their new partnership with the New York Rangers will bring the Dream Gap Tour to Madison Square Garden on February 28th. Mark your calendar.