TORONTO – The Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) will become the second women’s hockey league in North America after the U.S.-based NWHL to pay the players. That’s the second big off-season news from the CWHL after the inclusion of the Kunlun Red Star women’s team, based in Shenzhen, China, to join the Boston Blades, Calgary Inferno, Montreal Canadiennes, Markham Thunder and Toronto Furies.
For the first time in league history, players will receive compensation for regular-season play after a pay structure was passed by the League’s Board of Directors. The structure is the result of a collaborative effort between the CWHL, the CWHLPA, general managers, and the Board.
“It’s an exciting and historic time for us,” Commissioner Brenda Andress said. “We have always maintained that our goal was to pay our players and we had a strategic plan in place that would allow us to do so beginning this season. The continued success of our teams, players, and league have been key in getting us to where we are.”
Compensation will range from $2,000 to $10,000 per player, based on how many years they’ve played in the CWHL while general managers will have a discretionary fund to contribute to player earnings.
“The players and the PA are very excited about the player stipend situation for the upcoming season,” said Markham Thunder goaltender and Players’ Association representative Liz Knox. “The League and the PA have been working hard together to ensure the longevity of player careers in the CWHL. We understand that this is just the beginning for the growth of our game and look forward to the future.”
The future is exactly what all involved had in mind when coming together to work out a viable structure.
“Enhancing the players’ experience is important to the CWHL,” Andress said. “Our plan is about sustainability. This is an exciting new era we’re embarking upon, and it’s only the beginning.”
– with files from the CWHL