PWHL unveils jerseys and begins training camp ahead of puck drop in January

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The professional women’s hockey league reached a major Milestone yesterday as it introduced the jerseys in each market though without logos and another big step today training camps are opening for the League’s original six teams Montreal Ottawa Toronto New York Boston and Minnesota for more on this we’ve reached

Andy Petrillo of CBC CBC Sports she’s in Toronto so Andy thanks for uh talking to us today so let’s start with the professional women’s hockey league training camp are underway today what what did you make of it well they’re on schedule Andrew that’s what’s key I mean this is a very

Uh aggressive and ambitious schedule that the pwl has on ever since they had their draft in September they wanted to open training camps the week of November 15th they want to start the season uh January 1 they want to get it going in 2024 and it really is a race I wouldn’t

Exactly say this is the most comfortable of timelines but they’re on schedule and it’s really exciting they announced the facilities they’re all top-notch facilities this is what these women have been fighting for for years professional training places both on the ice and off the ice they wanted these professional

Environments and in fact two of the six training facilities are also where the NHL teams train the rest are all state-ofthe-art or newly built so it’s all very exciting that this is kicking off and it’s doing so on schedule and you covered the draft so overall how far

Would you say the league has come they’re working behind the scenes tirelessly I would say again um they’ve they’ve come where they’ve said they would get to at this point and that’s what’s really important because there is nothing more discouraging than a league setting timelines and not being able to

Reach them so even though it’s been ambitious so far it’s been realized and that’s what’s key the draft was such a huge success we continued to have players reaching out saying that it really did once again have this professional environment they absolutely loved it um you know now being able to

Go to training camps where the league has done things right remember this is the first ever women’s professional League that had a ratified cbaa before even puck drops so they they have all these other things in place about where to stay accommodations compensation and now that training camp is also starting

When it said it would start these jerseys have come out a lot of growth still to be done you know even in that type of marketing department but it’s still um it’s coming a long way because it’s at least where it said it would now you mentioned that the league

Announced its practice venues earlier this week but hasn’t announced home uh arenas for games right so I mean that seems like a pretty big deal if this is actually going to get going in just a couple of months yeah and to be honest with you I

Don’t know if they’re holding on to that information because they’re waiting for another date to just be able to uh announce that because we have heard that when it when it comes to these six teams they didn’t just you know pick cities out of a hat and say oh you’re going to

Be an original 6 there was a lot of market research that went into it and a lot of it had to do with venues so they picked these markets based on venues accessibility for fans just where they would be in City centers so they did a

Lot of work there I don’t know if they’re holding on to that information I also don’t know Andrew because there’s a lot of collaboration when I spoke to Billy jeene King on draft day she said there is constant communication with the NHL will the NHL be offering up some

Venues we already knew ahead of time that some games would be played on neutral sites uh not necessarily always at the home venues so maybe that’s still a bit of a moving Target uh but of course with everything else being on track I do believe that that announcement should be made shortly when

It comes to actual game venues all right well that will be welcome news now pay Equity pay quality it’s been you know a really hot button Topic in sports you look at kind of the the pay range of what these women are going to be paid

Versus the NHL I mean it’s just in in a different Universe right so how do you think the establishment of this league is going to factor into that conversation oh I don’t know how much time you have Andrew but uh you know I I will say that you know starting a league

Is very difficult um I’m actually five years into covering the Canadian Premier League which is the only domestic soccer league that we have in this country right now and I can tell you even the men in that League I think on average that salary five years in has now been

About average 40,000 a player we’re speculating that in the pwhl the average salary would be 55,000 no less than 35,000 um so the the the contracts will be between 35,000 a year 880,000 a year and then you do have some exceptions uh the the free agents who were signed in

September before the draft like your Marie Philip pulen these are players who will most likely be making six-digit figures but in the beginning of there’s another thing um that a lot of people I’ve had a chance to speak to who have either started leagues and failed or started leagues and have been successful

They said it’s about sharing that pie and oftentimes the biggest mistake they’ve made in the beginning is Maybe compens compens ating too much the players and then what ends up happening your coaching staff your medical staff and your training facilities all that ends up suffering so I think what the

Pwhl is doing here with the Mark Walter group being huge investors and being very smart in the business world is they’re really trying to make this sustainable so what do you think because this is not the first time a women’s professional hockey league has been formed are you hopeful that this will be

More successful that this will be uh sustainable 100% And it’s because of all those factors being taken into account ratified CBA looking at salaries and knowing what they can properly pay in the beginning they’re also going to increase the salaries by 3% every year you have to imagine down the road when

The league starts to turn a profit that will change there are also bonuses if you make Allstar playoffs um you know any type of compensation there that the players will also be getting um so a lot of thought has been put into the finances of this to make sure that it’s

Not like yay we’re starting the league and we want to attract the best players ever so let’s pay everybody a million dollars and then you fold in two years so I really do believe they’re this right Andy thank you let’s hope so that was it was great talking to you CBC

Sports Andy Petrillo in Toronto

The Professional Women’s Hockey League recently unveiled jerseys they will wear in each market for the league’s inaugural season. As training camp begins, CBC Sports discusses the excitement surrounding the PWHL and weighs in on pay equity.

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