Beginning June 1, NWHL teams can start signing players for the 2018-19 season. For players who have completed their college eligibility and want to continue their hockey careers, the free agency period provides them an opportunity to continue playing at the highest level of professional women’s hockey. The fourth season of the NWHL will begin in October as the Metropolitan Riveters defend their Isobel Cup championship, and with the addition of a fifth team – the Minnesota Whitecaps – as well as the inclusion of players who participated in the 2018 Winter Olympics, this very well could be the most competitive season yet.
My colleague Nathaniel Oliver will keep THW readers up-to-date on Boston and Buffalo’s signings throughout the summer, while I post updates on Connecticut and the Riveters. Together we will collaborate to keep readers informed of all of Minnesota’s signings.
She’s a Day 1…
No really, she’s been here since Season 1…
Glad to have you back, Kiira Dosdall! pic.twitter.com/RxPEKLAaEd
— Metropolitan Riveters (@Riveters) August 16, 2018
On August 16 defender Kiira Dosdall re-signed with the Riveters, the team she’s been with since the inception of the league. Often overshadowed by bigger names and point producers on the Rivs throughout her four seasons, Dosdall is a key member of the foundation that has been laid in the organization that was dead last in the standings in season one, and Isobel Cup champions last season.
“Going from a 4-12 record in season one to winning the Isobel Cup in season three was a remarkable journey with my teammates, coaches, and staff,” Dosdall said in a press release announcing her re-signing. “I can’t wait to help the Riveters fight to be the first back-to-back NWHL champs!”
The progress has been absolutely amazing. The shift from Aviator in season one to the Riveters’ home opener at the Prudential Center before a Devils game last season is just an example of the league’s exponential growth,” added Dosdall, who has 22 career points (3g-19a) over her 51 regular season games with the Rivs.
On August 20 the Riveters re-signed Madison Packer, who like Dosdall has been with the franchise since the very beginning. Last season after missing the first four Rivs games recovering from off-season hip surgery, Packer returned to lead the league in goals (10), capped off by her hat trick on the final day of the regular season.
“I’m excited to be back with the Riveters, and there certainly is some extra hype following a championship win last season,” said Packer who has 38 career points (21g-17a) over 45 regular season games). “I have faith in our team, and think that we have another great group prepared to make a run at the Cup, but we have a long way to go before that is on the vision board.”
“I wanted to continue my career because every year the league has gotten a little better,” added Packer. “The front office, the structure of the NWHLPA, the talent in the league, the support we have…all of these buckets get a little more full each season, and it has been a special process to be a part of. (Former head coach/GM) Chad Wiseman instilled a great culture in our locker room back in the first year in Brooklyn, and it has followed the team through all the ups and downs. We truly have a phenomenal group of not only athletes, but also people, who make going to the rink everyday fun, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Dan Rice is in his 9th year of reporting for THW & has covered NJ Devils home games for 15+ years at various websites. He began his journey working for legendary broadcaster/writer Stan Fischler from 2002-04 & completed an internship at the ECHL; he also has been writing features for the NWHL (nwhl.zone) website since 2016.