Three re-signings and a sale. That was the NWHL week that was. So far we’ve had a total of six player signings, but we’ve learned that more than that have already signed for Season 7 – they just haven’t been revealed yet. Only two teams, Buffalo (4) and Toronto (2) have announced signings thus far.
On May 26 the league announced that the Metropolitan Riveters were sold from W Hockey Partners to BTM Partners and that John Boynton will serve as the franchise’s Chairman. BTM Partners also owns the Boston Pride and the Toronto Six, and the teams are being run by Miles Arnone and Johanna Boynton respectively.
Last month the Riveters announced that former NWHLPA Director and former Connecticut Whale player Anya Packer was their new GM. On a conference call regarding the recent sale of the franchise, she confirmed that Head Coach Ivo Mocek would be returning for his third season behind the bench; Mocek will start Season 7 with a 12-12-3 record as the Rivs’ bench boss.
Mac and Jackson Are Back
On May 24 the Buffalo Beauts announced that they had re-signed goaltender Carly Jackson. As a rookie this past season, Jackson started all six of Buffalo’s games in Lake Placid, finishing with a 1-4-1 record, and faced the most shots/most saves by any netminder in the league. Jackson and the Beauts game to a contract agreement during the league’s restricted free agency period (before May 15).
“I’m so grateful to be re-signing with the Beauts for Season 7,” said Jackson. “My teammates, our coaches, the staff, the fans of Buffalo, and the NWHL have all made me feel nothing but welcomed and like a true professional. The group we have in Buffalo is special, and I can’t wait to get back to work! I expect that for Season 7 the Beauts are going to come out flying; we are hungry to prove ourselves and bring home a championship!”
Three days later the team announced they had also re-signed forward Cassidy MacPherson. Over 30 career NWHL games, MacPherson has recorded 12 points (5g-7a) while being Buffalo’s most reliable center in the face-off circles. Like Jackson, MacPherson’s contract was signed before May 15 according to the team’s press release.
“I love the community here in Buffalo and the amazing fans we have. We truly have the best fans, and we have the best people within our organization in the entire league,” said MacPherson in the press release announcing the signing.
“CJ brings so much character to our Beauts organization,” said Head Coach Rhea Coad in the press release announcing Jackson’s signing. “She takes the progression of her craft very seriously. CJ made huge strides in her first year, and we are very excited to watch her continue to grow professionally and personally.”
This off-season Jackson, who was the third overall pick in the 2020 NWHL Draft, was named one of the recipients of the 2021 Fans’ 3-Stars Award as well as Buffalo’s recipient of the NWHL’s Foundation Award.
“I feel that Cass is the most underrated player in the NWHL,” said Buffalo’s GM Nate Oliver. “She does all of the little things right, and she is one of the most dependable players around. I love that she flies under the radar for us. Cass’ situational play is just so steady, and her versatility is a real gem for the Beauts to capitalize upon.”
Carly Jackson joins defender Marie-Jo Pelletier and forwards Cassidy MacPherson and Cassidy Vinkle on Buffalo’s roster for Season 7.
Greco Returns to the Six
On May 26 the Toronto Six announced that they had re-signed defender Emma Greco. This past season she played in all six regular-season games for the Six, as well as their lone playoff game. In 12 career regular-season games (Connecticut, Toronto) she has recorded three points (all assists) and is pointless in one playoff game for each franchise.
Previously, Greco played for the CWHL’s Toronto Furies and the PWHPA. This past season she was one of the first five signings made by the franchise, was an alternate captain for the Six, and picked up her lone assist with the team in a game against her former team.
“My decision to return to the Six was an easy one,” said Greco. “I had so much fun competing with my teammates and wanted to continue our momentum into Season 7. Even though we didn’t come out with the result we wanted, I am excited to have another chance at winning the franchise’s first championship.”
“I am excited to finally see Toronto Six fans in person,” added the 26-year-old defender. “It was a tough year and I think everyone in Canada is excited to start watching live hockey again. It was an adjustment not having fans last season, so I am very excited to experience the atmosphere and celebrate with my teammates.”
Greco joins captain Shiann Darkangelo on Toronto’s roster for Season 7.
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.