The NWHL may have teased expansion in the closing moments of their Isobel Cup Final broadcast. The broadcast posted an image with the founding four teams marked and a Canadian flag over Toronto and Montreal.
It’s two cities that could make road trips a little easier on the Buffalo Beauts.
— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) March 13, 2016
NWHL officials were tight-lipped about the tease. Commissioner Dani Rylan reportedly told the Victory Press, “History continues.” Kate Cimini of Today’s Slapshot reported Rylan as saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
The tease appears intended to whet the appetite for some exciting news during the offseason.
It raises a lot of questions. If expansion is happening it’s going to take a lot of capital, and will put the NWHL in direct competition with the CWHL in three cities next season. Might pay begin to play a larger role on what league players choose when there are two leagues fighting for players in the same city?
Rylan had previously mentioned Minnesota as a focus of future expansion plans. It would appear that any midwest expansion of the NWHL will be left for further down the road.
Longer Season Next Year
Earlier Saturday, during the press conference to unveil the Isobel Cup, Rylan confirmed that next season will include a longer season. That means both more games and the season will be spread over a longer time frame. No further details were shared.