The New York Riveters have re-signed defensemen Ashley Johnston and Kiira Dosdall to matching one-year contracts worth $13,500, the team announced Tuesday.
Johnston and Dosdall are the team’s two key defensemen, making these signings big for the team that finished at the bottom of the NWHL standings last season. Johnston also served as the team’s captain in the inaugural season.
Johnston put up seven points in 16 games and was under-rated as an impact player in the league. Average salary in the league this season will rise from $15,000 to $15,882 with a change in roster sizes, but Johnston will actually see a $500 decrease in her salary.
“Johnston earned the respect of her teammates not only due to her competitive nature and work ethic on the ice, but how she handled herself as a professional off the ice as well,” said new general manager and inaugural season coach Chad Wiseman via release. “Stretch (Johnston) rose to the occasion last season facing opposing teams’ top lines. We’re thrilled to have her back.”
“I’m ecstatic to be back with Riveters and can’t wait to start getting some W’s,” said Johnston.
— NWHL (@NWHL) April 12, 2016
Dosdall played in 18 games for the Riveters — every regular and postseason match — putting up two goals and six assists. $13,500 will match her salary from last season exactly.
“I can’t wait to build off the momentum of the inaugural season and, together with the returning players, further cement the core value of Riveters hockey: hard work, modesty and teamwork,” said Dosdall after the signing.
“Dosdall may have been one of the most underrated defensemen in the league last season,” Wiseman said. “She is a big strong physical presence, has a great first pass, sees the ice well and has a great attitude.”
They join Morgan Fritz-Ward and Madison Packer, who had previously signed new contracts with the Riveters. All four signed as restricted free agents. The period to sign restricted free agents lasts from April 1-30. After that point players are free to sign with any team during free agency, which will last from May 1 to July 31.
The Riveters have $213,000 in cap space remaining to sign 11 skaters and two goaltenders.