PWHPA announces plans for 2022-23 season, new format for rosters

Team Bauer Jaime Bourbonnais, left, checks Team Sonnet Jamie Lee Rattray during second period PWHPA Dream Tour hockey action in Calgary, Alta., Monday, May 24, 2021. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) has announced that its fourth season will begin Oct. 14 and feature “the most expansive Secret Dream Gap Tour to date.”

In a statement, the PWHPA said four teams with 25 players each will compete on the Dream Gap Tour this season. The pool of players includes 43 Olympians and more than 75 players with national team experience.

New to the series this season, the team rosters will not be regionally based. Instead, a new player ranking format “will evaluate and distribute the 100 players, from a pool of more than 150 registrants representing six different countries, evenly across the four teams.” An external panel of women’s hockey experts — featuring people with NCAA, USports and international expertise — will make the evaluations.

Between events, players will train in five regional groups in Boston, Calgary, Minnesota, Montreal and Toronto. The rosters will be unveiled in September.

“Coming into our fourth season, we continuously look for ways to increase opportunities for our players to compete as we move towards our ultimate goal of a professional league,” Jayna Hefford, Operations Consultant for the PWHPA, said. “We also want to continue to provide an exciting product for hockey fans to enjoy, and we’re confident this will be our biggest, most competitive season to date. The depth of talent in women’s hockey increases every year and we’re excited to continue to support our world-class athletes and provide a platform for the best players in the world to perform.”

The stops on the Dream Gap Tour will be announced at a later date but the PWHPA is planning five weekend series and a new special event for this fall.

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