Jayna Hefford named as CWHL interim commissioner

Jayna Hefford. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

Five-time Olympian and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Jayna Hefford has been appointed interim commissioner of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

Hefford will officially assume the role on Aug. 1, but began working with former commissioner Brenda Andress on the transition process on Thursday.

"I am honoured and excited to step into this role with the support and trust of the Board of Directors," said Hefford. "I am fully committed and focused on setting our league and its players in a positive direction for the upcoming season.

"I look forward to engaging with the players, our key business partners, stakeholders and sponsors, our broadcaster and of course our fans, all whom have collectively brought the CWHL to the standard it enjoys today, and the upcoming draftees who will secure its future."

The six-team CWHL announced on Wednesday that Andress will leave the organization on July 31. Andress has been with the league since it started play in 2007.

With a playing career spanning nearly two decades, Hefford holds the distinction of second most games played, goals, and points scored across five Olympic games and twelve world championships with Team Canada.

Hefford has also made her mark on the CWHL, retiring from the Brampton Thunder in 2013 as the league’s then all-time top scorer.

The Jayna Hefford Award is handed out annually to the CWHL’s most valuable player in the regular season as voted on by the players.

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