CWHL announces it will pay players in 2017-18

Calgary Inferno's Jessica Campbell (20) watches her shot go in the net past Les Canadiennes de Montreal goalie Charline Labonte (32) during the third period of Canadian Women's Hockey League final action at the Clarkson Cup, Sunday March 13, 2016, in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/CP)

The Canadian Women’s Hockey League will begin paying its players in 2017-18.

The league is embarking on its 11th season, and the addition of two expansion franchises in China has seemingly given an influx of revenue to teams which will each be given a $100,000 salary cap.

“It’s an exciting and historic time for us,” commissioner Brenda Andress said in a release. “We have always maintained that our goal was to pay our players and we had a strategic plan in place that would allow us to do so beginning this season.

“The continued success of our teams, players, and league have been key in getting us to where we are.”

Player salaries will range from $2,000 to $10,000 as the league takes a big step forward in its development.

Andress has taken a patient approach in getting the CWHL to this point, wanting to ensure that player salaries become a permanent fixture when they did become instituted.

“We want to make sure that when we pay our players, we’re not going to take money back from them or discontinue paying them,” she said in a Q&A with Sportsnet back in March.

The rival NWHL had to cut player salaries in half partway through last season “in the interest of keeping the league financially viable.”

“Enhancing the players’ experience is important to the CWHL,” said Andress. “Our plan is about sustainability. This is an exciting new era we’re embarking upon, and it’s only the beginning.”

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