CWHL commissioner Brenda Andress to step down

CWHL commissioner Brenda Andress, right, presents Calgary Inferno captain Brianne Jenner with the Clarkson Cup trophy after Calgary defeated Les Canadiennes de Montreal in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/CP)

The Canadian Women’s Hockey League is looking for a new commissioner.

The six-team CWHL has announced that inaugural commissioner Brenda Andress will leave the organization on July 31.

Andress has been with the league since it started play in 2007.

The league said a new commissioner will be introduced in the near future.

Under Andress’ watch, the league formed four club-to-club partnerships with NHL teams, secured a Canadian broadcast deal with Rogers Sportsnet and expanded to Boston and China.

Women’s hockey continues to have two competing leagues in North America — the National Women’s Hockey League features five teams in the United States — and some have argued that a partnership would be best for the sport.

For at least the next year, that seems unlikely. In its release announcing the departure of Andress, the CWHL said its 12th season will begin in October.

“It has been an incredible honour and privilege to lead this league,” Andress said in a statement. “I am proud to have had the opportunity to build the organization into what it is today. While it’s time for me to move to the next stage of my career, I leave the league both viable and operationally strong, and at an extremely exciting time in its development.”

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