The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) announced Saturday that it has partnered with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Leafs are now the second NHL team, joining the New York Rangers, to enter into a partnership with the PWHPA in the last week.
Under this new partnership, there will be enhanced marketing coordination and support, sponsorship consulting on commercial efforts, and a future Secret Dream Gap Tour game to showcase players, which will be confirmed once the regulations set by the Canadian government allow, as well as when it is deemed safe to do so.
“The Toronto Maple Leafs have been great supporters and partners of women’s hockey and the PWHPA in particular,” said Jayna Hefford, PWHPA operations consultant, in a statement. “We are steadfast in our belief that the creation of a professional women’s hockey league with the best players in the world will require a new level of infrastructure and resources to ensure its long-term success, and this partnership brings us another step closer to our goal. The Toronto Maple Leafs have been consistent in their support of our players who are committed to building a bright future for women’s hockey at all levels and we’re thrilled to continue working with them.”
The PWHPA — which is made up of about 125 of the world’s best women hockey players — was created to advocate for and advance equity, fairness and opportunity in women’s professional hockey. The group's goal is to form a sustainable league that pays a living wage to players, provides appropriate elite-level resources — such as ice time, facilities, trainers, etc. — and invests in marketing that showcases the players and game.
“Over the years, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been committed supporters of women’s hockey,” Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said. “Beginning with Brian Burke’s initial support of the now-disbanded CWHL and continuing today, the Maple Leafs stand in support of Jayna Hefford and the PWHPA and recognize their efforts and incredible sacrifice in their determination to form a single, unified, sustainable professional league. Women’s hockey deserves nothing less.”