The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

The PWHL Is On The Rise

Record-breaking attendance and sales
PWHL teams collage
Eli Barden
PWHL teams collage

The Professional Women’s Hockey League, also known as the PWHL, is a newly created league for professional women’s ice hockey. The PWHL has 6 teams. They come from Boston, Minnesota, Montreal, New York, Ottawa, and Toronto. The highest standing team is currently Toronto with 13 wins and 7 losses.

Origin of the league

The league has been trying to come to fruition for a few decades. Like basketball and soccer, the PWHL had to go through several versions including the CWHL and the Premier Hockey Federation (formerly the National Women’s Hockey League), which PWHL owners acquired in early 2023. Since the CWHL collapsed in 2019, many Olympians have asked for a women’s professional league that meets the highest standard possible. The PWHL’s direct origin comes from the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA). This group of players opted not to play in the PHF (Premier Hockey Federation), instead waiting for a more professional league. The PHF operated seven teams throughout North America with a $1.5 million salary cap each. There were numerous Olympians and hockey Hall of Famers involved with the PHL. However, even a rebranding and various leadership changes could not get rid of the reputation of the NWHL era. Drastic salary cuts in Season 2 caused a lot of people to leave. Ultimately, PHF owners decided to sell select assets to the Mark Walter Group, the ownership group funding the PWHL. One hundred thirty-eight roster spots were available in the PWHL, one hundred fifteen fewer spots than the PHF and PWHPA combined in the 2023-24 hockey season. (CBS Sports).

Morgan’s opinions

History teacher Christopher Zawadski teaches Sports and American Culture at Morgan. He said. “I think hockey as a sport has grown a lot in the last couple of years. The TV viewing is up and the excitement around hockey is up. Women’s ice hockey

PWHL games on YouTube (Eli Barden)

typically has done well viewership-wise for the Olympics, so it seems like this is the natural next step.” When asked if he would include the league in his curriculum, he said“ I think if it warrants it, I will. Obviously, I try to incorporate current events as much as I can into the course and as this grows there will be more time spent on it.” He is excited about what is in store for the PWHL in the future and anticipates it becoming even more popular than it already is.

Sophomore Anthony Watrous is an ice hockey fan and is very impressed with the women’s league “I think it’s a very good league. The game is pretty competitive, and they have a few rising players who can bring a lot of attention to the game. Streaming all the games on YouTube brings a lot of viewership to it since it’s free to view. Financially, they are doing pretty well. They’re selling out merchandise, NHL-sized arenas, and it’s all being run with the fans in mind.” He says that he’s happy with the fact that they are making the league financially accessible for everyone

PWHL merchandise on Etsy (Eli Barden)

, and he hopes that they continue to do so.

Bright future for the PWHL

Overall, the total attendance for the PWHL during the 72-game regular season was 392,259. Since its launch in January, the league has broken six attendance records, reaching a pinnacle on April 20 when a record-setting 21,105 fans came to watch Montréal host Toronto at the Bell Center, setting the global attendance record for a women’s hockey game. Additionally, the PWHL saw extremely strong fan engagement and attendance in non-team markets, including significant attendance at neutral-site games in Pittsburgh (8,850) and Detroit (13,736). (The PWHL). Since the PWHL has been increasing in popularity, they have had a rise in sources of money. As they gain an excess in fans, it is exciting to see where the PWHL will go.

View Comments (1)
About the Contributor
Eli Barden
Eli Barden, Reporter, Photographer
Hi, My name is Eli Barden and I am a part of the class of 2026 here at Morgan. I am a part of the women’s saber squad on the Morgan fencing team and I am a part of clubs including REACT and Literary magazine. This is my first semester with the Pawprint and I am so excited to do it my junior year too. I am hopeful that I will create interesting content for the Pawprint that will help the students and staff of Morgan!

Comments (1)

The Morgan PawPrint intends for comments to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Profanity, personal attacks, and inappropriate language will not be posted. Comments are moderated to make certain they adhere to these standards. The Morgan PawPrint does not permit anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. Email addresses will not be displayed.
All The Morgan PawPrint Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • T

    Theresa M HarrisMay 17, 2024 at 1:39 pm

    Excellent article! We follow the PWHL. Our daughter who lives in Boston has attended Boston’s games. Can’t wait to see Boston play Toronto for the Walter Cup. Thanks for bring attention to PWHL.