Days after its Canadian rival announced it was ceasing operations, the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) board has approved expansion to Canada.
The league plans to expand to Toronto and Montreal for the upcoming season, while maintaining its current five United States-based teams. Both cities had clubs in the CWHL.
The Associated Press reports that the NWHL has received a commitment from the NHL which will make it one of the league’s biggest financial backers. The NHL previously gave both the NWHL and CWHL financial assistance.
NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan told ESPN that the CWHL collapse pushed the league to take quick action with regards to expansion. “Obviously coming off the news of the CWHL ceasing operations for this upcoming season, it was a shock to us, but also an immediate reaction was needed from us to do what we can to provide an opportunity for those players to have a place to play next year,” Rylan said.