Today the National Women’s Hockey League has announced that Season 6 and the 20201 Isobel Cup Playoffs will take place between January 23rd through February 5th, 2021 at the 1980 Rink-Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, NY.
The two week event will feature all six NWHL teams (Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, and Toronto Six). The teams will be arriving separately on January 21st and 22nd through staggered schedules. On January 23rd, each team will play five games, one against each team, and will be followed with a playoff round to determine the four teams that’ll play in the semi-finals. The Isobel Cup Final will be played on February 5th.
As for the event itself, it will be presented in partnership with the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) with the goal that the NWHL bubble will allow season six to be played in a protective environment that will prioritize the health and safety of all of the players, staff, and community. The NWHL will be following the lead of both the NWSL and WNBA, who both had successful, safe seasons. The NWSL and WNBA both also gained massive increases in television/streaming viewership, sales, and fan engagement.
One of the biggest things to stand out about everything is that all players will be fully compensated.
All of the professional players who signed contracts this year for the NWHL season will be
compensated in full, despite the condensed game schedule. Players were given the
opportunity to opt-out of the tournament and still receive their complete salaries. At this date,
more than 95 percent of the players have committed to the competition, giving each team a full
playing roster for Lake Placid – the site of the iconic “Miracle on Ice” by the U.S. Olympic Team
in 1980. Following local and national health guidelines, NWHL teams began voluntary
workouts in September and started official practices and workouts in October.
— NWHL Press Release
This is huge for this announcement. Given the strife with the NHL and NHLPA over their negotiations to have their 2020-21 season, the NWHL is showing a commitment to the players. Along with regular COVID 19 testing, which will be provided by Yale Pathology Labs, and creating a strict protocols that all participants will be required to adhere to, the NWHL is making sure that all players under contract will be getting paid their full salaries, despite the condensed schedule that they will be playing.
Players were given the opportunity to opt-out of the tournament, and still receive their full salaries. Per the release, more than 95 percent of the players have competed to playing, which gives all six teams a full playing roster for when they go to Lake Placid.
The schedule, with broadcast information and additional details, will be available in the coming weeks leading to the season.
To read the full Press Release from the NWHL, click here.
*Feature Graphic courtesy of the NWHL.
TXHT will continue to provide NWHL coverage as more signings and news are announced.