NWHL News Today

There were a lot of nuggets of news today in the NWHL. Let me not waste time and get to them all.

Minnesota/Buffalo:

This news gets clumped together because it involves both teams. The NWHL announced today that the Minnesota Whitecaps and the Buffalo Beauts have been sold to individual ownership.

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With this news today, all 6 teams in the NWHL now have private, individual ownership!

Here are the juicy details in the full press release:

NWHL ANNOUNCES SALE OF BUFFALO BEAUTS AND MINNESOTA WHITECAPS

by Paul Krotz

Brooklyn, NY- The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) today announced that the Buffalo Beauts and Minnesota Whitecaps have been sold by W Hockey Partners (WHP). The new owner is NLTT Ventures, LLC, an entity that combines NL Sports, led by Andy Scurto, and Top Tier Sports, led by Neil Leibman.

“Since the adoption of the league’s new governance model in October, it has been our goal to attract new owners who are well-capitalized and fully committed to club operations and our vision for this league’s future,” said NWHL Commissioner Tyler Tumminia. “With these two sales, all six teams are now in independent hands and that provides a strong foundation on which to expand opportunities for professional women’s hockey players in North America.”

As the NWHL transitions from a single entity to a joint venture ownership model, ownership groups are permitted to hold more than one club for a limited period of time. Over time, those owners are required to divest clubs until no ownership group owns more than one team.

Scurto and Leibman have both been involved in the NWHL for several years as WHP investors. Scurto, a member of the league’s Board of Governors, most recently served as WHP President. He’s the founder and former President of San Jose-based insurance software firm ISCS. Leibman, also a member of the Board of Governors, is an original member of the ownership group that purchased the Texas Rangers in 2010 and currently serves as the team’s President of Business Operations and Chief Operating Officer. Scurto will serve as Governor for the Beauts, with Leibman holding the position for the Whitecaps.

“On behalf of NLTT Ventures I want to thank all WHP investors for their support and contributions to the initial development and growth phase of professional women’s hockey,” said Scurto. “Looking ahead, I’m very proud that Neil and I can help advance the NWHL business model and provide Beauts and Whitecaps players with the resources and environment they need to achieve their dreams and be role models for future generations of hockey players.”

The Beauts are one of the NWHL’s Founding Four teams that competed in the inaugural 2015-16 season and won an Isobel Cup championship in 2016-17. Led by General Manager Nate Oliver, the team has already made their mark this off-season by introducing new head coach Rhea Coad and have announced signings of 11 players to 2021-22 contracts. The Whitecaps captured the Isobel Cup title in their inaugural 2018-19 campaign and advanced to the championship the following two seasons. Program founder Jack Brodt continues to serve as general manager and coaches alongside co-head coach Ronda Engelhardt.

In May the league announced the sales of two other WHP franchises: the Metropolitan Riveters to John Boynton and BTM Partners and the Connecticut Whale to Tobin Kelly and Shared Hockey Enterprises. The sales followed a record-setting Season 6 for league sponsorship activation, broadcast partnerships, and digital fan engagement that led to a doubling of the league’s salary cap. The off-season continues with the 2021 NWHL Draft on June 29 followed by the inaugural NWHL International Draft on July 25.

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Connecticut:

Today, the Whale announced additions to the front office personnel, 1 new and 1 familiar. Amy Mahoney will now be serving as the Director of Sponsorship, while familiar face Jessie Oram will now take on the responsibility of being the Director of Ticket Sales and Services.

You can check out the full press release here:

WHALE ANNOUNCE NEW ADDITIONS, PROMOTIONS TO FRONT OFFICE STAFF

Danbury, CT- The Connecticut Whale have announced two new changes to their front office staff. Amy Mahoney will serve as the Whale’s Director of Sponsorships, and Jessie Oram, who was previously the team’s Sponsorship and Ticket Sales Coordinator, has been promoted to the role of Director of Ticket Sales and Service.

“With the appointment of Amy and with Jessie taking on additional roles at the Whale, we have added two women who are passionate about the Whale and growing the game of hockey for women and girls,” said Connecticut Whale owner Tobin Kelly.

In Mahoney’s role as Director of Sponsorships, she will work with Rob Striar and MStyle Marketing regarding sponsorship sales. Mahoney will also work closely with Oram on supporting sponsorship execution. In addition to her new role with the Pod, Mahoney will remain the Director of the Laura Foundation for Autism and Epilepsy in Madison, New Hampshire, an organization she helped to launch. Before her time with The Laura Foundation, Mahoney was in national sponsorship sales for what is now Outside Television and was an on-air host and producer for a variety of sports content shows.

In Oram’s new role as the Director of Ticket Sales & Service, she will work to generate awareness about the Connecticut Whale and enhance fans’ game day experience at the Danbury Ice Arena. She will also support the team’s sponsorship group and game-day operations. Prior to working with the Whale, Oram worked in Business Operations and Community Relations roles with the New York Liberty (WNBA), New York Knicks (NBA) & Westchester Knicks (G League).

“Amy and Jessie bring an incredible amount of experience to their roles and share the vision of growing the Whales’ footprint in Connecticut,” said Kelly. “I look forward to seeing them work to expand the reach of the game to more families, businesses, and to areas and populations who have previously been underrepresented in the world of hockey.”

This is the Whale’s second recent announcement regarding their front office staff; last week, Connecticut hired Alexis Moed as the team’s newest general manager and promoted current Assistant Coach Laura Brennan to the role of assistant general manager in addition to her current coaching duties.

Toronto:

Big news out of Toronto today, as the Six announced a GM to helm the team with Season 7 upcoming, Krysti Clarke. She will be the team’s second GM in history.

You can check out the full press release here:

KRYSTI CLARKE JOINS TORONTO SIX EXECUTIVE TEAM WITH RECENT APPOINTMENT AS GENERAL MANAGER

by Justin Levine

Toronto, ON- The Toronto Six have named their new General Manager, with Krystiana Clarke the latest addition to the hockey club. Clarke joins the Toronto Six staff led by owner Johanna Boynton, President Digit Murphy, and includes newly appointed Head Coach Mark Joslin and Assistant Coach Angela James.

“We are so excited to welcome Krysti Clarke as the newest member of the Toronto Six Hockey Club,” said Digit Murphy, President of the Toronto Six. “Krysti is a well-rounded individual who brings her knowledge and expertise to the role of General Manager. We look forward to Krysti’s many contributions and her presence and impact being felt immediately.”

The new trio of Clarke, Joslin and James have all made NWHL history as the first members of the Black community to serve in their roles.

“Hockey is an integral part of Canada’s history and culture. I’ve witnessed hockey unite individuals, families and communities, in that beautiful way that sport does, but I never knew how to join in,” she said. “Growing up as a second-generation Canadian in a West Indian household, hockey was not part of my parents’ culture. I didn’t know that hockey could be for me.

But now I am raising the third generation of my family, the second to be born in Canada, and I want things to be different. By taking on this leadership role within the Toronto 6, I hope to show people of all colours and cultures that hockey is for them too.”

Succeeding Mandy Cronin as the second GM in Toronto Six history, Clarke will manage player activities, team operations and logistics, as well as game day event management. This includes selling tickets and adding sponsors, which she will take charge of and report to Digit Murphy.

Stretching out from soccer to hockey, Clarke joins the Toronto Six with experience from York United FC in the Canadian Premier League, where the Toronto native still serves in the role of Manager of Operations. She brings a wealth of experience to her latest venture in professional sports, holding an MBA from McKendree University.

A versatile asset and highly qualified, Clarke has been largely responsible for industry research, benchmarking and operational leadership. Entering her fourth year with the soccer club, she has collaborated closely with other senior leaders to provide data-driven insights to inform strategic business planning, as well as decision-making.

In close comparison to her duties with Toronto, Clarke also provides daily and game-day operational leadership.

Expanding her portfolio and skillset, Clarke is elated to broaden her knowledge and expertise with the Six.

“I am excited and honoured to have the opportunity to join this history-making team as the General Manager,” she said. “I bring with me lessons learned from another sport that will help with reimagining our approach to and vision of the game. With this legendary crew, I know we can work together to make meaningful change within the world of hockey and women’s sport.”

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RMU Petition:

It was announced, that the funding for the Division 1 Men’s and Women’s hockey programs of Robert Morris University was cut. Here is the statement from RMU:

If you have the time, please consider signing the petition to help save RMU’s hockey programs, link provided:

Bring Back the RMU Hockey Programs Change.org Petition

https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-rmu-hockey

TXHT will continue to provide NWHL coverage as more signings and news are announced.

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