NHL reportedly asks PHF, PWHPA to meet in pursuit of unified league

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The PWHPA and PHF are reportedly meeting in an attempt to reach an agreement that would bring the two sides together, according to Jeff Marek. The meeting comes at the request of the NHL.

News of the possible meeting comes as both the PWHPA and PHF are experiencing substantial growth.

In January, the PHF announced a $25 million investment by its board of governors that will see the league’s salary cap increase over the next three seasons by 150 percent. Players will also receive healthcare benefits and 10 percent equity in their respective teams.

Currently with six teams, the PHF has also announced that they will be expanding to eight teams. They recently partnered with Octagon to help in their growth and search for the next league commissioner.

The PWHPA and PHF have been at odds since the PWHPA was formed in May of 2019. At the time, PWHPA members called into question former commissioner and founder Dani Rylan Kearney’s management style. There were also questions over the league’s financial shortfalls as the league cut players’ salaries by more than half just a month into its second season.

In forming the PWHPA, players hoped to create a more sustainable economic model that was better supported by players.

According to Marek, PWHPA members were told over the weekend about a substantial, multi-million dollar funding opportunity that would allow for their proposed league to move forward. The deal is expected to have a commitment range of eight to 10 years.

Until the PWHPA league is actualized, the PHF remains the only women’s professional hockey league in North America.

Repeatedly, the NHL has said that they would not support women’s hockey financially while there are two competing leagues. The PWHPA lists 10 NHL teams as partners, however most teams are hesitant to partner with any women’s league without the approval of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.