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PHF set to launch Montreal franchise for 2022-23 season

Les Canadiennes de Montreal, a CWHL team and the most recent women’s professional team in Montreal, made history in 2015 as part of the first women’s professional hockey game to be played outdoors. (Winslow Townson /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

The Premier Hockey Federation will be launching an expansion team in Montreal for the 2022-23 season, the league announced Tuesday.

Included among the team’s leadership are president Kevin Raphaël and vice president Emmanuel Anderson.

“This is a very exciting time for the PHF and the growth of professional women’s hockey,” PHF commissioner Reagan Carey said in a release. “The city of Montreal and province of Quebec have a rich hockey history that the PHF is proud to officially be a part of.”

The team will practice in Centre 21.02, a 2,500-seat complex that was founded in 2019. It is also the first and only recognized High Performance Hockey Center for women athletes across Canada.

While based in Montreal, the team will play games across Quebec in an effort to “raise the PHF’s profile and showcase professional women’s hockey to greater audiences,” the league said in its announcement.

“Expansion is an important part of the PHF’s commitment to grow the game by providing greater opportunities for more professional athletes to develop and compete, while inspiring the next generation to pursue their own dreams in the sport,” Carey said. “The introduction of one new PHF team in 2022-23 will help us build a solid and sustainable future, one step at a time.”

This marks the third time the league has expanded since being founded in 2015, with the Toronto Six, the most recent franchise, joining in 2020-21.

There has been women’s professional hockey in Montreal before. Les Canadiennes de Montreal played in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, winning four Clarkson Cup championships between 2009 and 2019. In 2015, the team played the Boston Pride in the first outdoor women’s professional hockey game as part of the 2016 NHL Winter Classic.

An official team name and logo for the new PHF franchise are expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks, as well as the team’s coaching staff and roster formation.