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New women’s pro hockey league set to announce team locations

Kendall Coyne Schofield and Megan Keller talk during the PWHPA All-Star Game and Skills Competition in December 2022. (Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

The new professional women’s hockey league, set to launch in 2024, will reveal the number of teams for its inaugural season as well as the cities those teams will call home in a news conference at 11 a.m. ET Tuesday.

Players are set to meet Monday night ahead of the announcement, a source told Just Women’s Sports.

Investors in the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association bought out the Premier Hockey Federation in June, clearing the way for a singular professional women’s league in North America. The four-team PWHPA played in showcase events around the U.S. and Canada, while the seven-team PHF had franchises in Boston, Buffalo, Connecticut, New York/New Jersey, Minnesota, Montreal and Toronto.

In addition, Brian Burke has been signed to a multi-year deal as the executive director of the Professional Women’s Hockey League Players Association union, a source told Just Women’s Sports. The executive committee for the union, which includes Brianne Jenner, Hilary Knight, Liz Knox, Sarah Nurse and Kendall Coyne Schofield, supervised the hiring.

Burke, 68, most recently served as the president of hockey operations of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins from 2021 to 2023. He also has worked for the Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames.

The union ratified its collective bargaining agreement via a unanimous vote in early July. It is the first union in North American women’s pro sports — and possibly all of pro sports — to have a ratified CBA prior to the start of competition. The WNBA ratified its first CBA in 1999 ahead of the league’s third season, while the NWSL’s first CBA was finalized in 2022 ahead of the league’s 10th season.