Report: PWHPA players organize union as prep continues for new league

(Justin Berl/Getty Images)

The PWHPA is still working toward establishing its own women’s professional hockey league.

In the latest move, players have formed a union and are negotiating a collective bargaining agreement with their investor group, The Athletic reported Thursday.

The Professional Women’s Hockey Player Association joined with Billie Jean King Enterprises and the Mark Walter Group last May with intention of establishing a new league. In August, the league announced a Dream Gap Tour for the 2022-23 season while it continued to plan for a full league.

A source within the PWHPA has pointed to the next hockey season as the target date for the league, which likely would place the launch in late 2023, The Athletic reported.

If the PWHPA and its union were to finish CBA negotiations before the league gets underway, that would mark a first for a major women’s professional league in North America.

The WNBA adopted its first CBA in 1999, one year after its founding. The NWSL only recently adopted its first CBA. The Premier Hockey Federation, which would be in direct competition with the PWHPA, does not have a CBA.

“We want to see our vision of a professional league become a reality as soon as possible,” PWHPA consultant Jayna Hefford previously told The Athletic, “but we’re not willing to compromise on doing it right.”