The IX: Hockey Friday with Erica L. Ayala, March 19, 2021
NWHL founder Dani Rylan Kearney out — Interview with Blake Bolden — must-click links
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Rylan Resigns from the league she founded
Hello The IX readers:
I was all set to talk about the USA Hockey development camp taking place this month. I was ready to chat about potential youth movement happening — of the 46 players invited to this month’s development camp, 30-somethings Kacey Bellamy and Hilary Knight are the oldest, per Mike Murphy, aka The Stats Man! Nicole Haase also weighed in.
I was going to do that, then we got this news:
It’s difficult to react to this, mostly because there was no quote and no explanation offered. I have reached out to the NWHL, W Hockey Partners, and the NWHLPA for comment. As of now, I received this from the NWHL:
“At this time the league’s press release will be our only communication on the matter.”
The NWHLPA has not had a meeting since the news of Rylan Kearney’s departure.
The Ice Garden reported Andy Scurto, a governor on the NWHL Board (the first time I’ve seen reporting on board members) is taking over as president of W Hockey Partners until a permanent appointment is made ahead of Season 7. I have reached out to W Hockey Partners for an interview and will update once I get a response.
I’ve said time and time again (most recently in October) that the NWHL and Dani Rylan might need to take time apart, especially as #ForTheGame has turned to the PWHPA. Whether “fair” or not (and there is a lot of speculation) Rylan Kearney represented all that is wrong with pro hockey in many quarters.
Lawsuits, salary cuts, and limited communication are the cloud over her time as commissioner of the league she founded. I was one of the people openly critical of the salary cuts. Over time, it is increasingly clear the salary cuts were needed to keep the league alive.
There is no telling if the removal of Rylan will make the NWHL more attractive to players inclined to go the PWHPA route. What is clear is the league and W Hockey partners have let to streamline communication.
Earlier in the year Toronto Six coach and president teased expansion in Canada was coming next year. Marisa Ingemi reported Montreal will be a privately-owned team, joining Boston and The Six.
However, Ty Tumminia and the Board of Directors will still need to establish stronger communications if they hope to prove to players, the press, and fans that the old ways are gone.
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This Week in Women’s Hockey
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USA Hockey announces 46-player roster for March Development Camp.
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The Badgers will take on Northeastern.
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