Photo Source: Michael Hetzel
Many more ladies are going to be able to play professionally thanks to the National Women’s Hockey League new guidelines. On Tuesday, July 18th, the NWHL announced that the decision to increase the roster size was a unanimous agreement by all members of the front office.
The new guidelines are as followed:
- All NWHL teams may now consist of up to 25 players. As in the past, 17 players will dress for games for each team.
- The option to flex to up to 25 roster spots is available until the last week of the regular season.
- There are no longer “practice players,” as there were in the first two years of the league.
- Every player that signs a contract in the NWHL will be considered a regular team member of that franchise.
In the announcement on the NWHL website, Deputy Commissioner Hayley Moore said the following, “As we enter our third season, and as the depth of talent in women’s hockey continues to grow, we are excited to provide opportunities to more players.” To add onto that, she also said this, “The increased roster limits also give the management and coaches of each team more flexibility if they want to add players to their roster down the stretch of the season.”
Expanding the team rosters can only mean good news for the NWHL. More players now have the opportunity to play at a professional level. Not only does this give hope to players in college who previously didn’t think they would play after graduation, but it also gives hope to older players who didn’t think they would ever play for a professional women’s team. Along with that, teams now have the opportunity to fill spots when playoffs get closer and some players might be hurt.
Overall, the roster expansion is a good move on the NWHL’s part. This is just another step in the right direction to expand the league as a whole.