2019–20 NWHL season

The 2019–20 NWHL season is the fifth season of the National Women's Hockey League. All five teams from the previous season returned: the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, and the Minnesota Whitecaps.

2019–20 NWHL season
LeagueNational Women's Hockey League
SportIce hockey
Regular season
Isobel Cup

League changes

2019 offseason events

Following the 2018–19 season, the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) ceased operations citing the fragmentation of corporate sponsors between the CWHL and NWHL caused their league to be financially infeasible.[1] The NWHL then announced it was pursuing adding two CWHL markets to the league, Montreal and Toronto, if the NWHL found financial backers for the teams.[2]

On May 2, 2019, over 200 players from both the CWHL and NWHL released a joint statement announcing their intent to not participate in any North American professional league for the 2019–20 season citing their dissatisfaction in the operations of both leagues in that neither provided health insurance or a livable salary.[3] The NWHL responded with that they were pursuing many more sponsors then in previous years and hoped to increase player salaries.[4] and agreed to give players a 50 percent split of revenue on league sponsorship and media deals. On May 20, 2019, the players formed a worker's union called the Professional Women's Hockey Player Association (PWHPA) to further push for their stated goals of a league that provides financial and infrastructure resources to players, health insurance, and support to training programs for young female players.[5][6] With a large amount of North American players boycotting the league, more than half of the signed players on opening rosters were new to the league.[7]

On May 8, 2019, Pegula Sports and Entertainment (PSE), the owners of the Buffalo Beauts, relinquished ownership and operations of the team back to the NWHL,[8][9] but continued to claim rights to the Beauts name as part of the turnover.[10] The Beauts then changed their home venue from the PSE-owned Harborcenter to the Northtown Center in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst.[11]

On May 17, 2019, the New Jersey Devils ended their partnership with the Metropolitan Riveters.[12][13] The Riveters then changed their home venue from the Devils' practice rink to ProSkate Ice Arena in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey,[11] and returned to their original jersey colors.[14]

With the player strike, loss of support from the NHL teams, and lack of additional investors, the NWHL announced they would not be able to increase to full-time salaries or provide players with health insurance outside of the typical worker's compensation for injuries, but had come to an agreement to a 50 percent revenue split on all league-wide sponsorship and media deals. In addition, the league also stated they would not add Montreal and Toronto for the 2019–20 season.[15] The league announced a longer 2019–20 season for the teams, going from 16 to 24 games.[11]

Also during the offseason, the Connecticut Whale relocated to Danbury, Connecticut,[16] and the Boston Pride were purchased by a group of investors led by Miles Arnone.[17]

Head coach changes

Team 2018–19 head coach 2019–20 replacement Notes
Connecticut Whale Thomas Pöck Colton Orr Orr was named head coach of the Whale on September 17, 2019.[18] The Whale had relocated to Danbury Ice Arena during the offseason and Orr operates hockey clinics and a junior team out of the arena.
Buffalo Beauts Cody McCormick Pete Perram McCormick, a former player for the Buffalo Sabres, was named the head coach for in December the previous season.[19] After the Beauts' split from the association with the Sabres and were returned to a league-operated team, Pete Perram was hired as the next head coach.[20]
Metropolitan Riveters Randy Velischek Ivo Mocek After the split with the New Jersey Devils, the Riveters hired former Czech junior national team player Ivo Mocek on August 12, 2019.[21]

Regular season


As of December 15, 2019.[22]

Boston Pride111100226319
Buffalo Beauts10640123438
Minnesota Whitecaps10532124029
Metropolitan Riveters1147082851
Connecticut Whale1009111946



  1. "Final Public Communication" (PDF). CWHL. July 2, 2019.
  2. "U.S.-based women's hockey league OKs plan to expand to Canada after CWHL folds | The Star". thestar.com. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  3. "More than 200 players call for overhaul of women's pro hockey". The Sports Network. May 2, 2019.
  4. "A Statement to the Players, Fans and Supporters of the NWHL and Women's Hockey". NWHL.zone. May 2, 2019.
  5. "Professional Women's Hockey Player Association established, issues statement". The Ice Garden. May 20, 2019.
  6. "Professional Women's Hockey Player Association". PWHPA. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  7. "2019-20 NWHL Preview: Storylines to watch". The Ice Garden. October 4, 2019.
  8. Anstey, Evan (May 8, 2019). "Report: Pegula Sports & Entertainment severs relationship with Buffalo Beauts". WIVB-TV. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  9. "AP Source: Pegula relinquishes control of NWHL Buffalo team". WKBW. May 8, 2019.
  10. "Women's hockey league seeks court ruling over Beauts name, logo". The Buffalo News. July 2, 2019.
  11. "NWHL Reveals Expanded Schedule for the 2019-20 Season". NWHL. July 29, 2019.
  12. "New Jersey Devils dissolving partnership with Metropolitan Riveters". theicegarden.com. May 17, 2019.
  13. "NJ Devils dissolve partnership with Metropolitan Riveters ahead of schedule". northjersey.com. May 17, 2019.
  15. ""We'll Always Do What's Best for the Game" - A Message from the NWHL". OurSports Central. May 30, 2019.
  16. "Danbury Arena the New Home of the Connecticut Whale". OurSports Central. July 8, 2019.
  17. "NWHL Announces Sale of the Boston Pride". OurSports Central. September 17, 2019.
  18. "NHL Veteran Colton Orr, NWHL Veteran Laura Brennan to Coach Connecticut Whale". OurSports Central. September 17, 2019.
  19. Wollschlager, Erik (January 9, 2019). "Beauts GM Nik Fattey Resigns". Die by the Blade. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  20. "Pete Perram Named Head Coach of Buffalo Beauts". OurSports Central. June 14, 2019.
  21. "Riveters name Ivo Mocek head coach". The Ice Garden. August 12, 2019.
  22. "NWHL standings". NWHL. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  23. "NWHL goes outdoors with Beauts to host Riveters in Buffalo". The Oakland Press. August 27, 2019.
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