The confusion about Jaimie Leonoff’s role with the New York Riveters has finally been cleared up and, unfortunately, it’s very bad news. Leonoff will miss the entire 2016-17 season with a torn labrum.
Leonoff had hip surgery over the offseason to deal with a hip injury but she sustained her shoulder injury during offseason training.
The league’s press release:
September 30, 2016 — The New York Riveters today announced that goaltender Jaimie Leonoff of the New York Riveters will be out for the entire 2016-17 NWHL season. Leonoff, who signed with the Riveters this off-season as a free agent after a season with Connecticut, will have surgery to repair a hip injury. She sustained a torn labrum during training this summer.
Leonoff recorded the first win in league history when the Connecticut Whale defeated the Riveters 4-1 on Oct. 11, 2015. Her .936 save percentage in 2015-16 was the league’s highest. In Leonoff’s collegiate career at Yale, she won three straight team MVP awards, and was named to the ECAC All- Academic team, Academic All- Ivy League, and Honorable Mention All- Ivy League as a senior in 2014-15.
Leonoff signed with the Riveters for a huge bargain at $10,000 (the league minimum). She was expected to be the team’s starting goaltender and to bring stability to what was a chaotic situation in the goal crease last season. She was likely the league’s most underrated goaltender last season. Leonoff had the best save percentage in the NWHL and looked outstanding in Connecticut.
Leonoff is 23 years old and will hopefully be able to battle her way back into professional women’s hockey when she gets healthy again. She showed in the 2015-16 season that she is clearly an elite goaltender. Her injury is not just a blow to the Riveters, it is a blow to the world of women’s hockey.
With Leonoff out of the picture Sojung Shin is the Riveters’ starting goaltender. Katie Fitzgerald will serve as her backup.
The Riveters first regular season game is October 8th in Buffalo against the Boston Pride.