The New York Riveters’ season will be shortened to 18 games. That means the women who play with Rosie the Riveter on their jerseys will play just four more games before the 2017 Isobel Cup Playoffs.
From the NWHL’s press release:
BROOKLYN, NY, February 2, 2017 – The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) today announced a series of major decisions pertaining to the future of the league.
Most crucially for the immediate future, the League and player representatives have agreed to complete the Isobel Cup Playoffs on March 19, prior to national team players leaving to participate in the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
“One of the primary missions of the NWHL is to help women realize Olympic dreams and national team aspirations, so concluding our season prior to the World Championships is the right thing to do,” said Commissioner Dani Rylan. “We always want to be supportive of our national team players, so we’re glad to have worked something out with the player reps. In the end, we all want what’s best for women’s hockey, and you’ll see that in the sprint to this year’s Isobel Cup and in the coming seasons of the NWHL. It’s a very exciting time for the game and for our League.”
The Boston Pride and Buffalo Beauts will only play 17 games this season, which is a severe disappointment for their fans. The Whale, like the Riveters, will play 18 games.
The Pride have already clinched first place in regards to points, but playoff seeding will likely be determined by win percentage (no one is going to catch Boston).
The NWHL also announced that there will be a 2017-18 season and that players will be paid next year. And that any plans for expansion won’t come until fruition until the 2018-19 season at the soonest.
Anya Battaglino, who many Riveters’ fans have grown accustomed to as the color commentator of the Connecticut Whale, has become the new director of the NWHLPA, replacing Erika Lawler. Battaglino is currently a practice squad player with the Whale. She has played in two games this season.
“It is extremely important for the players to get a seat at the table to advocate for the betterment of the league,” said Battaglino in the league’s press release. “We are so excited as a unit to continue to forge a strong relationship with Commissioner Rylan and the league office and I am honored to have the support of the NWHLPA as I step into this role. It is humbling to be able to continue to pioneer for women’s sports in a leadership position and even more of an honor to represent such amazing athletes.
“Being the voice of the athletes is an extremely important task,” Battaglino continued. “I’m grateful to have the support of all of the representatives to continue our conversations into the offseason to grow the league and strive for success for all of women’s hockey.”
The Riveters’ next game will be this Saturday in Newark against the Beauts. After that late afternoon game the Riveters and the league will take a break for the All-Star Weekend in Pittsburgh.
The Riveters are currently in second place in the NWHL standings. If that is still the case at the end of the season, their first playoff game would be on March 18th against the league’s third place team.