The Women’s Professional Hockey League announced on Tuesday the appointment of Reagan Curry as the new commissioner for the First Hockey League.
Curry previously served as the USA Hockey Women’s Ice Hockey Director from 2010-18, overseeing the US women’s national teams that won Olympic silver in Sochi and gold in Pyeongchang. Curry was also the general manager of the women’s national team.
She became the third commissioner in the league’s history, succeeding Tyler Tomenia, who served for two seasons and oversaw the organization’s name change from the Women’s National Hockey League to PHF.
After withdrawing from United States Hockey in 2018, Curry worked as an out-of-hockey consultant while volunteering to help the sport at a grassroots level.
“It wasn’t something I was striving for,” Carey told ESPN on Monday. “But when I had the opportunity and people shared more about what they were looking to do, I got even more involved.” “I understood what they were looking to do and some of the needs they had. My professional experience and passion for growing the sport align well with what the board of directors has already started here.”
A research committee chaired by Tobin Kelly of the PHF Board of Governors interviewed a variety of candidates.
“What sets Reagan Curry apart is not only her incredible depth of experience in the world of women’s hockey but the collaborative approach she brings to the position,” said Kelly.
Curry, who became officially commissioned on May 10, takes over the PHF during a critical period for the league, which is entering its eighth season.
The PHF Board of Governors has announced a commitment to invest more than $25 million in the league over the next three years. The maximum salary for 2022-23 will be a record $750,000 per team, with a minimum salary of $562,500.
The PHF team is expected to grow from six to eight teams for the 2022-23 season, with one expansion team expected to be in Montreal and the other to be based in a US city.
“I don’t have an answer for you at the moment, but I know it’s something that is a priority and hopefully we can provide some updates in the near future here,” said Carey.
The PHF is also expected to have some competition this season. The Professional Hockey Players Association plans to launch its own six-team league in January 2023. The Professional Hockey Players Association, which is made up of women’s national team players from the United States and Canada, was in talks about a partnership with FIFA earlier this year but In the end He chose not to work with the league.
Curry described the arrival of a rival league as a “really positive time for women’s hockey” as it provides more options for players.
“I hesitate to say that we are competitors. I hope we can participate and support each other in the same way that Canadian and USA hockey do. You are competing on the ice, but behind the scenes, that collaborative mentality is what allows us to achieve so much,” Curry said. of progress in our sport.” “If you are developing women’s hockey, you are a teammate, no matter what logo or entity you represent. I hope the dialogue is positive.”
Carey has worked with several USA Hockey PWHPA players, including during the 2017 wage and benefits dispute that nearly led to a World Championship boycott. Carey said she took lessons from that time with her as she prepared to head the PHF.
“Just harnessing the power of emotion is an important lesson, but it’s also about communication, trust and transparency that’s important to me,” said Carey. “I think all of these things, as we move forward, are going to be critical to the success of the healthcare fund.”
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