Earlier today, the NWHL announced a new expansion team that will play in Toronto. The unnamed team will join the league for the 2020-21 season. In addition to the good news of an expansion franchise, the league announced that the total number of games will change for the second off-season in a row.
Last year, the league expanded by eight games, going to a 24 game season. The 2020-21 season will be shrunk by four games. The league will play a 20 game season that is slated to start in mid-November. The NWHL opened the 2019-20 season on October 5th.
The Isobel Cup Playoffs, meanwhile, will begin in mid-March and will be completed by the end of the month. That should give players two weeks before the opening of the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia.
No reasoning was given for the delayed started and shortened schedule for the 2020-21 season. That said, it is understandable considering the current COVID-19 situation and the uncertainty surrounding life and sports right now.
The NWHL enters its sixth season of operation this fall. The league currently will operate with six teams, thanks to the inclusion of Toronto.