FINALLY! The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) announced a plan to play out its 2021 season, and the Isobel Cup. The new season will start on January 23rd. I can’t wait to see what the Toronto Six twitter page will meme about now!
The National Women’s Hockey League today announced a plan to play the upcoming season and 2021 Isobel Cup Playoffs at the 1980 Rink-Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, NY
— NWHL (@NWHL) November 25, 2020
This season will see the first EVER action from the new Toronto Six hockey club, Toronto’s newest professional hockey franchise.
In order to protect the players and staff against COVID-19, the season will be compressed and done in a bubble. The teams will each play each other once, followed by a playoff qualification round to determine seeding, followed by a 4 team Isobel Cup playoff. The Isobel Cup game will be played on February 5th, 2021.
The following additional measures are being taken, as per the announcement:
The teams will arrive separately in Lake Placid in a staggered schedule on Jan. 21 and 22. Beginning Jan. 23, they will each play five games (one against each team in the league), followed by a playoff round that will determine the four teams advancing to the Isobel Cup Semifinals. The single-game Semifinals will feature the top-seeded team against the fourth-place team, with the teams, ranked second and third facing each other. The winners of the Semifinals will advance to the Isobel Cup Final on Friday, Feb. 5.
The entire season will be conducted in Lake Placid with regular COVID-19 testing provided by Yale Pathology Labs. All participants will follow strict adherence to protocols established by the medical team from the NWHL’s partners at NYU Langone Health, led by Drs. Andrew Feldman and Guillem Gonzalez-Lomas. With the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape, these protocols will be modified based on the most current research and evidence.
To make this happen, the NWHL partnered with the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA). The competition will take place in Lake Placid, NY, at the 1980 Rink-Herb Brooks Arena.
Despite the season being compressed, the players will be compensated in full as per the contracts that they signed. It is easy to speculate that players that are signed from this point forward could only be compensated based on the shortened schedule, but that remains to be seen.
Our blog here at TheLeafsNation has been lucky enough to officially partner with The Toronto Six to give you the best coverage we can for this exciting new franchise in Toronto, so keep your eyes peeled to our website, and the Toronto Six’s website, for more news and analysis.