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Kessel signs with NYR!

#BestKessel has gone pro, and the NWHL wishes that was the only story this week. Unfortunately for them, it's not.

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Amanda Kessel has gone pro, with her eye on returning to Team USA.
Amanda Kessel has gone pro, with her eye on returning to Team USA.
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

It was a busy week in the NWHL, so much so that not only am I putting them first, there are sub-headings.


RFA Period

Restricted Free Agency ended April 30, and there was some wheeling and dealing in those last few days:

The Riveters and the Whale swapped draft pick rights - Hannah Brandt to the Riveters and Dana Trivigno to the Whale. So far neither pick has signed.

The Riveters then traded the rights to Worlds hero Alex Carpenter to the already-theoretically-stacked Boston Pride for the rights to Miye D´Oench and some cap space. D'Oench has now signed.

The Rivs also re-signed Ketchum and the Pride re-signed Dempsey.

Gophers goalie Amanda Leveille became the first draft pick to sign with an NWHL team - sticking with the Beauts, who drafted her.

The Whale's Kaleigh Fratkin was the only player from last season to publicly announce during the RFA period that she would definitely not be returning to her former team.

Mike Murphy indulged in some speculation for Today's Slapshot: Rebuilding the Riveters Part 1 and Part 2

For a recap of all RFA moves and the UFA signings so far, both Along the Boards and Victory Press have handy trackers to help you out.

The Lawsuit

Last week, former NWHL investor Mike Moran was threatening to sue the league. On Wednesday last week, he followed through.

Stanley Cup of Chowder has the full filing documents for your perusal. Lots of interesting tidbits here.

Meg Linehan of Excelle Sports broke the initial story so here's her story on the actual filing. The Associated Press has extra details. Some general analysis from Kate Cimini, and a more point-by-point take from Zoë Hayden.

Today's Slapshot confirmed that Dani Rylan has been summoned to appear in court.

Along the Boards has compiled a timeline.

Free Agency

Fortunately for the league, unrestricted free agency began on May 1st.

Wisely or not, Today's Slapshot started a series on which free agents each team should pursue:

The Beauts signed Lisa Chesson, Kayleigh Fratkin and Jamie Leonoff jumped ship from the Whale to the Riveters (more from Fratkin here) and the Pride nabbed their first draft pick, Lexi Bender. The Whale picked up three players from Quinnipiac University as well as Boston College's Kaliya Johnson.

There's still almost three quarters of the league's roster to fill out, not including practice players but never fear...


Amanda Kessel became the distraction the league was hoping for when she signed with the New York Riveters on the first day of free agency, also making history as the highest paid player in the league's existence. I lost count at 11 separate stories, including this interview with For the Win (USAToday). The Minnesota Wild even did a piece for their website.

Along with Blueshirt Banter's two pieces, Stanley Cup of Chowder weighs in. Puck Daddy has a long article, including more details on the other Kessel siblings. Today's Slapshot writes about the signing and then about Amanda's comments (in case it's not obvious, there was a conference call, but I promise everyone's got a slightly different take on things). Finally, this one from Sports Illustrated needs an autoplay warning.

Other stories

Introducing Suzanne Friedman, Game Day Coordinator for the Boston Pride.

An interesting piece from Excelle Sports on the rise of agents among NWHL players, and what an agent can do for a player.

Meghan Duggan took over the CCM Hockey twitter account yesterday. Check out the questions and replies!

From the Rafter: NWHL Player Nutrition sees SCOC contributor Tatiana Rafter going through her weekly diet and how it affects her performance. Cool stuff.

Moving on from the NWHL - tiny hockey children!

Girl Power Rules! Hockey Calgary and GHC look to boost the number of females playing the sport from HockeyXtra Show on Vimeo.

Global News has some history on the Vancouver Griffins and wonders if there's a market for a professional women's team in Vancouver.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has alumnae in multiple professional leagues. Their Daily Cardinal takes a look at the state of professional women's hockey in North America.


Bladesfest, the Boston Blades 3-on-3 street hockey fundraiser takes place this Saturday!

The league has another job posting, this time for a bookkeeper.

The CWHL-affiliated challenge to the NWHL trademark in Canada caught the attention of Canadian Press. Today's Slapshot has some more in-depth information on potential reasons for the challenge.

Les Canadiennes will be hosting multiple hockey camps this year, starting with a Youth Camp in August. At least one Adult Clinic is on the schedule as well.

Maclean's magazine has a feature on Inferno forward Louise Warren, who juggles hockey with a full-time gig on the Calgary Police Services.

Sledge Hockey

A feature on the Canadian women's national team

And finally...

Wennerström becomes First Female Agent in Hockey

Translation from Katyaknappe below:

"It is nothing but men. But now Nina Wennerström, 37, breaks the barrier and becomes the first woman in the industry. On Monday, the agent passed the entrance exam and is presented today as a certified player agent.

Even internationally Wennerström stands out in this context: of the approximately 400 agents who are active in the hockey industry, only two are women. There, Nina Wennerström is the first woman who runs her own agent company."