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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Signings and summer hockey

Goalies in the CWHL, progress in the NWHL, a Thunder coach moves to U Sports and the next generation get ready for battle.

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 13 Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Story of the week

Summer time, and we’d almost think we’d come back to the weekly format too early, but you all know if we’d stayed away, some drastic bombshell would drop and we’d have to pull together a WHW anyway. (That said, everything happens on Wednesdays, so if a bombshell is going to drop...) With no one massive story, here are some of the things we wanted to highlight.

On Thursday, three Olympians appeared on the CWHL draft list—Venla Hovi, Meeri Räisänen, and Alex Rigsby. Hovi, who’s played three years with the University of Manitoba Bisons, was not wholly unexpected. Räisänen and Rigsby are the surprises, and add some marquee names to a draft list that already contained some great goalies. While we can’t be sure where they’ll end up, I think that the momentary concern I had about Calgary’s goaltending situation with the Lacasse trade and Delayne Brian’s retirement was...misguided.

We had some big news from the NWHLPA, who believe they’re close to a landmark deal with the the league that would see the players categorized as league employees instead of contract workers. This would definitely have a positive impact on the quality of life for NWHL players. The NWHL also announced a program whereby girls hockey teams can affiliate themselves with the NWHL. One big perk of this arrangement would be three months free membership with a site called Sports Recruit, built to help players advertise themselves to college coaches.

Candice Moxley, who was an assistant coach for the Markham Thunder last season, has left the CWHL to take the head coaching job at the University of Western Ontario with their women’s hockey team, the Mustangs. She’s also an assistant coach with the Canadian National Women’s Development Team, bringing additional pedigree with her to her new role.

It’s camp time! USA Hockey is hosting their National Festival and Hockey Canada is hosting their Summer Showcase. Players at the Under-18 and Under-22 levels have gathered to train and compete at their respective camps, where teams will then be selected at each level for a three game Canada-USA series. The Under-18 players selected will be on the fast track to represent their respective countries at the World Championships, whereas the Canadian Under-22 players who compete against the US will likely also compete at Nations Cup in January. (USA Hockey does not participate in Nations Cup. USA Hockey does compete in the 4 Nations Cup, but those are the senior teams.) For the players approaching 22 this could be their last season with their national program. Development camp also serves the function for fans of being a good place to start scouting for future CWHL and NWHL players.

NWHL

New deal coming between NWHL and its players – TheHockeyNews
Another good sign for women’s hockey, however, was that the NWHL and CWHL will return all the Olympians who missed last season to prepare for the Winter Games in Korea, where the Team USA won gold.

NWHL Unveils Affiliate Junior League – Bus League Hockey
NWHL looks to expand its outreach

2018 NWHL Free Agency Tracker - The Ice Garden
Your convenient one-stop shop for all the NWHL signing news. Highlights: Boston adds gold medalist Haley Skarupa and Czech national team forward Denisa Křížová. Minnesota signs speedskater Allie Thunstrom. The Riveters re-sign Kelsey Koelzer.

The Pride’s blue line is taking shape - The Ice Garden
With Bender signed, Boston already has a solid top four.

Haley Skarupa signs with Boston Pride - The Ice Garden
The gold medalist is returning to the NWHL

Boston Pride Sign Czech Scoring Machine Denisa Křížová
The Boston Pride signed high-scoring Czech forward Denisa Křížová from Northeastern University. The addition of Křížová adds immediate firepower.

Minnesota Whitecaps: Allie Thunstrom Signs After Speed Skating Career
Allie Thunstrom: “I can’t wait to hit the ice and represent the State of Hockey in the Minnesota Whitecaps’ inaugural NWHL season.”

Hockey star Kendall Coyne on playing in men’s league, future of the NWHL
Kendall Coyne, Team USA Olympic gold medalist and newest member of the NWHL’s Minnesota Whitecaps, discussed being the only woman to play in the men’s Chicago Pro Hockey League this summer.

International hockey

By the numbers: Women’s Summer Showcase
The National Women’s Program is in the spotlight as under-18 and development camps get underway in the Stampede City

USA Hockey invites 75 players to Women’s National Festival - The Ice Garden
Teams will train ahead of friendlies against Canada Aug. 16-19

Swiss Ice Hockey Awards 2018: Ebbett & Klein named MVPs, Zwerger ‘Youngster of the Year’ - swisshockeynews.ch
Alina Müller, Florence Schelling honoured at the 2018 Swiss Ice Hockey Awards.

Ice hockey player Fricker named Kwinana Sports Person of the Year | The West Australian
City of Kwinana has awarded its annual Sports Person of the Year awards.

2018 China ice hockey training camp for teenagers opens in Beijing - CGTN
The program, run by the Chinese Ice Hockey Association and hosted by the Beijing Ice Hockey Association, was launched to develop more and better young Chinese hockey players amid rising interest in the country for winter sports as Beijing prepares to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

CWHL

Meeri Räisänen registers for CWHL Draft - The Ice Garden
Finnish Olympian embraces the possibility of taking her career to North America.

CWHL News: Toronto Furies sign former KRS free agent Shiann Darkangelo - Pension Plan Puppets
The former Kunlun Red Star forward is coming back to North America.

CWHL News: Toronto Furies sign free agent goaltender Elaine Chuli - nafio
The former Vanke Rays starter should be a good fit in Toronto.

U Sports

Powerhouse Western Mustangs squad hires new hockey coach | The London Free Press
The Mustangs named Candice Moxley the head coach of the women's hockey program. Moxley was also an assistant coach with the Markham Thunder of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

Harassment complaint made against university women's hockey coach in Alberta - CityNews Toronto
The head coach of the University of Lethbridge women’s hockey team is to receive more training after the school investigated a formal harassment complaint filed by six of her players.

NCAA

WCHA Expands Partnership, Adding Nearly 100 Women's Games To FloHockey
FloHockey and the WCHA have expanded their partnership, adding nearly 100 collegiate women's hockey games to the schedule.

Haverhill's Martin: From backup goalie to Division 1 hockey | Local Sports | eagletribune.com
It never hurts to ask.

Six Eagles Named To USA Hockey National Women’s Festival - BC Interruption
The six Americans will join three Canadians vying for a spot on their respective national teams

We leave you with this footage from the Marner All-Star Invitational featuring Natalie Spooner, Laura Stacey and Erin Ambrose.