The puck is in the net after Canada's Marie-Philip Poulin scored on U.S. goalie Nicole Hensley in overtime of Rivalry Rematch game on March 12, 2022, in Pittsburgh.

The league has asked the rival Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) and Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) to sit down and talk about creating a sustainable professional women’s hockey league. While some individual teams support the PWHPA and its barnstorming Secret Dream Gap Tour, this is the most concrete sign that the league — which is emerging from its own financial concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic — is prepared to provide material and financial support to a women’s league. In the past, the NHL has indicated it would not get involved if there were two warring leagues.

The PHF is the only professional — it’s more on the level of semi-professional — league in North America. It has six franchises with plans to expand to Montreal and another city for the 2022-23 season. It announced a raise in the salary cap from US$300,000 to US$750,000 — that doesn’t go very far when divided among 26 players — and will offer full health-care benefits.

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