Friday, players in the National Women's Hockey League got the news that they absolutely didn't want to hear: effective immediately, the league will start cutting player salaries.
"Every business decision we make has an end result of ensuring that the world class players in this league will have an opportunity to continue to play for a paycheck," NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan said on a conference call Friday morning.
The move comes in just the league's second year of existence. Aside from Buffalo (Beauts) the NWHL has teams in Boston (Pride), New York (Riveters) and Connecticut (Whale).
Rylan said this is a step she didn't want to take, but one that had to be done.
"We continue to search for ways to secure that long term health for the league. We're in meetings every single day with investors and sponsors and parties that are interested in the league."
Rylan said she talked with the league players on Thursday night and they were understandably emotional and upset. The league would not get into the specifics of the salary cuts but Jen Neale from Yahoo! Sports has reported that the cuts are equal across the board, so every player will have their salary cut by the same percentage.
Should be noted that Ashley Johnston of the NY Riveters didn't dispute a "50 percent cut" when the number was used in a question to her.
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) November 18, 2016
"We're more convinced than ever that the world of women's hockey is better with the NWHL in it," Rylan said. "We're proud of what we've achieved so far."
Rylan: Out of respect to the players, will not comment on actual cut amount of salary #NWHL
— Jen Neale (@MsJenNeale_PD) November 18, 2016
According to Rylan the league fell short on their initial revenue projections in their first year. While Rylan says she hopes and expects the league to be around for years to come she also said "it would be foolish of me to guarantee anything when talking about the future of the league."
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