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Women's professional hockey league gets $25M infusion

The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) investment will more than double the salary cap of all six league teams, improve facilities and increase benefits for skaters.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Editor's note: The video above first aired March 27, 2019. 

The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) is more than doubling salary caps for each of the league's six teams, and adding two expansion franchises next season thanks to an infusion of $25 million over the next three years by the league's Board of Governors. 

League officials say the move is part of a bid to capitalize on the wave of attention women’s hockey traditionally enjoys following the Winter Olympics. 

At the heart of the investment is a salary cap increase to $750,000 for next year, 150% more than the current figure of $300,000 available to teams like the Minnesota Whitecaps

The plan also includes updating facilities, purchasing new equipment, increasing ice time in the form of more practices and an expanded 28 game schedule.

“The PHF has been steadfast in its vision to grow the game under a new era that truly provides leading opportunities for athletes in the sport who deserve to be treated as professionals,” said PHF Commissioner Tyler Tumminia in a released statement. “This amazing investment by ownership reaffirms the strength of their commitment to being difference-makers who advance the professional game so that our athletes can thrive as role models who continue to inspire the next generation.”

To give skaters a larger stake in the success of the PHF, the league will contribute all 10% of the equity of each team into an investment pool owned by the PHF players. Athletes will also have control over their own likeness and be able to profit from their image.

The decision is also considered a major step in the PHF's attempt to thaw its relationship with United States and Canadian national team players, considered the best female skaters in the world. Many have balked at joining the PHF, North America’s lone professional women’s hockey league, citing low pay and a lack of benefits. 

Current PHF franchises include the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, and Toronto Six. Montreal is one of the cities currently targeted for expansion, with another planned in the United States.

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