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PREMIER HOCKEY FEDERATION LAUNCHING IN
MONTREAL, QUEBEC FOR THE 2022-23 SEASON
Operations for the League’s Seventh Franchise Officially Underway
BOSTON, MA (July 12, 2022) – The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) today announced details regarding expansion for the 2022-23 season with a seventh franchise to be introduced in Montreal, Quebec. Leadership for the new organization includes President Kevin Raphaël and Vice President Emmanuel Anderson and features a partnership agreement for next season with Centre 21.02, a High Performance Hockey Center.
“This is a very exciting time for the PHF and the growth of professional women’s hockey,” said Reagan Carey, PHF Commissioner. “The city of Montreal and province of Quebec have a rich hockey history that the PHF is proud to officially be a part of. In addition to their community pride and passion for the game, the leadership from Kevin, Emmanuel, and the Centre provides a trifecta when it comes to hockey, business, and promotional experience that will make an immediate and lasting impact. Expansion is an important part of the PHF’s commitment to grow the game by providing greater opportunities for more professional athletes to develop and compete, while inspiring the next generation to pursue their own dreams in the sport. The introduction of one new PHF team in 2022-23 will help us build a solid and sustainable future, one step at a time. We will continue to evaluate additional expansion opportunities across North America beyond next season.”
Raphaël is no stranger to women’s hockey and has proudly been a long-time ambassador for the sport across the province. He regularly uses his platform to raise awareness for the sport and its athletes, including production of a three-part docuseries in 2020 titled ‘Gap Year’ that examined the state of women’s hockey. He is well-known across Quebec’s media landscape as host of ‘Viens Voir Mes Rénos’ on Casa, a regular contributor to ‘VLOG’ and ‘Salut Bonjour’ on TVA, co-host for WWE weekly broadcasts on TVA Sports, and hosts his own ever-growing podcast called ‘Sans Restriction’ in addition to other radio programming. Raphaël has been business partners with Anderson for over a decade with collaborations on many projects in the sports, entertainment, and philanthropy fields. Most notably, their annual charity hockey game known as ‘Classique KR’ features NHL players, women’s hockey stars, and Quebec personalities raising money to support childhood cancer foundations. Together they join a growing list of PHF leaders with diverse backgrounds that includes Toronto Six owners Anthony Stewart, Angela James, Bernice Carnegie, and Ted Nolan, and Boston Pride minority owner Willie O’Ree.
“Professional women's hockey is back in Montreal, and Emmanuel and I are very excited to work with the PHF to help grow the women's game across the entire province of Quebec,” said Raphaël. “We look forward to building a team with strong community partnerships and talented athletes who are ready to make a real difference on and off the ice. This is just the beginning for what is going to be a very special season for everyone.”
Founded in 2019, Centre 21.02 is a two-pad sports complex in Verdun with a 2,500-seat capacity. It is the first and only recognized High Performance Hockey Center for women athletes in Canada. While it will serve as the primary training home for Montreal’s new PHF franchise, games during the 2022-23 season will be played in communities across Quebec to help raise the PHF’s profile and showcase professional women’s hockey to greater audiences. Guided by a Board of Directors, Sauvageau, who coached Canada’s National Women’s Team to its first-ever Olympic gold medal in 2002, is a renowned women’s hockey icon in Quebec who serves as Centre 21.02 President, Chief Executive Officer, and Coach.
“The mission of Centre 21.02 is to provide a first class training environment for elite women athletes from Quebec to develop and be worldwide leaders in hockey,” commented Centre 21.02 Board of Directors. “Growing women’s hockey is important for achieving success at all levels of the game, especially for young girls who have role models to follow. We are proud to be part of the growth of the game and support athletes who aim to play at the professional level.”
The city’s professional women’s hockey history includes the Montreal Stars, founded in 2007, and re-branded Les Canadiennes de Montreal in 2015. They competed in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and won a record four Clarkson Cup championships between 2009 and 2019. In December 2015, the Canadiennes and the Boston Pride made history competing in the first outdoor women’s game as part of the 2016 NHL Winter Classic festivities. This marks the third time the PHF has expanded following the League’s establishment in 2015 with the founding four teams being the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, and Metropolitan Riveters. The Minnesota Whitecaps became the fifth franchise awarded during the League’s fourth season of operations in 2018-19, followed by the Toronto Six which began competition during the Federation’s sixth season in 2020-21.
Montreal’s official team name and logo will be unveiled in the coming weeks along with announcements for the team’s first coaching staff and roster formation as player signings commence. The 2022-23 PHF regular season schedule is still to be announced, with specific details regarding Montreal’s home games and locations to follow. For more information please visit PHFMontreal.com.
About the Premier Hockey Federation
The PHF is the home of professional women’s hockey in North America. Established in 2015 as the National Women’s Hockey League, the NWHL rebranded to become the PHF in 2021 and provide opportunities for elite athletes to earn a living playing the game they love while fueling the continued growth of the sport. The league is made up of the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, and the Toronto Six who all compete annually for the Isobel Cup. For more information visit premierhockeyfederation.com.
PHF Senior Vice President of Communications