The Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) is the women’s hockey equivalent to the National Hockey League (NHL). This professional hockey league for women is going into their tenth season, and they have yet to be able to pay their competing players. Another professional women’s league was introduced two years ago - the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). The CWHL and NWHL are in competition with one another for the world’s best female hockey players. The NWHL is able to pay their players as each team has a salary cap of $270,000 USD, meaning the average salary for a NWHL player is $15,000 USD.

There has been discussion in the women’s hockey community about merging the two leagues to have the best of the best playing against each other. However, there are pros and cons to the merger of the leagues, which include:


  • More competition league wide
  • CWHL players would receive compensation
  • Greater NHL benefits and exposure, such as sponsorship and partnership with NHL teams through sharing the ice and publicly promoting the women’s teams
  • North American wide play
  • Everyone involved in women’s hockey in North America would be contributing to one goal, rather than competing with the opposing league


  • Each league has different philosophies
    • CWHL has two goals - to create a league for the highest-level women’s hockey to compete and to create a future for the sport of women’s hockey
    • NWHL is looking to pay female hockey players for their efforts, eventually so they can earn a living playing hockey
  • There is not enough money in women’s hockey yet to pay the women substantial salaries
  • It will take players away from European leagues

Do you think the leagues should merge to make the ultimate professional women’s hockey league? Or remain separate and continue to fulfill each league philosophy? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!