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NWHL grants players proof of insurance after salary cut news, but uncertainties remain

Riveters captain Ashley Johnston issued an emotional statement about the league’s importance.

BROOKLYN, NY - OCTOBER 25: Ashley Johnston #10 of the New York Riveters of the National Womens Hockey League speaks with fans.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After drastic pay cuts led to turbulent weekend full of uncertainty across the National Women’s Hockey League, the players confirmed on Sunday that their pleas for transparency from the league office had been answered.

On Friday, NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan confirmed that the league would drastically cut player salaries the rest of the season to keep the second-year league alive long-term. Alarmingly, the players’ association was not consulted in the decision. In response, the players issued a stern response to the league asking for more information.

Apparently, that response came swiftly. Mike Murphy of The Ice Garden, our women’s hockey blog, spoke with multiple New York Riveters players after their game on Sunday and they revealed that the league had at least met one of their conditions:

Kate Cimini (The Hockey Writers): “Health insurance make you at all concerned?”

Madison Packer, Riveters alternate captain: “No, because we got confirmation of that.”

Mike Murphy: “Is that the only condition that has been met, the proof of insurance?”

Packer: “As far as I know, yes. Dani (Rylan) responded and I think that they’re open to talking about it. The insurance was the biggest thing. Dani showed up here today, I know she had a conversation with some people. She’s been open and willing to talk.
Just to clarify: she’s not a bad person. At no point in time did I think she ever intended to hurt people or was being conniving. I think that she’s willing to work with the league and recognize that players have certain things that we need to move forward.”

Riveters captain Ashley Johnston also spoke, issuing a passionate statement about her determination to keep the league alive for the sake of young girls seeking female role models in sports.

Mike Murphy
Mike Murphy

Another Riveter, Tatiana Rafter, penned an editorial at Stanley Cup of Chowder. The NWHL’s road to this point was swift, and caught NWHL players off-guard. The league takes a break this weekend for Thanksgiving, and whether they return after the holiday is unclear at this point.