Well, here we are in the second week of July as we continue to struggle back towards normalcy, or more likely “new normalcy”. We, along with all NWHL fans, anxiously await Season Seven and that portion of our normal life that it provides. We await with great anticipation to see The Most Exciting Team in Hockey, our Connecticut Whale, back on the ice. And along with the players, us, the fans, filling Danbury Ice Rink to the rafters. We ache to celebrate the Year of the Whale. The year the Pod brings Isobel home to Connecticut.
The Whale are off to a great start in the postseason, with a handful of key returning veterans signed, Hanna Beattie, Emma Vlasic, Abbie Ives and Alyssa Wohlfeiler. And two big free agent signings from the SDHL, Allie Munroe and Kennedy Marchment. And of course we had an exceptional Draft Night, which we were honored to be a part of. And now we await the signing announcements by the Pod of Taylor, Girard, Emma Polaski, Hannah Bates and Grace Middleton. And of course, we are all hopeful of bringing back even more of our talented veterans, unsigned as of yet.
There is even more exciting news coming from the front office! All of the citizens of Cetacean Nation offer a warm welcome to our new GM Alexis Moed, and our new Director of Sponsorships, Amy Mahoney. Also congratulations to Jessie Oram, who has been promoted to the role of Director of Ticket Sales and Service, and Laura Brennen who has been named Assistant General Manager. Our Amazing #33 Laura will happily continue her coaching duties with the Pod as well.
And last but not least, we have new ownership! Tobin Kelly and his Shared Hockey Enterprises (SHE), LLC along with his investment partners acquired the Whale in mid-May. This is a huge step for the Pod, and promises to make the Most Exciting Team in Hockey even more so, in the coming years. A big Fins Up and welcome to Tobin Kelly! The NWHL is coming into it’s own, making significant gains coming off an extremely difficult and trying Season Six. Fan interest has never been higher, and coverage and interest from various sports outlets are starting to grow as well. In the face of a pandemic, the National broadcast of the play-offs was huge. Our Amazing #94, Foundation Award Winner Grace Klienbach spoke to that in her most recent interview with us. She revealed
"I can’t tell you how many kids came up to me and said: “I watched your game on TV ! Kids I coach, kids I just met…We are reaching so many people we don’t even realize, just because it was televised.”
Yes, it was a trying and difficult time we all went through the past year plus, and no less for the NWHL. But the league showed vision, perseverance, and toughness to make it to where they sit this hot dimmer of 2021. Per Augusta Ad Augusta. Through difficulties to honors, we reckon. Fins Up to that!