PWHL’s potential team names for original 6 franchises revealed through trademark filings

Potential names for the Professional Women’s Hockey League’s original six franchises have been revealed.

Applications for Toronto Torch, Montreal Echo, Ottawa Alert, Minnesota Superior, Boston Wicked and New York Sound were filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office by PWHL Holdings, LLC on Wednesday. Detroit Hockey was the first to report the filings on Thursday morning.

PWHL Holdings previously filed trademarks for the league name and logos.

It should be noted that trademark applications don’t necessarily mean that these will be the team names when puck drops for the PWHL’s inaugural season in January 2024. And that the league has yet to officially announce its team names and logos.

These names follow previous women’s hockey franchises over the last decade like the Toronto Furies, Toronto Six, Montreal Force, Les Canadiennes de Montréal, Boston Blades, Boston Pride, Minnesota Whitecaps, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Calgary Inferno, Markham Thunder and Buffalo Beauts.

According to a news release in June, the new league “acquired assets of the PHF,” though it is unclear what assets or intellectual property — like team names and logos — were purchased and might be used in the PWHL.

The PWHL officially revealed it’s league logo on Tuesday afternoon with “a stylized ‘W’ to highlight women, and crossed hockey sticks and a puck that nestle perfectly within the middle of the letterform.”

“We love the prominence of the ‘W’ used in a clean and strong design that celebrates PWHL trailblazers and their legacy across women’s sports,” said Stan Kasten, PWHL Advisory Board member and Los Angeles Dodgers president, in a news release. “When people see the logo, they will recognize how it represents women and immediately know it’s about hockey. The ‘W’ symbol speaks for itself but offers versatility to fit nicely when used inside our PWHL lettering.”

The logo is made up of six distinct pieces, to portray the six players on the ice for each team, and the league’s first six teams. The branding was created by Younts Design Inc., a creative studio has the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, and Philadelphia Phillies.

What’s happening with the PWHL?

Training camps for the upcoming season are set to begin on Nov. 15 with 184 players, according to the league, named to training camp rosters across the league’s six markets.

The camp attendees consist of the league’s 18 initial free-agent signings, 88 players who were selected in the PWHL Draft — draftees Tatum Skaggs (Boston) and Minttu Tuominen (Minnesota) are not reporting to camp — and 78 undrafted free agents invited from the draft eligibility list. Teams were permitted to bring a minimum of 28 players and up to a maximum of 35 players to camps.



PWHL roster analysis: Every team’s most intriguing training camp invitees

Many players who were drafted have yet to officially sign contracts with their respective teams, as general managers await training camp to make final roster decisions. Ahead of the start of the season in January 2024, rosters will be cut down to 23 players by Dec. 11, according to the league, and each team will get to sign two players to reserve player contracts. Per the CBA, “each reserve player shall receive a stipend for the league season of no less than $15,000.”

The opening of training camps will mark the first time teams will be together since the league was announced in June.

The league will be supported financially by Mark and Kimbra Walter and led by board members including Billie Jean King, sports executive Ilana Kloss, Kasten and Dodgers senior vice president of business strategy Royce Cohen.

Walter is the chief executive of investment firm Guggenheim Partners, which has over $300 billion in assets under management. Walter’s estimated net worth, via Forbes, is around $5.3 billion. He has been an owner of the Dodgers since 2012 when his investment group purchased the team for $2.2 billion. He’s also part-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and is part of the ownership group that purchased Chelsea Football Club.

The league will launch with a landmark CBA in place that will last for eight years, expiring July 31, 2031.

The first-of-its-kind CBA is over 40 pages, with 30 articles including, but not limited to: player salaries and player-related expenses; benefits; player movement; roster size; travel; and safety and working conditions, according to people who reviewed the document. Specific items covered in the document range from league-minimum salaries to meals, hotel accommodations, per diem, housing, relocation expenses, health insurance, pregnancy benefits, parental leave, a 401(k) program, nursing accommodations and more.

The CBA is the first in women’s professional hockey and is the culmination of months of negotiations between the league’s leadership and a player-led bargaining committee led by Sarah Nurse, Liz Knox, Brianne Jenner, Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield.

Required reading

(Photo: Courtesy of the PWHL)

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