CALGARY (660 NEWS) — It’s been over a year since the Calgary Inferno captured the Clarkson Cup.
But the celebration was quickly muted, as the Canadian Women’s Hockey League folded just seven days after the team hoisted the trophy.
Although we’re still waiting on a professional women’s league to return to Calgary’s landscape, the first step to getting there happened this week.
This is welcomed news for the many players who call Calgary home and for the fans who embraced past iterations of pro teams.
Rebecca Johnston played nearly all of her professional career with the Inferno, most recently donning the captain’s C during the club’s run to the 2019 Clarkson Cup title.
“Calgary’s a great location,” the Canadian national team player said. “I’m actually from Northern Ontario. I’m not even from out west, but I moved out here for centralization in 2010 and 2014. I fell in love with Calgary. I decided to stay here and train here.
“The facilities are amazing. WinSport, we have an incredible gym there, and we can skate there. Hockey Canada’s head office is out of here. It’s a hub where you can get a lot of good players.”
AUDIO: Sandra Prusina chats with hockey player Rebecca Johnston about the PWHPA naming Calgary a hub city
Other hubs will be based out of Toronto, Montreal, New Hampshire and Minnesota. Each will be able to carry a roster of 25 active players eligible to attend showcases, along with regional games.
“We just want to create a sustainable league for the younger generation and having a place for them to play, that’s what’s really important to us,” Johnston said.
The PWHPA says by adding hub cities, it will be able to provide players with improved resources, like full-time dressing rooms, strength and conditioning facilities, support staff and coaches.