NWHL: Boston Pride Setting the Pace

NWHL: Boston Pride Setting the Pace
Kaitlin Cimini

Amanda Pelkey became the first player to sign with the NWHL’s Boston Pride last week, and the second player to sign with the League overall.

The first player to sign with the NWHL was Janine Weber, which Today’s Slapshot reported on recently. Weber signed with the New York Riveters

From the official announcement on the NWHL’s site,

“Amanda Pelkey is a huge offensive threat,” [Boston Pride GM Hayley] Moore said. “Her speed and skill truly set her apart as the leading scorer in UWM Women’s Hockey history. Pelkey has a knack for the net, and creates plays that will absolutely ‘wow’ you.

“Any team would be lucky to add a prolific goal scorer to their roster - we couldn’t be happier to have found that with our signing of Amanda today,” added Moore.

Coach Bobby Jay shared his excitement about the first player signed to the team he will lead in the upcoming season. “I have worked with Amanda in National Team camps and found her to be a good teammate and very coachable, “ Jay said. “She is a very skilled, fast player and combines that with grit and energy.

“We want to play at a high tempo and Amanda definitely fits that mold,” Jay continued.

In an interview earlier in June founder and commissioner Dani Rylan said she expected signings to “come in waves,” and it appears that Janine Weber’s has broken the dam.

Pelkey’s singing does not come as a surprise, as she was selected in May to speak with reporters after the first day of free agent training camp at Ristuccia Arena outside of Boston, but it does come earlier than expected.

But that seems to be the way of things when it comes to the Boston Pride.

When the NWHL first announced in March, it seemed that the New York Riveters were to be considered the flagship team of the league. Rylan had originally envisioned a team in New York with the CWHL and pitched it to their board only to have her business plan turned down. And so she designed the NWHL around the idea of a team in New York City. It grew to include the four teams it does today, with Rylan signing on to be the GM for the Riveters, and as such most envisioned the Riveters as the flagship team.

With Rylan at the helm, Lawler on the ice, and the collective soul of New York behind it, how could it not be?

But while the NWHL’s founder and commissioner may have taken control of NYR, it is the Boston Pride that has taken over the women’s hockey news cycle on a regular basis.  GM Hayley Moore is to credit for the quick, decisive actions of the Boston Pride, coming out swinging.

Moore’s Pride was the first of the Founding Four to sign a head coach, inking a contract with Bobby Jay, who ran the free agent training camp for Moore. During the NWHL’s first Draft, she snapped up Harvard goaltender and standout Emerance Maschmeyer and generally making smart moves quickly.

Moore played four years at Brown University in Rhode Island, ranking in the top ten among career points and goals at Brown. After graduation she played a season professionally in Switzerland, and moved back to the U.S. to skate for the Boston Blades.

She worked as a coach at St. Mark’s School in Massachusetts, and then Harvard, and credited her experience at seeing the game at so many different levels with giving her a complete understanding of what it’s like to play for a living, or at least to want to play for a living.

“As a player you learn what you need, what you can live with and without in that sense,” she told media after the training camp in Boston. “My playing experience has created so much passion for the game. That’s shaped the person I am now.”

The NWHL’s offseason is far from over, however, and all four teams are sure to make moves that will give them the edge over another as the months progress.


Kaitlin Cimini

"Kate Cimini is an avid hockey fan and rabid defender. She is the editor at Bleedin' Blue on the St. Louis Blues and writes at The Hockey Writers on the Chicago Blackhawks and women's hockey. Follow her on Twitter @lightsthelamp for a terrible time."

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