The Premier Hockey Federation appoints Reagan Carey, former United States hockey director for women’s ice hockey, as commissioner

Reagan Carey has been named the new commissioner of the Premier Hockey Federation, the professional women’s hockey league announced on Tuesday.

Carey previously served as USA Hockey’s director of women’s ice hockey from 2010 to ’18, overseeing the U.S. women’s national team that won Olympic silver in Sochi and gold in PyeongChang. Carey was also the general manager of the women’s national team.

She becomes the third commissioner in the league’s history and succeeds Tyler Tumminia, who served for two seasons and oversaw the organization’s transition from the National Women’s Hockey League to PHF.

After retiring from USA Hockey in 2018, Carey worked as a non-hockey consultant while volunteering to help the sport at the grassroots level.

“It was not something I was pursuing. But when the opportunity came and people shared a little more with me about what they were looking to do, I became more involved,” Carey told ESPN on Monday. “I understood what they were looking to do and some of the needs they had. My career experience and my passion for playing the sport match really well with what the board has already started here.”

A search committee chaired by Tobin Kelly of PHF’s board of directors interviewed a number of different candidates.

“What stands out about Reagan Carey is not only her incredible depth of experience in the world of women’s hockey, but the collaborative approach she brings to the position,” Kelly said.

Carey, who officially becomes commissioner on May 10, takes over PHF at a critical time for the league, which is entering its eighth season.

PHF’s board of directors announced a commitment to invest more than $ 25 million in the league over the next three years. The salary cap for 2022-23 will be a record $ 750,000 per team, with a bottom of $ 562,500.

PHF is expected to grow from six to eight teams for the 2022-23 season, with speculation that one expansion team will be in Montreal and another will be based in a U.S. city.

“I do not have an answer for you at the moment, but I know it is something that is a priority and hopefully we will be able to provide some updates in the near future here,” Carey said.

It is also expected that PHF will have some competition this season. The Professional Women’s Hockey Player Association plans to launch its own six-team league in January 2023. PWHPA, made up of women’s national team players from the United States and Canada, was in negotiations for a partnership with PHF earlier this year, but ultimately chose not to work with the league.

Carey called the arrival of a rival league part of a “really positive time for women’s hockey” because it gives players more opportunities.

“I hesitate to say that we are competitors. I hope we can cooperate and support each other in the same way that Hockey Canada and USA Hockey do. You fight on the ice, but behind the scenes it is the cooperation mentality that allowed us to make a lot of progress in our sport, “Carey said. “If you work to promote the sport of women’s hockey, then you are a teammate, no matter what logo or device you represent. My hope is that the dialogue is positive.”

Carey worked with many of the PWHPA players at USA Hockey, including during a pay and benefit dispute in 2017 that nearly led to a boycott of the World Cup. Carey said she has taken homework from that time with her as she prepares to lead PHF.

“Just harnessing the power of passion is an important lesson, but it’s also about communication and trust, and transparency is important to me,” Carey said. “I think all of these things as we move forward will be crucial to the success of PHF.”

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