The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Tuesday they will partner with the Toronto Furies of the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) to support women's hockey and assist in providing elite athletes with a competitive, development-focused place to play. The Maple Leafs also announced that the Furies' game against Team Alberta on Saturday, November 17 will be relocated to Air Canada Centre and will be free for all hockey fans to come out and celebrate our game.
"The Maple Leafs consider it a core value to be a leader in the local community and we have an obligation to help influence the game at all levels," said Dave Poulin, Toronto Maple Leafs Vice-President of Hockey Operations. "We are delighted to begin this partnership and we are really looking forward to seeing the Furies in action at ACC."
The Maple Leafs will invest $30,000 annually for five years towards coaching costs and to help offset equipment, uniforms and travel expenses. The Furies will also receive support through the team website, at Leafs home games and on Leafs TV. Toronto Furies' players and coaches will also be invited to participate in other Leafs Community & Sports Partnerships initiatives including Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest, Tim Hortons Toronto Maple Leafs Coaches' Open House and Scotiabank Girls Only Learn to Skate Clinics.
Toronto Furies General Manager Rebecca Davies stated, "This partnership isn't only an essential development step for the Toronto Furies, but for the female game as a whole. To have an influential franchise like the Toronto Maple Leafs step up and support our team is going to result in our players and coaches gaining access to resources that will allow them to compete at an elite level on the ice as well as gain exposure off of it."
Saturday evening at Air Canada Centre will have a pre-game autograph session at Gate 1 with Leafs' Alumni Wendel Clark, Gary Leeman, Johnny Bower and former standout women's hockey Olympians Jennifer Botterill, Geraldine Heaney, Cheryl Pounder and Hockey Hall of Famer Angela James. The game is free for all hockey fans and gates open 6:30 p.m., puck drop is 7:30 p.m. For more information click here.
"We're thrilled and excited to be a part of the MLSE family. They have been integral in leading the way for us to develop similar partnerships with other NHL clubs including one also announced today with the Calgary Flames and Team Alberta," said Brenda Andress, Commissioner of the CWHL. "This important alliance with the Leafs truly captures the essence of our strategic plan with a team-to-team affiliation that will bring exposure, growth and awareness to both our league and women's hockey across North America."
About the CWHL
The Toronto Furies is one of five teams in The Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL). The Toronto Furies play out of the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence and currently has Canadian Olympians Tessa Bonhomme, Sami Jo Small and Rebecca Johnston signed to their roster. The CWHL, now in its fifth season, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising the profile of women's hockey, while providing a place for the best female hockey players in North America to train and compete.