NWHL Free Agency began June 1 and historically, signings throughout week one are plentiful. In terms of 2018 NWHL Free Agency, we’re two weeks in and there have been 12 signings across the league. Sounds pretty good, right? But what if I tell you 10 of 12 signings have been from one team? How weird is that??
Thus far, newly minted Buffalo Beauts general manager Nik Fattey has been putting in some serious work and has not been shy about being the new guy in town. Since free agency began, Fattey and the Beauts have added five NWHL All-Stars, two gold medalists, and have also recently added three collegiate players. All three of them captains of their teams. All of their teams were in the Frozen Four.
Elsewhere around the league? Two. TWO signings. The Metropolitan (can we just call them New Jersey) Riveters penned Amanda Kessel (huge signing) and the Minnesota Whitecaps have officially added NWHL Goaltender of the year, Amanda Leveille.
Why the white noise from the rest of the league? What’s going on?
Could teams be in contact with the plethora of unsigned Olympians and are waiting for all of those dominos to fall? Possibly. Or more likely, is there a team that everybody wants to play for and are hoping/waiting for a call? I’ll go with the latter.
Buffalo instantly became a destination the moment Kim and Terry Pegula acquired them under the Pegula Sports and Entertainment umbrella. The Pegulas bring support, stability, and financial backing that simply cannot be matched by any other NWHL club at this time. The Pegula-owned HarborCenter, in which the Beauts play, is a world-class complex that contains unrivaled workout facilities headed by Jason Jerome and the Impact crew. All of this is very attractive to a professional athlete in a brand new league that is still losing it’s baby teeth.
Nearly the entire US Olympic team remains unsigned, including Buffalo native and former Buffalo Beauts captain, Emily Pfalzer. The lack of signings in the rest of the league is very interesting to me and the silence is deafening. In my humble and most modest opinion (and maybe a little biased), there are some huge dominoes waiting to fall and those dominoes are hoping for a one-way ticket to Pegulaville.