I’ve seen this show before, and I did like the ending, but the beginning wasn’t the most fun. Last season the Boston Pride waited until August 5th to release their roster, which was coincidentally the same day the season schedule was released. The whole team was reviled in a tweet with a roster and even numbers.
The speculation around the women’s hockey world is that the Pride will pull the same trick again. The Pride like being the center of attention and being different from the other teams.
We, the fans, have some ideas of who has signed and who has left, but nothing will be confirmed for several weeks, if not months. The Pride’s general MO is bringing back the same team and same people as ever, but they always make a splash. The splash last season was Katie Burt coming over from the PWHPA.
The real reason for reading this is, as always, the speculation on who has signed and, more interestingly, who won’t. My information for this speculation is coming mostly from two places, this tweet thread by Spencer Fascetta
If anyone is interested in womens hockey Spencer is worth the follow.
My other main source is Mike Murphy and his amazing spreadsheet which you can find here
The biggest rumored splash that the Boston Pride has/will make is the signing of Whitecap’s captain Allie Thunstrom. Thunstrom is offense and speed incarnate. She used to be a competitive speed skater and had to choose between trying to go the Olympic route with speed skating and the pro route with hockey. Her skating is a thing of beauty; whenever she has a breakaway, no one is going to catch her unless there is a blue liner staying back and waiting for Thunstrom to break out.
According to Spencer Fascetta, the majority of the top lines are back, which is not a surprise since the Pride are now back-to-back Isobel cup champions. I personally like to call it 2.5-time Isobel cup winners in a row since they had made it to the Covid canceled finals in 2020. The Pride are trying to pull a Tampa Bay and make it to the finals for the third year in a row (not counting the covid season)
What I think is interesting from Fascetta’s thread is that there is only one goalie on it, which leads to the question, are Katie Burt and Vic Hanson coming back? Last season the Pride had three goalies, and that worked well, are they planning to do that again? I speculate that both want to come back since they got new custom goalie masks which run about $600 at the low end if you know a guy and probably around $1000 more realistically. I know for a fact that some PHF teams do provide a stipend for goalie masks, but that stipend can’t always cover everything, especially if the players are paying an outside artist who isn’t the mask painter to design the mask. Katie Burt also got a whole new set of custom True brand goalie pads.
Now, if you know anything about goalies and their pads, you know that goalie pads cost a lot of money. So because I am a reporter and care about my story, I went to the True hockey website to see how much these pads would cost. Burt is wearing True L12.2 style pads, and they come in custom. For a different style of true hockey pads, they are $1800 USD, and that is just for the leg pads, not the skates, glove, or blocker. Now what that means is either the Boston Pride has a huge gear budget, or Katie Burt has dropped a lot of her own money on these pads. If someone is going to make that investment, either as a team or as a player, has made a huge investment in Katie Burt staying in Boston.
The Boston Pride have a lot of time in front of them to make signings, and I, for one, can’t wait to see who they sign and when it is announced.
[Edit this was meant in now way to make the league seem cheep, each goalie is provided new goalie pads every other season I just wanted to make the point that custom gear is a commitment]