The NWHL launched a new era of professional women's hockey on Monday morning, officially changing their league name to the Premier Hockey Federation and unveiling a new corresponding logo, as well.
The PHF, while being a significant departure from the league's previous branding, signifies an important change.
Taking the word "women" out of the league's name ensures that the league's roster of talented athletes will not be defined or limited by their gender, and will hopefully instead promote a more inclusive culture.
This is particularly impactful to transgender and non-binary players, who can now play in a league that markets itself as a landing spot for all athletes, rather than those of a gender they may not identify with.
The PHF's unveiling has elicited strong messages of support from both current and former players, with former NWHL center Harrison Browne in particular reflecting on the anxiety it once gave him to explain the league name and "essentially out" himself.
After a challenging yet successful 2021 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the PHF has a brand new name and logo to usher them into 2021-22.