Canadiens form partnership with women's league team

MONTREAL (AP) The Montreal Canadiens have forged a partnership agreement with the Montreal Stars of the Canadian Women's Hockey League.

The Canadiens said Thursday that the organization will make its infrastructure and resources available to the Stars while assisting in merchandising and promoting the team's brand.

The Canadiens will team up with the Stars to put an emphasis on growing the women's game through hockey camps or conditioning clinics.

''As a professional hockey organization, we have been closely involved in minor hockey development for many years in Quebec, and with the growing popularity of women's hockey over the last decade,'' Canadiens President and CEO Geoff Molson said in a statement. ''I think this is the right time to concretely support women who play professional hockey, and, at the same time, promote the sport among up-and-coming players.''

The CWHL, founded in 2007, includes four teams in Canada and the Boston Blades. The Blades beat the Stars 3-2 in overtime in the league's Clarkson Cup final on March 7.

''Entering into a partnership with the Montreal Canadiens affords the CWHL an opportunity to grow women's hockey hand in hand with one of the most storied franchises in professional sport,'' CWHL Commissioner Brenda Andress said in a statement. ''Female hockey players in Quebec and around the world, along with fans of the CWHL, will be the ultimate beneficiaries of the work we do together.''

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