On Tuesday, the National Women’s Hockey League announced that its 2020-21 expansion club will be called the ‘Toronto Six’. Serving as the first Canadian franchise within the six-team league, the Toronto NWHL organization was approved as an expansion club on April 22, 2020 – less than one week prior to the annual draft.
Toronto made four selections in the draft, choosing four forwards: Jaycee Gebhard sixth overall of Robert Morris, Amy Curlew eighth overall of Cornell, Erin Locke 15th overall of York and Natalie Marcuzzi 22nd overall of Robert Morris. Just prior to the April 28-29 draft Toronto and Boston teamed up for the only deal of the draft, with the Pride acquiring the first overall selection and Toronto’s fifth round selection in the draft in exchange for Boston’s first round selection in both the 2020 and 2021 drafts, as well as a second round pick in 2021.
In the weeks following the team’s selections, the Six have agreed to terms with 13 players for the 2020-21 season. Mandy Cronin has been announced as general manager, while on Tuesday the official name was announced. After asking fans to submit proposed names, the team released information that over 2,500 individual submissions had been made, including 300 different names. However, the ‘Six’ was the clear favourite. It just so happens that Toronto is the sixth NWHL franchise.
“We wanted a bold, clean and modern brand for the team, for the game and for the city,” said Tyler Tumminia, chairman of the Toronto Six. The club also released a video statement from members of the team:
“Our name is rooted in Toronto’s history, but you can bet that we will be making a legacy all on our own,” individual players shared. “We are the Six, on and off the ice. We are hockey players, professional athletes and ambassadors, and we are ready to take the NWHL by storm and make the city of Toronto proud. We are the Toronto Six.”
The red, white, black and gold logo features a prominent gold background, with a stylized, red looping ‘T’, shifting downwards into a ‘6’. Within the ‘6’ is a gold maple leaf, surrounded by a black background. According to the NWHL, “The gold represents the high standards set in Canadian women’s hockey and the levels of excellence the Toronto Six is committed to both on and off the ice”.
The Six is currently made up of 13 players (Sam Ridgewell, Amy Curlew, Jenna McParland, Natalie Marcuzzi, Mikyla Grant-Mentis, Brooke Boquist, Emma Greco, Sarah-Eve Coutu-Godbout, Shiann Darkangelo, Kelly Babstock, Kristen Barbara, Taylor Woods and Elaine Chuli), while also owning the rights of two players selected in the 2020 draft who have not yet agreed to terms with the team (Jaycee Gebhard and Erin Locke).
Delivering on the promise of a team moniker, the Toronto Six is also expected to release its sweaters, home venues and further announcements of player and team staff signings in the coming weeks.