In what was possibly the worst kept secret of 2016, the CWHL and the Ottawa Senators announced a two-year agreement to bring the Clarkson Cup final to the Canadian Tire Centre in both 2016 and 2017. The 2016 Clarkson Cup final will be held from March 11-13, and will include the CWHL Awards Gala, as well as CWHL Community Day events before the Cup final.
"This exciting new partnership is a continuation of the Ottawa Senators commitment to investing in the growth of the women's game in Ottawa and across the National Capital Region," said Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. "The Clarkson Cup represents the pinnacle of women's hockey in Canada and we are proud to bring this event to the nation's capital."
The cat was let out of the proverbial bag this weekend at the CWHL Frozen Fantasy All-Star Draft at the Toronto Hilton. The back of the event program was a full page promotional ad for the 2016 Clarkson Cup in Ottawa and was confirmed by CWHL commissioner Brenda Andress after the game on Saturday.
The Clarkson Cup will be between the winners of the two semi-finals to be held February 26-28. EOTP has confirmed that the 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3 format will return but with the higher seed hosting a best-of-three series.
Les Canadiennes have five players with a history of winning hockey championships in Ottawa. Charline Labonté, Cathy Chartrand, Ann-Sophie Bettez, Jordanna Peroff and Carly Hill were all members of the McGill Martlets National Championship-winning team in 2007-08 when the tournament was held in Ottawa.
This announcement also marks the fourth NHL franchise to partner with the CWHL, joining the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens in the backing of the premier women's league in the world.