What’s happening in the Six?

To say that things are heating up in the Six would be an understatement. In the past few days, the NWHL’s Toronto Six franchise has been making some serious roster moves ahead of their second season in the National Women’s Hockey League. 

The Toronto Six are coming off of their inaugural season in the NWHL. In the Lake Placid bubble, the Six 4-3 in 7 games, getting knocked out in their semi-final match-up against Boston, the eventual Isobel Cup champions. Despite their successful first season in the NWHL, the Toronto Six management made sure their team was ready for season two. 

The first blockbuster acquisition of the week began on Wednesday when the Six announced that they had signed Saroya Tinker. Tinker, who played for the Metropolitan Riveters last season, was a free agent prior to Toronto signing the hometown defensemen. Tinker, who is from Oshawa, Ontario, is thrilled to be back playing in her hometown. Prior to Tinker’s collegiate career, she played for Durham West Lightning of the PWHL for two seasons before heading off to Yale. Tinker said in an interview that she is excited to hit the ice in Toronto and be able to connect with young female hockey players from her hometown and to be close with family and friends. 

In the Lake Placid bubble, Tinker was a defensive threat for the Riveters on and off the ice. Saroya has become to be known as an strong activist for the Black Lives Matter movement and has used her growing platform to bring awareness, to educate, and to have important conversations with the public, as well as, her teammates and opponents. Just this past season, Tinker was awarded the Denna Laing Award for her perseverance and dedication to change, and was one of the recipients of the NWHL’s Foundation Award alongside her new teammate Mikyla Grant-Mentis. There is no doubt that she will continue on with her impressive activism in Toronto. 

Following their blockbuster acquisition on Wednesday, on Thursday, the Six hired Hockey Hall of Fame member and women’s hockey icon, Angela James, to be their newest member of their coaching squad. James, 56, was named the Six’s newest assistant coach replacing Lisa Haley who was named the new NWHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations in April. 

Angela James, who is a women’s hockey icon, becomes the Six’s second assistant coach in franchise history. James, who started her career in the 1980s, brings a wealth of knowledge to the young franchise. The 56 year old, who is an IIHF Hockey Hall of Fame member, NHL Hockey Hall of Fame member, a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, and a new member of the Order of Hockey in Canada, is excited to start with Toronto and to work with the young players on the Six’s roster. In an interview, James said, “It means a lot to me to have an opportunity to coach the girls and be a part of the progression and advancement of the women’s game to pro status and beyond.”

The acquisition of Saroya Tinker and Angela James are major pieces to the Toronto Six puzzle. The two bring with them their successful winning ways and immense hockey knowledge to the Six. While Tinker will bring her expertise and show off her experience on the ice, James will bring her years of knowledge and experience in the women’s game to the Toronto squad. 

To say the future’s looking bright for the Six would be an understatement. The Six were already exciting to watch last year in the NWHL bubble, it’s starting to look like this year will be even more exciting. When the puck drops for the 2021-22 NWHL season, the new kids on the block will be looking to draw on their successful inaugural season and look to win their first Isobel Cup in franchise history in only their second season in the league.

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