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The National Women’s Hockey League announced on Tuesday that the roster sizes will be expanding for the 2017-2018 season.

The rosters will increase from 17 players to a maximum of 25 for each of the four teams in the league. With the larger roster room available, general managers and coaches will have more room to put together a competitive team each night.

With the expanded roster, the league will no longer have practice squad members. Each team would only be allowed to dress 17 players per game. Each player that signs a contract with one of the teams, would be considered a full member of that team for the season.

During the first two seasons, each team’s roster only consisted of 17 players, with the extra players only being considered as a member of the practice squad. The new roster rules allow for those extra players to be a full-fledged member of the club.

The decision to increase the size was agreed upon by the general managers and coaches of each team, as well as NWHL Commissioner, Dani Rylan, Deputy Commission, Hayley Moore and Director of the NWHL Players Association, Anya Battaglino.

“As we enter our third season, and as the depth of talent in women’s hockey continues to grow, we are excited to provide opportunities to more players,” said Moore. “The increased roster limits also give the management and coaches of each team more flexibility if they want to add players to their roster down the stretch of the season.”

With the growing depth of talent in women’s hockey, this was a move that had to be made for the NWHL.

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