(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer)

By: Jake Solomons | Follow Me on Twitter! @jake_solomons

The Premier Hockey Federation announced on Sunday that Tyler Tumminia has decided to step down as PHF Commissioner following the 2021-22 season. Tumminia was appointed Interim Commissioner in October 2020 before taking over permanently in August 2021. She will continue to fulfill the position through the 2022 Isobel Cup Playoffs scheduled for March 25-28 in Tampa Bay, Florida. The search for a new Commissioner is underway with a process led by the PHF Board of Governors. With many deserving candidates in and around the PHF community, the decision will surely be the right one.

The news was announced by Jeff Marek on Hockey Night in Canada, as well as Tweeting the news of Tumminia’s resignation. Marek noted that Tumminia informed the Board of Governors in January she will not renew her current contract and will remain as Commissioner until the PHF crowns a new Isobel Cup Champion. Tumminia spoke of her time as the Commissioner and her gratitude for the people who have helped her elevate this league and sport as a whole.

“Supporting our phenomenal athletes and helping build a professional platform for them to showcase their incredible talent and skill is something I’ve loved from the moment my hockey journey began. I take a lot of pride in what we’ve been able to do as a team in a short amount of time, and I’m grateful to the Board of Governors for the opportunity, to my PHF staff, team leadership, and most importantly the athletes for believing in me. I’m here to focus on finishing what we started in season seven and make the Isobel Cup Playoffs one to remember. The foundation for growth and a sustainable business model is here, and I look forward to welcoming somebody new to come and take things to the next level.”

Tyler Tummina, PHF Commissioner

Tumminia served as Chair of the Toronto Six and quickly transitioned to a PHF front office role as the league introduced a private ownership model, with a new governance body across all six franchises. She led the charge in the change of the league’s name and refreshed the logo redefining the brand based on the skill and talent of the athletes as opposed to their gender.

With her leadership, the PHF’s presence has seen significant growth in all areas, including record sponsorships and the doubling of the league’s salary cap. Tumminia successfully negotiated the first-ever national broadcast partnership for women’s professional hockey on NBCSN and reached a monumental agreement making ESPN+ the exclusive home of the PHF in the United States this season, including historical North American wide coverage of the 2022 Isobel Cup final on ESPN2 and TSN2.

“Tyler joined the PHF during a period of transformation and immediately provided strength and leadership where it was needed the most. She’s shared our vision to create opportunities in the sport and broken boundaries with a passion that always put player’s first. What she’s helped us accomplish, throughout the challenges of a global pandemic, has been truly game-changing. We have Tyler to thank for propelling the PHF into a new era as we continue our unwavering commitment to growing the PHF and professional women’s hockey across North America.”

Johanna Boynton, Toronto Six Principal Owner, PHF Board of Governors

The future of the PHF is bolstered by the Board of Governors’ recent commitment to invest $25 million over the next three years to directly enhance the player experience. Expansion to eight teams for the 2022-23 season, along with a salary cap of $750,000 per team, full healthcare benefits and equity in the teams, facility upgrades, new equipment, and increased ice time, are all part of the pledge to support professional PHF athletes.

When you have these accomplishments, the league itself usually accepts the credit. Putting a singular name to the accomplishments made by an entire league and name marquee such as the Premier Hockey Federation is difficult. However, looking at a legacy and trail that has been blazed in a very short period of time, the road map points to Tyler Tummina and her monumental efforts. The news certainly has been perceived as negative in the sense that the PHF is without a Commissioner. Yes, I suppose that’s true. But with how dedicated the Board of Governors is to ensuring the most successful future of this league, the decision in finding a successor to the Commissioner’s role will be carefully thought-out and ultimately narrowed down to finding the perfect candidate.