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The Bruins have entered into an official partnership with the Boston Pride of the NWHL

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A big step forward for growing the women's game in Boston.

2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Women’s Hockey Classic Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Bruins announced this morning that they’ve entered into an official partnership with the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League, committing to assist the Pride in their operations and to help grow the women’s game in Boston.

Prior to this official partnership, the Bruins had a very loose relationship with the two professional women’s teams in Boston (though one has since moved to Worcester); this represents a positive step forward in the Bruins (and the NHL) making a commitment to women’s hockey.

The Bruins are the fourth NHL team to form a partnership of some kind with an NWHL franchise: the Buffalo Beauts are owned by the same group that owns the Buffalo Sabres, and both the Minnesota Wild and New Jersey Devils have partnerships with the Minnesota Whitecaps and Metropolitan Riveters, respectively.

Per a press release from the team, the Bruins will “support and grow the game of women’s hockey in Massachusetts, as well as assist the Pride financially.”

A key aspect of the partnership is the formation of the Bruins Academy Girls Learn to Play Program, which offers discounted equipment and on-ice training from the players.

The partnership will officially kick off tonight, as the entire Pride team will attend the Bruins-Capitals game and will likely be recognized on the video board at some point. The press release also says the Bruins will be “supporting” the Pride at their game on Saturday, but it’ll be in the form of the mascot and other representatives, as the B’s are playing Toronto at the same time.

“The Boston Pride are incredibly proud to join the rich history and competitive hockey family of the Boston Bruins,” said NWHL Deputy Commissioner Hayley Moore in the press release. “The Bruins’ commitment to advancing hockey across all levels aligns with what the NWHL stands for. We appreciate this partnership and their support in marketing and player development for the Pride, and we look forward to collaborating with the Bruins on a series of meaningful youth hockey initiatives.”

Good on the Bruins for finally taking this step, though it should have happened a while ago. Here’s to hoping it’s a fruitful partnership for all parties involved.