When the news broke in June that the Premier Hockey Federation was essentially being bought out to make way for a new women's professional hockey league, players and fans alike were left with more confusion than answers.

Overnight, the Boston Pride, the three-time winners of the Isobel Cup, and the six other teams of the PHF were seemingly relegated to the history books. And for weeks it was unclear if Boston would have a place in the new venture.

But on Tuesday, the newly christened Professional Women's Hockey League officially announced that Boston will be one of six cities to host a team in the new association, with the regular season beginning in January.

There's no name for the team yet and no venue for games has been announced.

But the announcement offers some relief and answers to those who have been waiting to see what happens next for women’s hockey in Boston and beyond.

A league years in the making

The new league will unify professional women's hockey in North America, which had previously been divided between the PHF and Professional Women's Hockey Players' Association.

In late June, a group led by a firm owned by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter acquired assets that made up the PHF, paving the way for the new league.

In an interview with GBH News in July, John Boynton, chair of the PHF's board of governors, said current discussions on a possible acquisition began late last year when Stan Kasten, president of the Dodgers, reached out to let PHF leadership know that he was in conversations with the PWHPA to start a new league for them.

"But he said he basically had been watching what was going on with the PHF and in the course of their research they had come to understand that standing up a league is not an easy thing to do," Boynton said. "They thought we were doing a pretty good job running a league and he basically asked us if we would be interested in selling our league to him and his partner, Mark Walter, as a way of accelerating their ability to provide a league for the PWHPA."

He said reaction among players and staff in the PHF to the news was mixed.

"People were surprised. And the reactions ranged from, 'Wow, this is amazing, this is exactly what women's hockey needs' to 'Oh my God, what does this mean for me?'" Boynton said.

All PHF players were released from their contracts as part of the deal. The murkiness around the future of a pro women's hockey team in Boston and the suddenness of the news was shocking to Oliver Antone of thePride Diehards.

"All of a sudden it's like — pardon my French — it's like 'What the f*** just happened?' That was the initial thought," he said. "And it felt like we lost."

Building the new teams and drafting players

Jayna Hefford, senior vice president of hockey operations for the PWHL, said in a press conference Tuesday that a nine-member player evaluation committee identified a pool of over 300 athletes that they believe are eligible and will be interested in the PWHL. General managers for the teams — which will represent Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, New York and Minnesota — are expected to be named soon.

Players will have until Sept. 3 to declare their eligibility for the upcoming draft, which will be Sept. 18. Each team will have the ability to sign three players in advance of the draft.

Hefford said the league spoke to members of the player pool on Monday night and emphasized that the new league is for the best players in the world.

“It does not matter where you come from, where you played in the past, this is simply about the best players,” she said. “And I think last night, seeing all those players together on one call was a great sign that you know now they’re one player group, there is no more PHF or PWHPA or international, we are one player group for the PWHL.”

While there were initial doubts that Boston would be a part of the new league, Kasten, who is a board member of the PWHL, told reporters that Boston is an obvious market.

“There was confusion about any market, but it’s ‘cause we’re only having six. And that left out a lot of really, really good, really, really obvious markets,” he said. “But Boston also provided a number of different alternatives for venues, some big, some small and places to train. So, in terms of that, it really was a good fit for us.”

Kasten said the plan is to have both the training facility and playing venue be in Massachusetts.

There’s still plenty left to figure out about where the game goes from here, like what the championship trophy will be called.

But there will be 24 regular season games starting in January for the inaugural season. And if all goes according to plan, pro women’s hockey will be back in Boston in the new year.

“The journey to get us here has been long, it’s been twisted, it’s been empowering,” Hefford said. “But I’m not sure success comes in a straight line. So, I think we’re all excited today to move forward together. And as I said, we had a call last night with all the players and we’re committed to this movement and this time for our sport.”