By JOHN WAWROW
AP Hockey Writer
The National Women’s Hockey League is changing its name to the Premier Hockey Federation. North America’s first women’s professional hockey league to pay players a salary made the switch as part of a rebranding to reflect sweeping changes made to its management structure. That’s coupled with an influx of private ownership entering its seventh season. The decision to change names also provides the six-team federation an opportunity to make a social statement by removing gender from its title. The rebrand follows a series of changes made over the past year in the federation’s bid to achieve financial stability. The federation is now run by a board of governors and recently completed the sale of its franchises to private owners.