NHL Public Relations
September 7, 2022
* MORE WOMEN IN HOCKEY OPERATIONS THAN EVER BEFORE: This season will feature an esteemed group of more than 100 women across the NHL, working in hockey operations, player scouting and development, player health and safety, and analyst roles.
* FIVE ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGERS: The 2022-23 campaign will feature five female assistant general managers. Emilie Castonguay and Hockey Hall of Famer Cammi Granato were hired by the Canucks at the beginning of 2022, becoming the first women to hold the prominent role. Three women were appointed during the off-season: Meghan Hunter (CHI), Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser (TOR) and Kate Madigan (NJD).
* PROFESSIONAL SCOUTING ROLES: Cammi Granato joined the Canucks after serving as a scout for the Kraken for the past three seasons. After she was named the first-ever professional female scout in September 2019, several women followed in her footsteps including Meghan Hunter, now AGM with the Blackhawks, Blake Bolden (LAK), Brigette Lacquette (CHI), Gabrielle Switaj (ANA) and Krissy Wendell-Pohl (PIT).
* COACHING STAFF: The Capitals added Emily Engel-Natzke as video coach, making her the first woman to hold a full-time position on an NHL coaching staff. At the AHL level, Jessica Campbell was named assistant coach of the Coachella Valley Firebirds for their upcoming inaugural season, making her the first woman behind a bench full-time in the AHL.
* PLAYER DEVELOPMENT: Danielle Marmer (BOS) and Marie-Philip Poulin (MTL) were hired this past off-season in player development roles and will join three other women who currently hold similar positions: Kendall Coyne Schofield was hired as a player development coach by the Blackhawks in 2020; Meghan Duggan is the Devils’ director of player development, hired in 2021; and Danielle Goyette, who was hired by the Maple Leafs as director of player development in 2021 and was also the first female assistant coach for an ECHL game.
* FEMALE OFFICIALS: With support from the NHL Officiating Department, more than 45 female participants have been invited to the NHL Exposure Combine. In collaboration with the AHL Officiating staff, the NHL has helped place female officials in the AHL, including 10 in 2021-22, the most ever in hockey history.
ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGERS
The Canucks will enter their first full season with Emilie Castonguay and Cammi Granato as assistant general managers after the pair were hired earlier in 2022. Castonguay played four seasons of NCAA and was named captain in her junior year. The lawyer was previously an agent with Momentum Hockey and became the NHLPA’s first female certified agent in 2016. On Jan. 24, Castonguay became the first-known woman on record to hold the role of assistant general manager of an NHL team and the first in Canucks history.
* Megan Hunter was promoted from a scout to assistant general manager for the Blackhawks on June 22 after serving in various roles in the hockey operations department since 2016. Prior to joining Chicago, she played NCAA where she was a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given to the top female college hockey player in the United States. She also worked for the Canadian Women’s National Hockey Team and the OHL’s London Knights. On the same day Hunter became an AGM, the Blackhawks also promoted Karilyn Pilch to director of player personnel.
* Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser was promoted by the Maple Leafs to assistant general manager on July 5, a first for the franchise. The Hockey Hall of Fame member and four-time Olympic women’s hockey gold medalist (2002, 2006, 2010 & 2014) joined Toronto as assistant director of player development in 2018 and was promoted to senior director of player development in 2021.
* Kate Madigan, who was promoted to assistant general manager on July 6, spent five years in amateur scouting operations for the Devils. The 29-year-old is the first female AGM for the franchise.
OTHER NOTABLE WOMEN IN HOCKEY OPERATIONS AROUND THE LEAGUE
* Marie-Philip Poulin, who grew up a few hours outside of Montreal, was hired by her hometown Canadiens as a player development consultant. Poulin, also known as ‘Captain Clutch’ due to her on-ice skill, brings a wealth of experience to the historic franchise. Her decorated career includes three Olympic gold medals, as well as an additional 13 medals won in international competition. At the 2022 Beijing Olympics, she became the first hockey player of any gender to score in four consecutive finals. Poulin also became the first player from Boston University to be named a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.
* Manon Rheaume joined the Kings in a hockey operations and prospect advisor role, working alongside executives and providing prospects the tools and resources to ease their transition to playing in the NHL. Well known for a playing career which included being the first woman to play in any of the major North American sports leagues, Rheaume has also been focused on growing girls’ grassroots hockey, working with the Little Caesars hockey program in Detroit.
* Danielle Marmer was hired as player development and scouting assistant with the Bruins after having spent the 2021-22 season as one of 12 participants in the Boston Bruins Diversity and Inclusion Mentorship Program. Previously, Marmer worked as director of player development and hockey operations for Quinnipiac’s women’s ice hockey team and spent two years as an assistant coach for the Connecticut College women’s ice hockey team after her time playing NCAA.
IN THE SYSTEM: CAMPBELL, FORTINO SET TO STAND BEHIND AHL, OHL BENCHES
The monumental offseason also saw shifts to the landscape within NHL affiliates as the AHL named Jessica Campbell the first woman behind the bench when she was hired as the assistant coach for the Coachella Valley Firebirds, the Kraken’s affiliate, as well as Laura Fortino who was hired by the Hamilton Bulldogs and is set to become the first woman in OHL history to serve as assistant coach.
* Campbell, who was involved in the NHL Coaches Association’s mentorship program for the past two years, is set to become the first woman behind an AHL bench. Last season, Campbell served as an assistant and skills coach for the Nurnberg Ice Tigers of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany and was an assistant coach for Germany at the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship. ESPN reported she became the first woman on the coaching staff of a men’s national team at the event. Additionally, Campbell has worked as a private skating and skills instructor for hockey players at all levels including Luke Schenn, Tyson Jost, Shea Weber, Joel Edmundson and Mat Barzal.
* Campbell played four years of NCAA hockey with Cornell, serving as captain in her final year, as well as professionally with the CWHL Calgary Inferno and in Sweden. She represented her country at two U-18 World Junior Championships, including in 2010 when she captained Team Canada, scored the gold-medal winning goal and was named tournament MVP.
* Fortino, a Hamilton native, was hired by the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs as assistant coach and director of player development. She’s set to become the first woman to serve as assistant coach of an OHL team when the Bulldogs begin their regular season on Sept. 30.
* Fortino, a driving force behind the PWHPA, has found success throughout her playing career including in the NCAA as a two-time Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalist (2010-11 & 2011-12) as well as in the CWHL as earning Defenseman of the Year (2015-16) honors and winning the championship in 2017-18. She has experienced a great deal of international success representing Team Canada, including an Olympic gold medal in Sochi (2014) as well as a total of nine medals on the world stage.
The NHL Officiating Department continues to support female officials throughout all levels of hockey. More than 45 female participants have been invited to the NHL Exposure Combine. Since 2019, female officials have worked NHL Rookie Tournaments and, in collaboration with the AHL Officiating staff, the NHL has helped place female officials in the AHL since 2021.
IN DEVELOPMENT CAMPS
A number of clubs across the NHL brought in top-level female talent to assist with on-ice training for the prospect development camps during the off-season. This comprised of women currently employed with organizations – Marie-Philip Poulin, Danielle Marmer, Jessica Campbell, Kendall Coyne Schofield and Meghan Duggan – along with a number of other guest coaches.
* Rebecca Johnston, a four-time Olympic medalist and two-time World Champion, joined the Flames; Laura Schuler, the assistant coach for the University of Minnesota at Duluth’s women’s hockey team, assisted the Capitals; Princeton University’s women’s hockey head coach Cara Morey was on-ice for the Flyers; and long-time skating coach Barb Underhill joined the Lightning.
* Kelsey Koelzer and Kori Cheverie served as coaches at the Coyotes development camp as part of their coaching internship program with Arizona – a program started in 2021 that provides young diverse hockey coaches with opportunities to learn and develop.