Marie-Philip Poulin hired by Canadiens, joining growing list of women in NHL hockey operations

Marie-Philip Poulin hired by Canadiens, joining growing list of women in NHL hockey operations

The growing list of women working in hockey increased by one on Tuesday, and it’s a name that hockey fans will be very familiar with. 

Team Canada captain Marie-Philip Poulin was hired by the Canadiens to work as a player development consultant. It will be a part-time position as she continues her storied playing country. 

“It is a privilege to add someone as competent as Marie-Philip Poulin in our ranks,” said Geoff Molson, the owner, president and CEO of the Canadiens. “She is the best in her field, and her accomplishments will help us build a winning culture within the Canadiens. Her arrival is another step towards achieving the diversity that we want to establish within our organization.”

According to the Canadiens’ press release, Poulin’s responsibilities include joining the players during practices and in video sessions “to work on their individual and collective skills, in collaboration with the director of player development, Rob Ramage, and the director of hockey development Adam Nicholas.”

“We are thrilled with the addition of Marie-Philip Poulin to our hockey development department,” said GM Kent Hughes.

Marie-Philip is one of the best players on the planet and she has won at the highest level, which will be very beneficial for our players. Her knowledge, leadership and vision of the game certainly make the Canadiens a better organization.

Long gone are the days of strictly men holding positions in NHL front offices and hockey operations. Poulin joins over 100 females who are making their mark with the NHL and its 32 organizations, as well. 

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Here is a look at some of the other women holding hockey operation positions with NHL clubs. 

Emilie Castonguay (Assistant general manager for the Vancouver Canucks)

A former sports agent, Castonguay was hired by the Canucks as an assistant general manager in January of this year, becoming the second woman to hold the position of assistant general manager in the NHL and first since Angela Gorgone held the same title with Anaheim in 1996-97. 

She previously worked as an agent and is the only woman certified by the NHLPA as a player agent. Ironically enough, one of her clients is Poulin. 

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Cammi Granato (Assistant general manager for the Vancouver Canucks)

Just a month after the Canucks hired Castonguay, the club named Granato as assistant general manager, as well. 

“What a time in sports right now, seeing all sorts of ceilings shattered by women,” Granato said at the time of her hiring.

If I can inspire someone to become a scout or work in an NHL front office, that’s amazing.

The longtime American star had previously been named the first woman pro scout in the NHL when the Kraken hired her in 2019. Now, she and Castonguay form a 1-2 female duo in Vancouver’s front office alongside general manager Patrik Allvin. 

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Blake Bolden (AHL scout and growth and inclusion specialist for the Los Angeles Kings)

Not only is Bolden breaking the barrier for women in hockey, but also Black women as well. She became the first Black female scout when the Kings hired her in February of 2020. 

She was the first women’s hockey player to break the color barrier in the old CWHL with the Boston Blades. Now, part of her role with the Kings is advocating for diversity and gender equality in the sport. 

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Meghan Duggan (Director of player development for the New Jersey Devils)

Another American star to work her way into the NHL front office ranks is Duggan, who retired from playing in 2020 after earning 11 medals with Team USA in international play. 

She initially was hired as manager of player development before she was recently promoted to director

“I’m looking forward to getting to work, and adding value in an area that I’ve committed my entire life to,” Duggan said after her hire.

But I also hope people see this and realize there’s a space for those who haven’t traditionally been in these roles — women, or BIPOC community members. There’s a space for that. Times are definitely changing, and I’m excited to be part of it.

Krissy Wendell-Pohl (Amateur scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins)

Following the scouting hires of Granato and Bolden was Wendell-Pohl, who was named an amateur scout by the Penguins in November of 2021.

The two-time Olympian for Team USA was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame after an outstanding collegiate and international career. 

“It’s exciting,” Wednell-Pohl said at the time of her hire.

I have three daughters, so just for them to grow up and think that this is normal, that those who know hockey and have passion about hockey and are able to see it – it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female. There’s a lot of value there. I think it’s the best thing that’s coming from all of this.

Meghan Hunter (Director of hockey administration and amateur scout for the Chicago Blackhawks)

Mark, Dale and Dave Hunter are well known in the hockey world, but a Hunter name that is becoming more and more popular is Meghan. 

The niece of the three former players and coaches works with the Blackhawks organization as an amateur scout and as the director of hockey administration. While her focus is on scouting right now, the end goal is much more expanded. 

“You have to shoot for the stars,” Hunter said in an interview with The Hockey News.

Someday, some female is going to be the first GM. Some of my current duties do kind of align with that aspiration, so I’m just learning as much as I can and keeping that in my mind as a goal.

Brigette Lacquette (Pro scout for the Chicago Blackhawks)

Another female hire by the Blackhawks was Lacquette, who became the first Indigenous woman to scout for an NHL team when she was brought onto the organization in December of 2021. 

“It’s cool I get to be the first, but I feel like a lot of these kind of jobs and opportunities are going to be opening up a lot for a lot of the other teams in the NHL,” Lacquette said. “I mean, the time is now.”

She previously scouted for the Canadian junior men’s selection camp and is currently still playing for the PWHPA.