The deck has been shuffled. As first reported by Marisa Ingemi and hinted at by Dan Rice, former Metropolitan Riveters general manager Kate Whitman Annis has been named the new Director of Operations for the W Hockey Partners, stepping into the role that once belonged to league founder Dani Rylan Kearney. Furthermore, Anya Packer, the former executive director of the NWHLPA, is now the general manager of the Metropolitan Riveters.
BREAKING NEWS— Metropolitan Riveters (@Riveters) April 8, 2021
It's official! THE Anya Packer will be our new GM, taking over for Kate Whitman Annis who moves into a new role as Director of Operations for W Hockey Partners
Let's welcome and congratulate both on their new roles!
Yeah, there’s a lot to unpack here.
First, the NWHLPA no longer has a director and will need to go through restructuring. Anya Packer made huge strides in her role with the NWHLPA so the question of who replaces her is definitely a big, bold question mark. It is one that the league’s players will want answered sooner rather than later. “I know that the direction the NWHLPA is going will continue to provide an outstanding platform for our professional athletes,” Packer shared in the league’s press release.
We’ll have to see who steps up and/or steps into the role that Packer has left to guide the Riveters ahead of the 2021-22 season. Packer is the fourth GM in Rivs franchise history and the third woman to have the job. She’s also the third player to hold the title of GM, following in the strides of Hayley Moore and Bray Ketchum Peel.
As Director of Operations for W Hockey Partners, Whitman Annis will oversee operations for the Riveters, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, and Minnesota Whitecaps. In addition to being the general manager of the Riveters, she also an assistant coach for the team during the 2018-19 season.
“We are making these important changes to strengthen our organizations heading into the NWHL’s seventh season,” said WHP President Andy Scurto. “Anya and Kate are highly capable, dynamic professionals and I look forward to working closely with them both.”
At the end of this day this is Whitman Annis moving up the ladder in the league. Where once she was overseeing daily operations over one team, she’ll now be overseeing operations of four teams, including Packer’s Riveters. Whitman Annis will be working in concert with commissioner Ty Tumminia ahead of the league’s seven season.
We’re still figuring out what the relationship between the league’s privately-owned teams and the teams under the WHP umbrella looks like but it’s clear that the ownership group(s) of the Boston Pride and Toronto Six are steering the ship.