Minnesota Whitecaps defender Amanda Boulier is one of the few remaining players left with ties to the PHF when it was the NWHL and had only four teams. Now in her sixth year playing at this level, Boulier has played for three franchises - Connecticut (Season 3), Minnesota (Seasons 4, 5 & 8), and Boston (Season 7), won two Isobel Cups (2019, 2022), and her 62 career points (16g-46a) ranks her (tied for) ninth on the all-time scoring list.
Only one defender (Boston’s Kaleigh Fratkin with 79) has recorded more points than Boulier over the league’s history, and one defender (Gigi Marvin with 19) has more goals. With all that she has accomplished in her career, no one would have blamed her if she decided to step away from the game.
Recently we caught up with Boulier to find out the answers to questions like why she decided to keep playing, which championship ring is cooler, and more!
The Ice Garden: What can you tell us about the process this summer that led you to return to Minnesota after a season with Boston?
Amanda Boulier: Obviously with a lot of new players coming into the league, and players coming from college after those covid years - a lot of competition. So contact negotiations are finally a really big part of the process in this league. I’ve been in it for a minute or two and every year the contract negotiations have become more intense, and real. Going back and forth to play in Boston last year was a great experience, but to be able to live and play in the same state is a little bit more realistic.
So it came down to what offer was going to be best and what was going to be best for my lifestyle. My life and my family are here in Minnesota, so being able to come back and play in this state was the right decision for me, and I’m really excited to be a part of, kind of this new era of the Whitecaps; that’s what we’ve been calling it. It’s almost an entirely new team and it’s been fun to be a part of it so far.
.@Amanda_Boulier gets her first career @NWHL goal thanks to this seeing-eye shot against Amanda Leveille and the Whale. Her skating ability really sets her apart. One of the Whale's biggest additions this season. pic.twitter.com/faFteHbpYl— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) December 19, 2017
TIG: As someone who’s played, as you said - a minute or two, what keeps you coming back?
AB: I was close this summer…I was really considering retiring and hanging them up and it was a tough call. But I’ve always said to myself I’ll stop playing when whichever of these comes first - I stop having fun or I stop being an impact player. I always have so much fun, I don’t think I’ll ever lose that. I love the sport, the speed of it, the creativity. After some reflection, I thought, you know what I can still be an impact player that makes a team better.
TIG: You have two championship rings, maybe one of the few that has an NWHL one and a PHF one. So which one is nicer?
AB: Ooooh (laughs), good question! If we’re talking strictly about the ring, and not metaphorically speaking, the Boston ring is bigger - it’s been a few years from 2019 to 2022; the league has grown, as have the ring sizes I guess! Little upgrade, a few more diamonds. But I would say the Whitecaps one, the blue in there - it’s just really electric, ya know? It’s nice. I dunno, I probably lean toward the one with the color in it, it has more character. But they’re both on a shelf together, cordially, and they both look pretty good.
TIG: Having played for three different teams do you have jerseys from each franchise?
AB: Yeah I do! It’s been fun, every team - even within organizations - every team each year is so different, and I think that’s the beauty of it, too. Every team gels differently, every team has its strengths and weaknesses. But yeah, I still have one of my Whale jerseys, a Whitecaps one from back in the day, and my Boston one from last year.
I don’t know what to do with all of this stuff now, my parents thankfully have a few. My dad likes to collect my jerseys and that’s fun, but yeah, I guess I’ve acquired quite a few. I’m actually shocked my dad hasn’t done something like shadowboxing them; maybe if he reads this it will be his next project.
TIG: You still have the two championship hats?
AB: I do. Maybe they should be on display, I don’t want to wear them out in public because I don’t want anything to happen to them. For now, they’re preserved in a drawer. I will say, the bucket hats were a very nice touch. That was a great look. The 2019 ones…the league has come a long way; let’s put it that way. Their hat game could have used some work, but the bucket hat was a great choice. With the sunglasses too, a lot of detail went into that and I appreciated it.