A third NWHL team has a general manager for the 2019-2020 season as the league announced Mandy Cronin as the general manager for the Buffalo Beauts today.
Cronin has a long history in women’s hockey. A goaltender, she played for University of Maine, the 2002-2007 NWHL (no relation to the current league), and the CWHL, where she won a Clarkson Cup with the Brampton Thunder in 2008. In addition, she was part of the group of players who founded the CWHL in 2007.
She’s stepping into a franchise that has seen some turmoil this off season. The Beauts are the only NWHL team to have every active player take the ForTheGame pledge, according to Melissa Burgess’s lists. One of their major stars from last season - Shannon Szabados - is one of the leaders of the movement to sit out of any professional women’s hockey league in North America.
Shortly after, Pegula Sports and Entertainment ended their relationship with the NWHL, returning control back to the league 16 months after taking private ownership of the team.
“It is important to acknowledge that we are at a crossroads in women’s post-collegiate hockey. I believe we would all like to reach the same goal – to have one sustainable women’s professional league. We need to find a way to bridge the gap in our beliefs of what that looks like, and the correct path to get to that point. I am fully dedicated to playing whatever part necessary to aid in that mission,” Cronin said in the league’s release.
Cronin is the third female general manager in the NWHL as the league returns to having team general managers for the first time since 2017-18. She joins Kate Whitman Annis (Riveters) and former NWHL player Bray Ketchum (Whale).