The PWHL has named its six general managers on the first day of free agency.
“Securing highly qualified General Managers was a priority to help build strong foundations in each of our original six PWHL markets and delivering professional standards for all players,” said Jayna Hefford, PWHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations. “The search process identified a lot of impressive candidates from which we’ve assembled an exceptional group with collective experience across the highest levels of the game both on and off the ice.”
Each general manager will be tasked with hiring a coaching staff, a support and operations staff, and signing three free agents before Sep. 10, ahead of the league's Sep. 18 draft. Those first three agents may very well shape the identities of these teams ahead of the draft. We can expect Marie-Philip Poulin to land in Montreal but there are a lot of factors at play here. Each general manager will need to find core players who can make an immediate impact on marketing, which makes signing players with local roots an expected path here.
There are some big names behind the general managers' desks, including Quebec hockey icon Danièle Sauvageau, Team Canada icon Gina Kingsbury, and U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer Natalie Darwitz. The four women named general managers today all played college hockey and have a combined six Olympic medals.
- Danielle Marmer | Boston
- Natalie Darwitz | Minnesota
- Danièle Sauvageau | Montreal
- Pascal Daoust | New York
- Michael Hirshfeld | Ottawa
- Gina Kingsbury | Toronto
Marmer was the first woman to hold an on-ice role (Player Development and Scouting Assistant) with the NHL's Boston Bruins. Before that, she was the Director of Hockey Operations and Player Development at Quinnipiac University. She played her college hockey at Quinnipiac and was an assistant coach at Connecticut College after hanging up her skates.
New York general manager Pascal Daoust was most recently the general manager of the Val-d'Or Foreurs of the QMJHL from 2016-23. He also brings a wealth of coaching experience in USports and the QMJHL to the New York franchise.
Michael Hirshfeld began his career as a corporate lawyer. Most recently, he spent seven years as the Executive Director of the NHL Coaches’ Association (NHLCA). As a result, he has extensive connections to pro hockey coaches from the men's game. It's safe to say he already has some ideas for building Ottawa's first coaching staff.