Today, the Toronto Six announced the hiring of new head coach Geraldine Heaney. Heaney, one of the greatest defenders to ever play the game, is the third head coach in Six franchise history. She replaces Mark Joslin, who led the Six to a 16-3-1 season in 2021-22.
Heaney was the third woman and first women’s hockey defender inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, following Cammi Granato and Six general manager Angela James. She’s won Olympic gold, Olympic silver, and seven World Championship gold medals with Team Canada. She also played nearly 20 years with the Toronto Aeros and coached the University of Waterloo Warriors for six seasons.
“The T6 family is ecstatic to hire Hockey Hall of Famer Geraldine Heaney,” said Angela James, General Manager of the Six in the team’s release. “With Geraldine’s experience at the Olympic, National, provincial and minor hockey levels, the T6 are very fortunate to have Heaney lead the team into season 8. Geraldine brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in coaching elite hockey players for over 30 years in women’s hockey. Personally, I know Geraldine Heaney will leave everything on the ice when coaching the T6 family. I can’t wait to see what she does.”
Heaney’s connection to James is obvious. And, like James, she knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level of the sport. Both women are icons and their combined knowledge represents a resource that definitely sets Toronto apart from the rest of the league.
It will be interesting to see who James and the Six place around Heaney to put her in the best position to succeed. If nothing else, this is tremendous news for Toronto’s power play and blueliners. Thus far, the Six have two defenders signed: Taylor Woods and Taylor Davison. So, the blue line is still taking shape and we are waiting to hear if Lindsay Eastwood, Saroya Tinker, Stephanie Sucharda, and/or Cristine Chao will re-sign.
It’s rare to see a team that had so much success go through so many changes, but this offseason is truly unlike any other we’ve seen before. The Six have new leadership of the to guide the same leadership group they had on the ice last year. Let’s see where this takes them.