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PWHL MEDIA CONFERENCE RECAP – SEPTEMBER 1, 2023

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The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) hosted a virtual media conference with all six newly appointed General Managers today via Zoom. 

Some highlights from the media conference include:

Boston GM Danielle Marmer on the type of players she wants to bring to her team:

“I’m a product of the mentors that I’ve worked for—the organizations I’ve been a part of. Jim Montgomery of the Boston Bruins put it really well when he says that ‘in order to play at the highest level you have to have hockey sense and you have to have courage.’ And he says the simple way of remembering that is: head and heart. That’s something I want to take with me when I think about building this team. We’re dealing with the highest level of talent in women’s hockey. This talent pool is unbelievable so we’re going to have skilled players on all six teams. So something that I’m prioritizing is that head and heart.”

Minnesota GM Natalie Darwitz on becoming the General Manager of Minnesota:

“The competitive juices and the heartbeat and the excitement—I don’t think I’ve slept for a good month, in a good way, just because of the excitement and how special this is to me as a person. We didn’t have this opportunity (growing up), Jayna (Hefford) didn’t have this opportunity… so to now be part of it, obviously in a different route than we as little girls dreamed of going about and playing, to be a part of this was just something I could not pass up and I had to pursue.”

Montreal GM Danièle Sauvageau on the importance of local players in Montreal and the PWHL as a whole:

“Building a franchise or a team that represents an identity so people can buy in, can identify themselves with, is crucial. And that is crucial not only here in Montreal but for all the markets. But we have a dual role (which is) to build a team but to be part of something even greater and bigger than us— it is the league. So that, for me, is very crucial and important.”

New York GM Pascal Daoust on the type of character he wants to bring to his team:

“I like people who reach for excellence. Some people try to target perfection, but perfection is quite difficult to reach. But excellence in whatever you’re going to do means that mistakes are going to happen, and we have to deal with it, but mistakes make you grow. But we’re going to reach excellence in everything we do, from practice habits, to off-ice routines, to on-ice routines and also the way that the (players) will have to behave together … You need players to show leadership, to show that they’re there, before themselves, for their team and their franchise.” – 

Ottawa GM Mike Hirshfeld on the identity of his team in Ottawa:

“We describe ourselves as a gritty, dynamic style of hockey. It’s going to be skills based. There’s so much talent in this league… we’ve been looking at the players that are available for free agency and for the draft, and it’s blown me away by how many great players are out there. We’re looking forward to bringing them to Ottawa and to our organization. Gritty and dynamic—those are the two key words for us.”

Toronto GM Gina Kingsbury on the personal stamp she’ll put on her franchise:

“On the ice I believe in fast play, fast decisions, entertaining game. Obviously extremely skilled. But I do think the identity of the team won’t only carry on the ice. I believe in a culture around the team… a community look, (and) making sure we’re a part of the great community of Toronto. So, I don’t want to just be known for what we do on the ice but I think there’s a lot of great things we can accomplish on both sides. But a fast team that is extremely competitive, that never gives up, that plays with a lot of pride and is very connected.”

The initial free agency period officially opened today at 1:00 p.m. ET. Teams will have until Sept. 10 to sign three players to Standard Player Agreements before the majority of the league’s founding players are chosen in the 2023 PWHL Draft on Sept. 18.

Fans can stay connected to the PWHL and register for email updates at thepwhl.com. Follow the new league on all social media platforms @thepwhlofficial plus all six new team accounts @pwhl_boston, @pwhl_minnesota, @pwhl_montreal, @pwhl_newyork, @pwhl_ottawa, and @pwhl_toronto.

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