That Émilie Castonguay is launching a new trend by now occupying a strategic position in the organization chart of a hockey team, it was to be expected.
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But that she is hired by the Vancouver Canucks, it’s a surprise. After all, hadn’t it fueled the discussions as part of the selection process for the new general manager of the Canadiens?
It has always been claimed that she has all the qualities to perform very important functions in the daily operations of a club.
For example, in the role of CEO or deputy CEO?
But hey, the Canadian stopped his choice on Kent Hughes, a former players’ agent. This decision then reduced her chances of occupying the role of assistant general manager. Why another agent?
In fact, the Canucks had also expressed an interest in this agent with a very interesting curriculum vitae.
The president of hockey operations, Jim Rutherford, confirmed the appointment of Émilie Castonguay yesterday morning.
Is she the first to occupy the position of deputy to the CEO?
Many point out that she will be the second woman in NHL history to fill this role after Angela Gorgone, who was promoted to assistant general manager with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in 1996.
But it is clear that if the trend continues…
And she will stay. And why not ?
Skills and knowledges
In recent seasons, several women have entered the administrative world of professional hockey. It was time for their skills and knowledge to be recognized. And there is no doubt that they will bring new ideas.
So, within seven days, two ex-agents will have an impact on staff selection and staff transfers.
Kent Hughes joined the Canadiens last Monday, and now Émilie Castonguay agrees to join the Canucks with a solid background of experience. She knows the other general managers of the league well, she has rubbed shoulders with them over the past few seasons, negotiating the contracts of her clients and also sharing their vision of the world of hockey.
In Vancouver, she will negotiate agreements, but from a different perspective. She will defend the interests of the Canucks. Not those of a player like Antoine Roussel, who a few months ago played in Vancouver before being sold to the Arizona Coyotes. He was represented by Émilie Castonguay.
It was only a matter of time before women were invited to join formations in leading roles. France Margaret Bélanger is now the president of sports and entertainment for the Canadiens and has a major impact on the NHL.
Recruitment and development
Regarding the recruitment and development of players, there are several ladies. The Toronto Maple Leafs have handed over the player development department to Hayley Wickenheiser and Danielle Goyette. Cammi Granato holds an important position within the recruiting of the Seattle Kraken.
And Danièle Sauvageau, former coach of the Canadian Olympic team, should eventually occupy a decision-making position in the organization chart of an NHL formation.
Also, over the past few years, many women have been invited by professional teams to set up power skating programs, an experience that has benefited many players.
finished on country-club
In short, the women managed to convince people that they had their place on a hockey team.
The time when general managers had their little country-club is over. Today, decision-making positions are full of agents, lawyers and women.
The selection criteria have been modified by a new generation of administrators.
The requirements of the salary cap, the recruitment of players and their development, the management of subsidiaries, in the past, a general manager could do his job with an assistant. Now this is no longer possible.
And behind the bench, they are now very numerous to support the head coach.
Therefore, the day when a woman will find herself in this group is not far away.