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On an unrelated note, here’s a list of 10 women who are qualified to be in a hockey operations department.
Rachel Doerrie is the Director of Advanced Performance for the York University Lions, where she oversees video, advanced statistics, and analytics reporting for both the men’s and women’s hockey teams. Doerrie also hosts a popular hockey analytics podcast with Mike Stephens, where the two regularly discuss advanced hockey analytics concepts and hockey management. Before working for York University, Doerrie was employed by the New Jersey Devils as their lead analyst of player information and video. As someone with experience both in college and the NHL, Doerrie would be an asset for any hockey team with an interest in enhancing their analytics department, particularly if that team recently had a key hockey ops person leave to join a different team.
Asmae is the editor-in-chief of the popular hockey analytics site Hockey-Graphs, where she “oversees the creative and editorial process, and serves as the blog’s official representative.” Toumi has spoken at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference and has written about and analyzed the importance of zone entries in hockey. Toumi has also managed the Hockey-Graphs mentorship program, which has brought new and interesting voices into hockey and analytics. For a team that has struggled with zone entries (maybe on the powerplay in particular), Toumi would be a great voice to have in the room.
Switaj is currently an analyst and a scout with the Anaheim Ducks, where she has been for over a year. Prior to that, Switaj has worked for USA Hockey, the You Can Play project, and the Columbus Blue Jackets. In addition to working in hockey, Switaj was also a goaltender for the Boston College Eagles for four years. For a team that is balancing a delicate goaltending situation, Switaj would be an interesting and insightful voice to have in the room.
Meghan Hall is a data professional and hockey analyst who writes for Hockey Graphs, which specializes in visualizing and analyzing hockey. She has also previously written for Nightingale, the Journal of the Data Visualization Society. Hall has presented at several hockey analytics conferences, including the Seattle Hockey Analytics Conference in March 2019, the Rochester Institute of Technology Sports Analytics Conference in August 2019, the Ottawa Hockey Analytics Conference in November 2019, and the Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Analytics Conference (with Alison Lukan) in February 2020. Hall focuses on goalie pulling and penalty kill analytics, and she uses both R and Tableau to do so. She would be an invaluable addition to any NHL analytics department, especially for teams who struggle on the PK. Hall is also an excellent educator and would be able to assist in the overall development of a team’s analytics department.
Katerina Wu is a 2020 graduate of UNC, where she majored in economics and minored in statistics and computer science, and wants to pursue a career in hockey. She participated in Carnegie Mellon University’s eight-week summer sports analytics camp in 2019 and, under the guidance of Sam Ventura, her advisor and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Director of Hockey Research, Wu and partner Madeline Gall came up with a new method for comparing and projecting player performance across pro and amateur leagues. Katerina is a site editor for Meta Hockey, a research repository, and previously interned with interned with SportsMEDIA Technology (SMT), the company that has been providing the NHL with the puck and player tracking data not yet available to the public. As she continues to make her name in the hockey stats community, she could be a valuable asset in the future for an NHL team looking to be on the cusp of statistical player evaluations.
Katherine Evans is currently the director of strategic research for the Toronto Raptors, where she helps model sporting data for the 2019 NBA Champion. Prior to her role with the Raptors, Evans had a PhD in Biostatistics from Harvard, and worked as a quantitative analyst for a life sciences company. Evans has also published a survival analysis of personal fouls during an NBA game. For a team that has had penalty issues in the past and is looking for a unique analyst, Evans would be a very helpful voice in the room.
Krista Patronick is currently the Director of Hockey Operations for Penn State Women’s Hockey, where her responsibilities include leading video operations for the team, coordinating team travel logistics, and handling other day-to-day operations for the program. This is her third collegiate Director of Hockey Operations job; she had previously filled the role for Colgate University Women’s Hockey in 2017-2018, where her job description also included developing a social media plan, and Dartmouth Women’s Hockey in 2018-2019. Before switching to collegiate hockey, Patronick served as the general manager for the CWHL’s Boston Blades from 2015-2017. She was responsible for all day-to-day team operations, including hiring and retaining coaching and game-day staff, recruiting players, overseeing the budget, coordinating team scheduling, taking control of all marketing, and spearheading all public and community relations. Yes, you read that list right, Krista Patronick can do it all. Any NHL team would be lucky to bring her wealth of expertise and experience into their front office.
Amanda Long is the Women’s Hockey Director of Hockey Operations for Minnesota State University. At this role, Long handles the coordination of the team, along with video coaching and logistics. Prior to that, she has worked with the San Jose Sharks, managing their high school hockey program. For a team that is looking to enhance their community outreach programs, Long would be an excellent person to consult to find communities that might be receptive to learning and enjoying hockey.
Perhaps the greatest woman hockey player of all time (and certainly one of the best in recent memory, Hayley has been synonymous with Team Canada hockey. She is a six-time Olympian (five winter plus one summer as a member of the Canadian softball team), and four-time gold medalist, and holds the record in points for the Canadians with 379 in 211 games played. She is also the only woman to ever play professional hockey in a position other than goalie, appearing in ten games in Finland for HC Salamat in 2004 and following that with a one-year stint in Eskilstuna Linden of the Swedish men’s third league in 2008. Since retiring from hockey in 2017, Wickenheiser has been attending medical school while also working as the Assistant Director of Player Development for the Maple Leafs, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last November. Between her lengthy and decorated playing career and her experience working one on one in player development,
Sami Jo Small
Sami Jo Small is a three-time Olympian and five-time national champion goalie for the Canadian National Women’s Hockey team, co-founder and former vice-chair of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, 2014 Clarkson Cup winner, founder of the Sami Jo Small Female Hockey School, and Stanford University graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She is an accomplished public speaker, having earned her CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) designation and using her experience with the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team to share her message on teamwork. Small, like Krista Patronick, also has general manager experience - she was the GM of the CWHL’s Toronto Furies for just under a year before the CWHL folded. With her combination of a hockey background, leadership experience, and drive to succeed, Small would be more than qualified for almost any front office job in the NHL.
(Thanks to Hockey Graphs writer Chris Watkins for help compiling this list.)