Meghan Duggan, an eight-time gold medalist and captain with Team USA’s women’s hockey team, has been hired in a newly created role with the Devils as manager of player development within the club’s hockey operations department, the team announced Wednesday.
“It really is giving me a unique opportunity to have touch points in a variety of different areas,” Duggan told The Post of her responsibilities in a phone interview. “I’m going to work closely with [vice president and assistant general manager] Dan MacKinnon across all of their development operations and focusing on both on-ice and off-ice information. I’m going to be able to connect and coordinate with a variety of different people that work on how to develop the athletes.
“Really just doing whatever they need me to do in that area. Raise my hand and take on opportunities and look for ways to add value, grow and develop.”
After retiring in October following a 14-year career with the national team – in addition to four seasons in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and two in the National Women’s Hockey League – Duggan plans to dedicate most of her time to her work with the Devils.
But the 33-year-old expects to keep a pulse on the other important positions she holds, such as her role with the NHL’s Player Inclusion Committee, the USA Hockey Board of Directors and women’s hockey advisory committee.
Duggan’s hiring comes on the heels of the Maple Leafs promoting Hayley Wickenheiser to senior director of player development this week. Wickenheiser now holds the highest role ever for a woman in hockey operations on an NHL teams.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of that movement,” Duggan said. “I love seeing the sport of hockey growing in its capacity to diversify and be more inclusive. The greatest thing in my life is hockey, and I don’t know who I would be or where I would be without it.
“I want everyone to have access to playing, coaching, being in management, being on the business side. To be a part of hopefully more opportunities to come for women and members of other underrepresented groups in hockey, it’s a privilege.”