Congrats to former Boston College defenseman and Northborough, Mass. native Brett Peterson, who has reportedly been hired by the Florida Panthers and will become the NHL’s first black assistant general manager. Peterson had served as a player agent in recent years and represented Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask among others, but he’s joining up with former agent Bill Zito, who Peterson inherited Rask as a client from when the new Florida GM jumped over to the hockey executive world with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Zito is building quite the interesting front office with the Florida Panthers as they continue to try and find a way to make hockey more relevant and profitable in southern Florida. Dale Tallon and his crew unsuccessfully gave it a shot, but now Zito and Co. will get their chance with Joel Quenneville as head coach and a slew of talented young players in tow.
But it’s also just as notable that Peterson blazes a trail for minority players and executive/coaching hopefuls in a position where real change and diversity can be made at the hockey decision-making level. More diversity in hockey front offices and in the coaching ranks, as well as in the ownership booth, is when the NHL really, truly becomes a “Hockey is For Everyone” sports league.
So, hiring Peterson is a big first step. Kudos to the Florida Panthers for making that momentous step and giving a chance to a highly qualified hockey guy from Massachusetts. It’s a great situation all-around.
Now on to the links:
*Interesting piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Greg Wyshynski about the tiers of contenders in the NHL next season. The Boston Bruins actually earn themselves their own category because it’s wholly impossible to gauge exactly what direction they’re going to be headed in next year. (ESPN.com)
*Will the Anaheim Ducks eventually trade Ryan Getzlaf to a Stanley Cup contender? Could the NHL “go dark” for the entire upcoming season due to COVID-19? Jimmy Murphy goes “Off the Record” to answer these questions and more. (Boston Hockey Now)
*Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is “excited” about the season as he says the NHL has all options on the table. Is Melnyk selling the Senators one of those options? (Ottawa Sun)
*Are the old Hartford Whalers fans ever going to get over the hurt of their team moving to Carolina and becoming the Hurricanes? Judging by this piece, the answer is a resounding “no.” (Mass Live)
*Good piece from FOH Kevin Kurz about the lasting legacy of Joe Thornton with the San Jose Sharks as he readies to move on to the Toronto Maple Leafs. (The Athletic)
*FOH Dan Kingerski has the best and the worst of the NHL’s retro reverse jerseys announced on Monday. While I may not agree with every one of them, he nails it with the Anaheim Ducks jersey being an atrocity to hockey. Who are the ad wizards that came up with that one? (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
*Take a few minutes to listen to this podcast where several Vancouver writers and the late Jason Botchford’s widow talk about his lasting legacy covering the Vancouver Canucks, and his legions of loyal fans:
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) November 17, 2020
*For something completely different: I knew there was a reason I liked Dolly Parton beyond 9-to-5 many, many times as a kid. She is actually a pretty amazing person. (Vulture)