The Vancouver Canucks announced on Monday that the team has hired former player agent Emilie Castonguay as its new assistant general manager, making her the first woman assistant general manager in franchise history. She is the first woman to be hired for that role in the NHL since Angela Gorgone had that job with Anaheim.
Prior to working for the Canucks, Castonguay was a player agent that represented several NHL, AHL and women hockey players, including New York Rangers forward Alexis Lafrenière, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Mathieu Joseph, Arizona Coyotes forward Antoine Roussel, and Marie-Philip Poulin.
She was also the first woman NHLPA Certified Agent in Canada in 2016. Castonguay played Division I hockey for Niagara University and has a degree in finance from the school. She also earned a law degree from from l’Université de Montréal in 2012.
Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford announced the hire on Monday.
“Emilie has extensive experience, is driven to succeed, and has a strong reputation in hockey for her intelligence and work ethic,” said Rutherford in a team statement. “She will play a lead role in player contracts and negotiation, managing the collective bargaining agreement, and her voice will be heard in all aspects of hockey operations. She will be a key member of our leadership team and we are pleased to welcome her to Vancouver.”
This is the second major front office hire over the past week where a team turned to a former player agent. The Montreal Canadiens hired player agent Kent Hughes to be their new general manager. Having somebody with experience on the other side of contract negotiations can definitely be beneficial come contract time.
“It is an honour to join the Vancouver Canucks and I am grateful to Jim and the Aquilini family for the opportunity,” said Castonguay in the Canucks’ team statement. “The Canucks have a passionate fanbase and an exciting young team with a bright future. I can’t wait to help build a winning organization that continues to grow and challenges for championship.”
This is just the latest move in the Canucks’ organizational overhaul that has been taking place this season. Earlier in the year the Canucks fired former general manager Jim Benning and hired Rutherford as the new president of hockey operations, while also replacing coach Travis Green with Bruce Boudreau. The Canucks do not currently have a new full-time general manager with Rutherford handling those duties on an interim basis until he makes a more permanent hire.