Montrealer Emilie Castonguay becomes first female Assistant GM for the Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver Canucks

The world of professional sports – and the NHL in particular – as once again broken the glass ceiling when it comes to hiring women for front office positions. This time, Montreal native and former player agent Émilie Castonguay has been hired by the Vancouver Canucks as its assistant general manager.

This gives her the distinction of being only the second woman to be named an assistant GM in NHL history, and the first for the 52-year-old Canucks franchise.

“It is a big day … an historic day,”  Ms. Castonguay told CBC News. “It goes to show that women have a place in sports and in hockey. I’m starting as assistant general manager and we’ll see where that takes me.”

Jim Rutherford, Vancouver’s president of hockey operations and interim GM, said in a statement that Ms. Castonguay will play a lead role in player contracts and negotiations, and managing the collective bargaining agreement.

Ms. Castonguay brings to the Canucks a wealth of hockey and sports management experience. She played four years of NCAA hockey at Niagara University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance. After that, she interned with Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gautier before earning a law degree from the University of Montreal and joining the Quebec Bar Association. In 2016, she became the first female NHLPA certified agent in Canada with the Momentum Hockey agency, where she represented a number of professional hockey players such as Alexis Lafreniere, the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft, former Canuck Antoine Roussel and Canadian national team star Marie-Philip Poulin.

Ms. Castonguay said being female never held her back as a player agent and she didn’t expect it would in the similarly male dominated world of NHL management.

“I never saw it as anything based on gender, the competition in that sphere,” she said at a press conference that officially introduced her to the Canucks organization. “I’ve always been well accepted and once you get past that, and you get talking about hockey and they see you have the knowledge … you kind of forget you’re the only girl in the room.”

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