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Olympian Angela Ruggiero Considered For Panthers GM Job

The Florida Panthers reached out to former Olympian Angela Ruggiero to interview for the vacant GM job before Bill Zito was hired.

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During Sportsnet’s Headlines segment on Saturday night, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman shared some interesting, and quite frankly positive news. He noted that during the Florida Panthers search for a new general manager — on that ultimately ended in the team hiring Columbus Blue Jackets assistant Bill Zito, the Panthers reached out to four time Olympian Angela Ruggiero.

According to Friedman, the Panther’s asked if she would like to interview for the vacant GM position and her immediate response was that she needed a little time to think about it. She asked for a few days but by the time she had decided to accept the interview, the Panthers had already made their choice and hired a new GM.

While Ruggiero didn’t land the job, Friedman also adds that her curiosity to work in an NHL front office and as a manager has been peaked and that she may pursue other opportunities more aggressively in the future. 

Ruggiero is currently CEO and Co-Founder of Sports Innovation Lab, a market research firm that represents over 70 clients around the globe. There’s absolutely no knocking her achievements since leaving women’s hockey as a winner of an Olympic gold medal, two silvers, and a bronze while representing the United States of America.

That said, it would be a huge step for women in the sport of professional hockey if she were to land a GM or assistant GM position.

Women In Management

That a woman hasn’t necessarily been considered for a general manager’s job prior to this is a bit surprising. As Cassie Campbell said during the segment, there are some extremely capable women in the sport who work extremely hard and are incredibly smart.

Some of the best CEO’s in business are women. Companies like General Motors, Anthem Inc., UPS, BestBuy, and so many more have females running things. It’s probably time the NHL catch up and a traditionally “old boys club” could use a bit of shake-up.

Next: Brian Burke Stirs The Pot With Rankings of Canadian NHL Teams

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