Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Danielle Goyette speaks to reporters during a press conference in Toronto on Friday, November 10, 2017. Goyette has been named director of player development for the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and their American Hockey League affiliate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

TORONTO — Hayley Wickenheiser and Danielle Goyette are teammates again in the Toronto Maple Leafs player development department.

One of Wickenheiser’s first moves upon her promotion to Toronto’s senior director of player development was hiring her former linemate and coach as a director in the same department for both the Leafs and the AHL’s Marlies.

The Canadian women’s hockey team alumni won a pair of Olympic gold medals together in 2002 and 2006, as well as six world championship gold together.

When Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas gave Wickenheiser the green light to hire who she wanted, “right away, the first person I thought of was Danielle,” Wickenheiser said.

The 42-year-old from Shaunavon, Sask., joined the Maple Leafs in 2018 as assistant director of player development.

“It goes without saying she’s made significant contributions to the sport, both as a player and then now in her role that she’s had with our team over the last few years” Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said.

“I worked with her a lot in my time with the Marlies when she was working in player development. She really helped bring a lot to the player development program, and I learned a lot from having conversations with her.

“So to have her take a significant step into a leadership position now within the player development program is a huge win for our organization.”

Wickenheiser recently received her medical doctor’s licence and will start a residency in a Toronto hospital.

The combination of Goyette’s hiring and her residency’s time flexibility that she didn’t have in University of Calgary medical school will allow her to do both jobs, she said.

“What I’ve done so far in the last three years in medical school, I think has been much harder than what I’m about to do right now because I’m living in one place,” Wickenheiser said.

Goyette resigned as head coach of the University of Calgary Dinos women’s team after 14 seasons there.

Wickenheiser was a Dino and played for Goyette from 2010 to 2015.

Goyette was also assistant coach of the Canadian Olympic team that won gold with Wickenheiser in 2014.

“What I knew I needed in this role was someone who is incredibly organized off the ice with the ability to manage a lot of moving targets and factors, and someone who understands the development of players physically, psychologically and emotionally, which she’s done as a university coach about the same demographic as the player we work with here,” Wickenheiser said.

“And the ability to step on the ice tomorrow and work with an Auston Matthews or a John Tavares and not it be an intimidating situation, which I think Danielle has also done in the off-season when she’s not working with the Dinos. She’s running groups for NHL players.”

Both women are inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

“Playing together for so long, we went through ups and downs and a lot during our careers,” Goyette said.

“We’ve seen the good side and the bad side of each other. I don’t think we’re going to be surprised by any reaction.

“I kind of know what to expect from Wick. I don’t see anything that’s going to change about the relationship we have right now.”

Wickenheiser is the all-time leader in Canadian women’s hockey team scoring with 168 goals and 211 assists in 276 games.

Goyette ranks fourth 15 years after her retirement with 114 goals and 105 assists in 172 games.

The Maple Leafs also promoted Will Sibley to director of development operations and analysis, while Darryl Belfry will oversee technical development of the club’s players and staff.

Wickenheiser’s appointment to a job that drives Toronto’s future on-ice product, and the decision-making power given to her, breaks ground for women in the NHL.

“What it’s showing is first of all is the Leafs are an incredibly progressive organization,” Wickenheiser said.

“Secondly, the opportunity to be open-minded and look at different perspective. Hockey is a game that we’re probably the last pro sport that’s making these changes and progressions.

“You’re seeing it in other pro sports, basketball and NBA, this is kind of becoming old news. It’s about going after the best person qualified for the job.

“That looks a little different than it did 10 years ago because people’s mindsets have changed.”

Goyette, a 53-year-old from Saint-Nazaire, Que., took over as head coach of the Dinos after retiring as a player in 2007.

The Dinos won a national university championship in 2012 and posted a record of 213-197 with Goyette.

“We got into the Hockey Hall of Fame, me and Hayley, we didn’t think that would happen,” Goyette said.

“Now, we’re getting to the NHL. Everything is changing. I feel lucky that I’m able to open some doors.

“Having women in sport in roles that make a difference, the NHL, for me, it’s pretty amazing to be in that position.”

— Donna Spencer in Calgary and Joshua Clipperton in Toronto contributed to this story.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021.

The Canadian Press


Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Red Deer Emergency Services responded to an explosion at a duplex on Rupert Crescent Saturday morning. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Firefighters respond to explosion in Red Deer early Saturday morning

There was an explosion at a Red Deer duplex early Saturday morning.… Continue reading

Terry Betts, of Kananaskis, looks at the vehicle he was hoping to sell during the Quick Times Red Deer Swap Meet in the Westerner Park parking lot Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Quick Times Red Deer Swap Meet held outdoors

A big automotive swap meet was held outdoors this year in Red… Continue reading

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is set to re-open on July 2. (File Photo)
Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum to reopen Monday

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum will reopen for visitors… Continue reading

Huzaifa (left), Saif (middle) and Zoya (right) were among the 60 or so Red Deerians who participated in a vigil for the victims of a recent terrorist attack that killed four people in London Ont. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Red Deer vigil honours victims of London, Ont. terrorist attack

About 60 people gathered at the corner of 49 Ave. and 50… Continue reading

A man wears a face mask as he walks by a sign for a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, May 16, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Canada paid a premium to get doses from Pfizer earlier than planned

OTTAWA — Canada paid a premium to get more than 250,000 doses… Continue reading

The Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., is shown in this 1930 handout photo. HO — Deschatelets-NDC Archives
Calls grow for Ottawa to review settlement decisions for residential school survivors

Lawyer Teri Lynn Bougie still cries when she talks about the final… Continue reading

Syringes are readied at a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, Friday, April 30, 2021 in Montreal. Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for Canada to donate some of its doses to other countries or international aid organizations and in at least three cases, for the doses to be resold.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada’s vaccine contracts allow for doses to be donated, in some cases resold

OTTAWA — Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for… Continue reading

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, responds to the report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in Vancouver, on Monday June 3, 2019. As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Two sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

VANCOUVER — As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after… Continue reading

A woman sits and weeps at the scene of Sunday's hate-motivated vehicle attack in London, Ont. on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Four members of a family in London, Ont., are set to be buried today. The public has been invited to help celebrate the lives of Talat Afzaal, 74, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins
Funeral to be held today for London family killed in attack

LONDON, Ont. — Four members of a Muslim family killed in what… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden listen to United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliver opening remarks at a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, United Kingdom Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau to discuss foreign policy with G7 leaders at second day of summit meeting

CARBIS BAY, CORNWALL, ENGLAND — Foreign policy is on the agenda for… Continue reading

Multivitamins are shown on the packaging line at the Pfizer plant in Montreal, Thursday, July 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Canadian drug companies want new pricing regs delayed again until after pandemic

OTTAWA — Almost three dozen Canadian pharmaceutical companies made a direct appeal… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — The massive $70 million dollar Lotto Max jackpot remained unclaimed… Continue reading

Most Read