Boston’s best kick off inaugural PWHL season
Bringing Boston’s best, Patrice Bergeron had the honour of announcing Hilary Knight as the first captain of PWHL Boston.
Featured Photo: IG/@PWHL_Boston
With the launch of the Professional Women’s Hockey League this January, NHL players past and present have been displaying support for their peers.
Excitement for the new league has been on display in various ways across all six markets, and with puck drop on the inaugural season New Year’s Day, PWHL Boston had help in announcing their first team captain in a legendary way.
Former Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron had the honour of announcing the franchise’s newest leaders. Highlighted by an emotional speech about representing the city of Boston and its pro sports, Bergeron spoke to the impact PWHL Boston players will have on young girls across North America.
“First of all, I just want to say it’s an exciting time. It’s a long time coming for all of you so good luck this season, I’ll be cheering you all on. … You guys are making history, you’re trailblazers,” said the six-time Frank J. Selke Trophy winner, Stanley Cup champion and Olympic gold medallist.
“As a former captain myself in Boston, you’re representing your teammates, you’re representing your community, you’re representing your fanbase – but also, you’re a role model for the younger generation, the young girls that want to be in your shoes one day. I think the person I’m about to name is an amazing ambassador for women’s hockey and will be an amazing representative of this team and organization. With that said, the first captain in PWHL Boston history, from Sun Valley, Idaho, Hilary Knight.”
Bergeron went on to congratulate Knight along with newly named alternate captains, Jamie Lee Rattray and Megan Keller.
Knight is decorated trailblazer for women’s hockey. As a four-time Olympian, her impressive accomplishments include an Olympic gold medal, nine IIHF World Championship gold medals and being named the 2023 IIHF Female Player of the Year.
“I’ve played here for a handful of years, I have so many great memories. I love this city, I love the sports world in this city, I love how competitive the city is. I very much so feel like it’s a second home, like a home away from home for me. To have an opportunity to come back to Boston … this definitely the place I wanted to be,” said Knight.
Knight worked to help close the gap for women’s hockey previously as a member of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association.
“When we started out, we wanted to provide players resources and opportunities to play,” Knight said when asked about working with some of the best in women’s hockey to form the PWHPA at the time.
Things have come a long way.
In late November, the PWHL Boston squad took a trip to TD Garden to cheer on their fellow team in ‘B’ jerseys. The trip would not have been complete without uniting some of Michigan hockey’s finest as Detroit Red Wings members including Dylan Larkin, Jeff Petry, Andrew Copp and Alex DeBrincat met with Taylor Girard, Shiann Darkangelo and Megan Keller following the game.
Bergeron’s support, however, did not end with the unveiling of the PWHL Boston leadership group.
Kicking off Boston’s home opener on Jan. 3, Bergeron was brought out along with three of his children to take part in the ceremonial puck drop that featured Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield of PWHL Minnesota.
A close and competitive game had the fans at Tsongas Center buzzing as leaders put up points with Rattray landing an assist and Keller scoring a goal.
Only a handful of games into its inaugural season, the PWHL has already proven it was meant to be here to stay.
Between New Year’s Day ticket sellouts in Toronto and record-breaking crowds in Ottawa, the league and its players have shown they are quickly living up to expectations.