Hayley Wickenheiser, arguably the greatest female hockey player of all time who retired in 2017, joined the Toronto Maple Leafs as assistant director of player development.
The Canadian forward took part in the first five Olympic women’s hockey tournaments — earning four gold medals and one silver — and played softball at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Wickenheiser, 40, played 23 years for the Canadian national team, earning seven world titles and being named Olympic tournament MVP in 2002 and 2006.
She also carried the Canadian flag at the Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony and recited the Athletes’ Oath at the Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremony. She was elected to the International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission in 2014.
Wickenheiser has NHL experience. In 1998 and 1999, she attended the Philadelphia Flyers rookie training camp.
In 2003, she became the first woman to score a goal in a men’s professional league, in Finland’s second division.
She served as a guest coach at a Maple Leafs development camp earlier this year.
“Kind of plays like [two-time U.S. Olympian] John LeClair, only I think she’s a little meaner,” Flyers general manager Bobby Clarke said in 1998, according to the Canadian Press.
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