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Panthers offer a deal with Sarah Nurse to run the girls’ hockey program

Panthers offer a deal with Sarah Nurse to run the girls’ hockey program


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) The Florida Panthers are seeking to sign a high-scoring forward who holds an Olympic gold medal and two world championships, hoping to close the deal in the coming days.

If that happens, she won’t be playing for the Panthers.

Sarah Nurse, the Canadian forward who scored a standout against New York Rangers Igor Shesterkin Friday night during the NHLs All-Star Skills Competition, will have the opportunity to run the Panthers’ new program designed to get more girls into hockey. to get.

Florida President Matthew Caldwell offered the job to Nurse very publicly, on a lectern, with a microphone, in front of a crowd of spectators Saturday morning. And he was serious.

I’m going to embarrass you, but we’re going to offer you a job today, Caldwell told Nurse, who was in the crowd. We want you to be the face of our girls program at the War Memorial. So are you in? On sight? We don’t work with cops, okay. I am a tough negotiator.

The idea of ​​hiring Nurse was first brought to Caldwell by Melissa Fitzgerald. She is the general manager of the War Memorial, the two-skating facility that is being refurbished by the team and will become the practice headquarters.

We’ve been talking about it for a few weeks now, Caldwell told The Associated Press. Our youth hockey team brought it to me as a bit of a joke, but I said let’s think big. Were building this huge facility. Let’s put our money where our mouth is.

The one thing Caldwell wasn’t serious about with Nurse was how the Panthers don’t treat cops. He spoke to the nurse’s representative, Thomas Houlton, after the event.

Houlton did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He and Caldwell spoke about 15 minutes after Saturday’s event, which was attended by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Panthers stars Aleksander Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk, and dozens of kids who got to play hockey afterward.

Nurse played for Canada’s world champion teams in 2021 and 2022, along with Canada’s Olympic gold winners at last year’s Beijing Games.

She was one of five women’s players from USA Hockey and Team Canada, the two most dominant women’s national teams in the world, to be part of Friday night’s skill events. She wore custom skates in honor of Black History month and the Black Girl Hockey Club, a non-profit organization dedicated to getting more black girls and women into the sport.

She used a move made famous by Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg when he helped Sweden win gold in the 1994 Olympics against Shesterkin, a Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender.

American star Hilary Knight didn’t think Nurse’s goal should have surprised anyone and said she is a top scorer.”


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