Just days after the Miami Marlins of MLB hired Kim Ng as the first female General Manager, the Florida Panthers made history of their own, hiring 39-year-old Brett Peterson as assistant general manager. In doing so, he became the first black man to ever hold that position at the NHL level.
The NHL has formed an executive inclusion council specifically to raise the number of minorities in front office positions and coaching staffs. Peterson is elated to be hired, not only for himself, but to get things in motion so that the best candidates are identified and hired, regardless of race or gender.
Peterson clearly has an impressive background, starting as a player agent, certified by the NHLPA since 2009. In addition, he worked for Wasserman Media Group as vice president of hockey. Judd Moldaver, vice president of Wasserman Hockey, gave a glowing endorsement for Peterson, indicating that he’s smart, personable, treats people well and is a great move by the Panthers.
In addition to experience as an agent, Peterson was part of Boston College’s national title team and played five seasons in the minor leagues, scoring 81 points on 25 goals and 56 assists. Peterson has also worked as an advisor and mentor for hockey program to help youth in need and will have a part in the Panthers’ community programs in south Florida.
Peterson’s collegiate coach, Jerry York, recommended Peterson to the Panthers, gushing about how Peterson could have succeeded in any field of work after graduating from Boston College. York believes that down the road Peterson could become a general manager, breaking more barriers.
The Panthers finished fourth in the Atlantic Division with 78 points. They lost in the qualifying round, three games to one, to the New York Islanders. The addition of Peterson will certainly help in the front office and could help the Panthers become viable contenders down the road.