United States girls’s hockey captain Meghan Duggan retiring

Meghan Duggan, captain of the U.S. girls’s hockey workforce that received Olympic gold in 2018, is retiring.

Duggan, who had a 14-year stint with the nationwide workforce, introduced her retirement in an essay published Tuesday by ESPN.

“Hockey actually modified my life,” Duggan wrote. “I placed on a pair of skates as a toddler and grew up by means of the game. It has been one of many best privileges of my life to play for Group USA. Whereas being an athlete will all the time be a part of my identification, I’m prepared for the following chapter.”

Duggan, 33, performed in 137 video games for the U.S. girls’s nationwide workforce, scoring 40 objectives and gathering 35 assists. She received seven gold medals on the IIHF world championships and was a part of three Olympic groups, successful silver in 2010 and 2014 and taking house gold in 2018 — the American girls’s first Olympic gold in 20 years.

“In brief, she meant the whole lot,” longtime teammate Hilary Knight instructed ESPN. “She’s somebody we’ll miss really, but additionally, we’re very lucky to have performed together with her and compete alongside her. Meghan’s voice was instrumental. It all the time helps when you have got a very charismatic chief, particularly once you’re making an attempt to get folks to purchase in. She was in a position to get us over the tipping level of getting us consider in ourselves. There are generations of women who will profit due to the battles she helped combat.”

Added Kendall Coyne Schofield, who succeeded Duggan as nationwide workforce captain: “If you consider a participant leaving this program higher than when she entered it, that is Meghan Duggan.”

Duggan was an instrumental voice throughout negotiations with USA Hockey in 2017, as the ladies’s nationwide workforce gamers threatened to boycott the upcoming world championships till they received equitable help and remedy as the lads’s and boys’ groups acquired. The women and USA Hockey agreed on a landmark, four-year contract — which expires subsequent yr — that considerably addressed the workforce’s issues. As a part of the settlement, the ladies received elevated pay and have been promised the identical journey preparations and insurance coverage protection as the lads, and USA Hockey vowed to extend its fundraising and programming for women’ youth packages.

“There is a purpose Meghan spearheaded our negotiations in 2017, together with the Lamoureux twins,” Coyne Schofield instructed ESPN. “In fact, her on-ice accolades are infinite, however her legacy may even be about her tireless efforts off the ice to verify the surroundings was higher for gamers. That combat in 2017 did not simply make the nationwide workforce higher, it made the sport of hockey higher for women and girls in america. There are such a lot of younger gamers that look as much as Meghan Duggan, put on No. 10 like Meghan Duggan, and can proceed to be impressed by her.”

In her ESPN essay, Duggan mentioned her workforce received to the purpose “we by no means wished to get to” by threatening a boycott. “It is not straightforward to face as much as an institution,” Duggan wrote. “Previous gamers and mentors, just like the legendary Cammi Granato, suggested us: If you’re going to go after one thing this monumental, you all must be on the identical web page. Any feminine hockey participant in america wanted to know why we have been doing this. … We needed to stick collectively, belief our guts, and believe that this was the best factor to do.”

Defenseman Kacey Bellamy, a longtime teammate, mentioned Duggan “helped develop the tradition of girls’s hockey on this nation.”

“She challenged not simply her teammates, however everybody concerned in girls’s sports activities to combat for one thing higher each single day,” Bellamy instructed ESPN. “I simply suppose her presence on the ice made everybody round her higher. Regardless of if it was observe, within the weight room, within the locker room preparing for an enormous recreation. Her presence was indescribable; you simply felt a lot confidence across the room having her round.”

Granato, a former captain of the U.S. nationwide workforce and Corridor of Famer, mentioned she was launched to Duggan in 2017, as Duggan was on the lookout for recommendation forward of negotiations with USA Hockey. Granato mentioned she was “extraordinarily impressed” by Duggan’s management all through the method.

“It took a lot braveness,” Granato instructed ESPN. “She put her neck on the road for the higher of the sport. That, to me, in some methods is greater than a gold medal. That’s her legacy, in addition to her dedication to the game, dedication to win, and her capability to steer in a really wholesome means.”

Granato then met Duggan in individual, together with the remainder of the nationwide workforce, later in 2017 on a go to on the Nike campus in Oregon. Duggan and Group USA have been making ready for the 2018 Olympics, after coming off back-to-back silver finishes.

“She wished to take each word about the whole lot that resonated together with her about our expertise as gold medalists,” Granato mentioned. “The entire workforce wished to know the whole lot about our workforce and what made it work. However I did discover, Meghan particularly was very inquisitive about jotting the whole lot down. It was like, ‘Inform us the whole lot you recognize, as a result of we wish to win. We’ve got to win.’ It was so vital to her.”

Duggan is a local of Danvers, Massachusetts, and performed on the College of Wisconsin. She was the 2011 Patty Kazmaier Award winner as the very best girls’s school hockey participant within the nation.

Duggan performed six seasons {of professional} hockey throughout the CWHL and NWHL and has been a member of the Skilled Ladies’s Hockey Gamers Affiliation since its inception in 2019. The group is preventing for a sustainable skilled girls’s hockey league wherein gamers could make a residing wage. She is also a member of the board of administrators at USA Hockey, serves on the board of trustees on the Ladies in Sports activities Basis, and not too long ago was named to the NHL’s Participant Inclusion Committee.

Duggan mentioned she want to keep concerned with hockey however will take time to determine in what capability. “I’ve all the time dreamt about changing into the primary feminine GM of an NHL workforce,” Duggan wrote. “And who is aware of, perhaps at some point.”

Duggan and her spouse, former Canadian participant Gillian Apps, welcomed their first youngster, George, in February.

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