This is long overdue.
The Florida Panthers hired Brett Peterson as their new assistant general manager, making him the first Black National Hockey League (NHL) executive to hold the title, AP News reports.
Peterson is a former player agent who previously served as vice president of hockey for Wasserman Media Group, working as an NHLPA certified agent for more than a decade. He played five pro seasons in the minors, winning a national title before trading in his skates for a business suit. A Massachusetts native, Peterson attended Boston College and works as a consultant for a nonprofit that focuses on providing mentoring and hockey programs for underserved youth and communities. His new role will include participating in the Panthers foundation programs and offering more community initiatives to help create inclusivity in South Florida.
General Manager Bill Zito spoke about Peterson, saying, “His substantive hockey experience as a player, significant developmental and evaluation skills, and business acumen as a negotiator combine to form an elite skill set that is very difficult to find in our sport. There are many who can excel in one of those disciplines, but few who excel in all three.”
The NHL recently launched several initiatives aimed at inclusion and increasing minority participation in front offices and on the coaching staff. Peterson feels his hiring is a pivotal moment for the organization, and while he’s the first, he hopes he won’t be the last.
“I’m just happy that now there can be a second and a third. It’s going to be exciting times because I think other people will realize that things are possible and they should be. There’s never really been a hard stop, but there hasn’t been this type of opportunity yet, so I’m happy that we can hopefully create some more,” said Peterson.
You’ve broken another barrier! Congratulations, Brett!
Photo Courtesy of Wasserman Media Group/AP