Brett Peterson Makes History as First Black Manager of U.S. NHL National Team


by Veracity Savant

November 20, 2023

He’s rising through the ranks!

Peterson got his start as a player agent and former vice president of hockey for Wasserman Media Group. Prior to that, he was a defender at Boston College, where he led the Eagles to the 2001 NCAA Division I national title, beginning his work off the ice in 2009 with Acme World Sports. In 2020, he was named assistant general manager for the Florida Panthers, making history as the first Black National Hockey League (NHL) executive to hold the title. Now Peterson has done it again, recently appointed as the first Black manager of the United States NHL men’s national team, The Grio reports. 

“I’m very happy that our game and our sport continues to evolve and grow where there can be ‘firsts’ and ‘seconds’ and ‘thirds.’ I think it just speaks to what USA Hockey has done, creating opportunities for so many different people to play the game, myself included, and then to continue to fall in love with it and continue to want to chase our dreams to the highest level,” said Peterson. 


During his time with the Panthers, the team qualified three times for the Stanley Cup playoffs. They also advanced to the 2023 Stanley Cup Final this year under Peterson’s leadership. USA Hockey’s associate executive director of hockey operations, John Vanbiesbrouck, said Peterson will be instrumental in creating the roster for the 2024 IHF World Championship, calling Peterson’s appointment “exciting.” 

“We are really excited to have Brett as the general manager of our men’s national team,” said Vanbiesbrouch. 

The U.S. finished fourth in the 2023 World Championship, losing the bronze medal 4-3 in overtime. In the last 10 tournaments, the U.S. has won four bronze medals in 2013, 2015, 2018, and 2021. Next year, the U.S. will compete in Prague, Ostrava, and the Czech Republic on May 10-26th, 2024. Peterson says he’s up to the challenge, looking to fill the squad with diverse personalities who will be competitive, play at the highest level, push the envelope, and represent the country well. Peterson will work alongside the US Men’s National Team Advisory Group to assemble the team, spearheaded by Vanbiesbrouck, Mike Grier, the NHL’s first Black general manager, and nine other NHL managers. 


“For me, this is just another opportunity to learn from a very established group of gentlemen. Some of them I know well, some of them I know kind of well, and get to know what their thought processes are on things and, hopefully, continue to use that in my own growth and development,” Peterson told reporters. 

Cover photo: Brett Peterson Makes History as First Black Manager of U.S. NHL National Team/Photo by NHL

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