Former USA Hockey women’s director named PHF commissioner

Apr 25, 2022, 6:28 PM | Updated: Apr 26, 2022, 7:00 am

FILE - Then-USA Hockey women's General Manager Reagan Carey is interviewed in Plymouth Township, Mich., Dec. 15, 2016. Reagan Carey is bringing her Olympic gold-medal-winning resume to lead the Premier Hockey Federation through a critical offseason of expansion and the looming threat of competing for talent with a second North American pro women’s hockey league. The PHF announced Tuesday, April 26. 2022, that the former head of USA Hockey’s women’s programs is its new commissioner heading into it eighth season. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Reagan Carey is bringing her Olympic gold medal-winning resume to lead the Premier Hockey Federation through a critical offseason of expansion and the looming threat of competing for talent with a second North American pro women’s hockey league.

The PHF announced Tuesday that the former head of USA Hockey’s women’s programs is its new commissioner heading into its eighth season. Carey replaces Tyler Tumminia, who stepped down in March after two seasons in which the former National Women’s Hockey League rebranded itself and revamped its ownership model.

Carey is well-versed in the challenges women’s hockey has faced in finding its footing in North America. Her eight-year stint at USA Hockey ended with the women’s national team winning gold at the 2018 Winter Games.

“My area of experience and developed expertise is really growing things and doing it quickly and taking things that might need some structure and organization and focus to really drive things forward and capture some wins,” Carey told The Associated Press.

“So I’m excited to know we’ve got a lot of things moving around here and a lot of opportunities to really continue the positive momentum the PHF put forward last season,” she added. “And that’s to demonstrate what we’re here to do, which is to be the best league we can be.”

Carey’s arrival comes with the six-team PHF preparing to add two expansion franchises, one in Montreal and another in a yet-to-be announced U.S. location. The league’s board of governors is also committed to increasing each team’s salary cap from $300,000 to $750,000 as part of a three-year, $25 million cash influx.

The challenge involves the PHF’s ongoing rift with the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association, which has intensified talks with NHL teams and its corporate sponsors to launch its own league within the next year. The PWHPA, formed in 2019, is made up of American and Canadian national team members who have balked at playing for the PHF.

The two sides’ latest bid to join forces ended abruptly two weeks ago when the PWHPA’s board of governors voted to end discussions after holding just one meeting at the NHL’s request.

Carey was diplomatic regarding the PWHPA, saying she considers anyone seeking to advance the women’s game as being “a teammate” and that she will have “an open-door policy” of collaboration.

“Regardless of the entity you represent, I’m a big believer in one candle doesn’t lose its flame by lighting another,” Carey said.

“And I think that’s where we are with the situation that creating options for players is great for everyone. It only betters the sport,” she said. “I support all the people that are doing a lot of work to advance professional women’s ice hockey, including the players that are working with the PW.”

Carey was selected by a six-person search committee, which included Susie Piotrkowski, head of women’s team sports at Octagon sports agency, a PHF partner.

“Hiring the right fit for the long-term growth of the league was imperative,” Piotrkowski said in a news release. “Reagan Carey differentiated herself not only as a result of her hockey experience but through her deep understanding of the women’s sports landscape.”

During her tenure at USA Hockey, Carey oversaw a women’s program that won six world championships and four Under-18 women’s championships. She was also involved in negotiations to end the U.S. national team’s threat to boycott the 2017 world championship on home soil, which led to players getting better pay and more equitable treatment.

“I think, ultimately, it was a great pivotal moment for women’s hockey, and glad to be a part of that experience,” Carey said. “USA Hockey certainly had the opportunity to listen and create a better structure for women’s hockey, better resources. And ultimately those players that led that charge and everybody ended up the better for it.”

While at USA Hockey, Carey was keenly aware of the startup troubles the NWHL endured, including the league slashing player salaries by more than 50% during its second season.

“The PHF was imperfect, certainly. It had its misfires, and its obstacles, but at the same time, it really filled the need that was existing,” Carey said.

“But I also like to look at where we’re advancing and how far we’ve come,” she added. “We’re not going to get everything perfect moving forward either. I’ll be the first to recognize that. But I think it’s about how we continue to evolve and how we handle those situations and making sure players are very clear of what we’re able to deliver and that we deliver on that.”

Carey previously worked for the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers and NBA’s Atlanta Hawks in sports development, performance and marketing roles. Upon leaving USA Hockey, she returned to her native Maine, where she was a member of the Maine Girls & Women in Sports Committee, while also spending time as a sports and business consultant.


More AP sports: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]
25 days ago
Joe Jarzynka...
Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]
25 days ago
FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...
Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]
25 days ago
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...
Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]
25 days ago
FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...
Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]
25 days ago
FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...
Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]
25 days ago
Former USA Hockey women’s director named PHF commissioner