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: https://apnews.com/hub/sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bump & Stacy Show

AP

FILE - New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner stops to talk to the media before attending a meetin...
Associated Press

Steinbrenner realizes may take record price to keep Judge

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner realizes there is a chance the price may be going up to sign Aaron Judge to a long-term contract after the star slugger’s outstanding first half. Judge turned down an eight-year contract worth $230.5 million to $234.5 million, cutting off talks ahead of the April 8 opener and saying he wouldn’t […]
1 day ago
FILE - Noah Gragson prepares on pit road for the NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Daytona Interna...
Associated Press

NASCAR penalizes Gragson for intentional Road America crash

NASCAR on Wednesday penalized Noah Gragson for a deliberate and dangerous crash he caused in the Xfinity Series race at Road America. Gragson, who turns 24 later this month, was docked 30 points and fined $35,000 by NASCAR for intentionally crashing into Sage Karam on Saturday at the road course in Wisconsin. Gragson’s swerve into […]
1 day ago
FILE - Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield walks on the field before an NFL football game a...
Associated Press

Browns trade quarterback Baker Mayfield to Panthers

CLEVELAND (AP) — Baker Mayfield’s rocky run with Cleveland officially ended Wednesday when the Browns traded the divisive quarterback and former No. 1 overall draft pick to the Carolina Panthers for a future draft pick. Mayfield, who was pushed out of his starting job by the Browns’ pursuit of Deshaun Watson, is going to Carolina […]
1 day ago
Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts after losing a point as he plays Taylor Fritz of the US in a men's sing...
Associated Press

Hampered Nadal gets past Fritz at Wimbledon; Kyrgios next

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Normally so relentless from point to point, Rafael Nadal occasionally would watch as a ball off the racket of Taylor Fritz landed in during the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Wincing from an abdominal issue for which he took a medical timeout, Nadal couldn’t move the way he usually does. His trademark grunts of […]
1 day ago
U.S golfer Colin Morikawa playing the 9th hole during the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor, Ireland...
Associated Press

Morikawa caring less about No. 1 and more about winning

NORTH BERWICK, Scotland (AP) — Collin Morikawa was one round away from reaching No. 1 in the world, staked to a five-shot lead in the Bahamas and needing only to win. Seven months later, No. 1 feels like a mile away. Morikawa shot 76 in the final round last December and began the new year […]
1 day ago
WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a heari...
Associated Press

Biden tells Griner’s wife he’s working to get her home

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden spoke Wednesday with the wife of detained WNBA player Brittney Griner, who is on trial in Russia, to reassure her that he is working to win Griner’s freedom as soon as possible, the White House said. Biden’s conversation with Cherelle Griner followed Brittney Griner’s personal appeal to the president […]
1 day ago
Former USA Hockey women’s director named PHF commissioner