Panthers hire Peterson, NHL's first Black assistant GM

·2 min read

The Florida Panthers on Tuesday hired Brett Peterson as an assistant general manager.

The team said Peters is believed to be the first Black assistant GM in the National Hockey League.

Peterson's hiring comes days after the nearby Miami Marlins hired Kim Ng as the first female GM in Major League Baseball. Among its recent anti-racism and diversity initiatives, the NHL formed an executive inclusion council that aims to increase minority participation in front offices and on coaching staffs.

The 39-year-old Peterson has a background as a player agent just like GM Bill Zito and fellow assistant Paul Krepelka. He was previously vice-president of hockey for Wasserman Media Group and has been an NHLPA certified agent since 2009.

“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,” Zito said in a news release. “There are many who can excel in one of those disciplines but few who excel in all three.”

Peterson played five pro seasons in the minors after winning a national title during his time at Boston College. The Northborough, Massachusetts, native also advises and consults for a non-profit organization that provides mentoring and hockey programs for underprivileged youth and underserved communities.

The Panthers say Peterson will take an active role in their foundation’s community programs aimed at making the sport more inclusive in South Florida.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity with the Panthers and with Bill’s growing front office team,” Peterson said. “It’s a special day for myself and my family, and I can’t wait to get to work.”

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Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press