Florida Panthers hire Brett Peterson, making him first Black assistant GM in NHL history

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Brett Peterson was named assistant general manager of the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. With this announcement, Peterson officially became the first Black assistant general manager in the history of the National Hockey League. 

The 39-year-old previously served as a player agent and vice president for hockey at the sports marketing and talent management company Wasserman. Prior to that, he was a hockey player, playing for Boston College as a defenseman and winning an NCAA National Championship in 2001.

“It’s exciting whenever you get a chance to kind of reignite a boyhood dream of chasing the Stanley Cup, being in the National Hockey League,” Peterson said, per NHL.com. “Having the opportunity to be the first at something is even more exciting, something I never would have expected.”

Bill Zito, Panthers general manager, had high praise for the organization’s new hire.

“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, per NHL.com. “There are many who can excel in one of those disciplines, but few who excel in all three.”

Peterson’s athletic career also included five years of professional hockey as a defenseman in the American Hockey League, ECHL and the International Hockey League from 2004-2009.


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