The Pittsburgh Penguins have hired United States Olympian Amanda Kessel to their newly founded executive management program.
Kessel enters the program designed to assist women and minority athletes to enter the NHL with an end goal of assisting in the promotion of these individuals to upper levels of hockey management.
"I am excited to learn from one of the best franchises in professional sports," said Kessel in an NHL news release. "The Penguins presented me with the opportunity to use my experience and love for hockey in a whole new capacity and I look forward to making the most of this program."
The program will place Kessel alongside other staff within the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, exposing the three-time World Champion to various hockey operations and communications departments, while also providing graduate school education and community service components.
"Amanda has the experience, drive, and education to be a fantastic front-office executive in professional sports, and we are honored to welcome her to Pittsburgh," said Pittsburgh Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse
Kessel attended the University of Minnesota before turning professional where she earned a degree in sports management. She first represented the United States women’s national team at the 2013 World Championship.
Kessel is the first hire of Pittsburgh's program which aims to provide opportunities for new voices in the NHL.
"The Penguins have always taken the lead in innovation and this is an example of us looking ahead as an organization to drive diversity and inclusion in the National Hockey League," Morehouse said. "Our new executive management program gives unprecedented access to women and minorities to attain permanent, front-office executive positions in hockey and other professional sports."
This season, Kessel won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympic Games and has participated in showcase events as a member of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association. News recently broke related to a new league planned for PWHPA members which will commence in January 2023. Although no cities have formally been announced, Pittsburgh did host the PWHPA’s “Rivalry Rematch” featuring players from the Canadian and US National teams following the Olympics.