United States women’s hockey captain Meghan Duggan is retiring


Meghan Duggan, captain of the US women’s hockey team that won Olympic gold in 2018, is retiring.

Duggan, who has a 14-year stint with the national team, announced his retirement in an essay published Tuesday by ESPN.

“Hockey literally changed my life,” Duggan wrote. “I put on a pair of skaters as a kid and grew up through sports. Playing for Team USA is the greatest privilege of my life. Being an athlete will always be part of my identity, I’m ready for it. Am. Next chapter. ”

The 33-year-old Duggan played 137 matches for the US Women’s National Team, scoring 40 goals and 35 assists. She won seven gold medals at the IIHF World Championships and was part of three Olympic teams, won silver in 2010 and 2014 and domestic gold in 2018 – the first Olympic gold for American women in 20 years.

“In short, she meant everything,” longtime teammate Hillary Knight told ESPN. “He’s someone we’ll really miss, but at the same time, we’re so lucky to play with him and compete with him. Meghan’s voice had a key role. It always helps when you have a really charismatic leader Happens, especially when you’re trying. Get people to buy. She was able to get us to the tipping point of believing in ourselves. There are many generations of girls who would benefit because of helping in the fight. ”

Added Kendall Coin Showfield, who succeeded Duggan as captain of the national team: “When you think of a player better than leaving the event when she enters it, it’s Meghan Duggan.”

Duggan was an important voice during a conversation with USA Hockey in 2017, as women national team players threatened to boycott the upcoming world championships until the men’s and boys teams received the same support and treatment they needed. Women and USA Hockey agreed to a landmark, four-year contract – which expires next year – that significantly addressed the team’s concerns. As part of the agreement, women were given increased salaries and were promised travel arrangements and insurance coverage similar to men, and USA Hockey vowed to increase its fundraising and programming for girls’ youth programs.

“There is a reason why Meghan speeds up our conversation with the Lamoureaux twins in 2017,” Koenne Schofield told ESPN. “Of course, his on-ice accolades are endless, but his legacy will also be about his tireless efforts to ice, to ensure that the environment was better for the players. In 2017, this fight did not make the national team better, This. The game of hockey is better for girls and women in the United States. There are many young players who look like Meghan Duggan, wear number 10 like Meghan Duggan, and will be inspired by them. ”

In his ESPN essay, Duggan stated that his team “never wanted to meet us” by threatening a boycott. “It is not easy to stand up for the establishment,” Duggan wrote. “Former players and mentors, such as veteran Cammy Granato, advised us: If you are going to do something after this memorial, you all have to be on the same page. Any female hockey player in the United States should know this Needs to be why we were there. To do this… we have to stick together, trust our courage, and believe that it was the right thing to do. ”

Longtime teammate Casey Casey Bellamy said Duggan “has helped to enhance the culture of women’s hockey in this country.”

Bellamy told ESPN, “She not only challenged her teammates, but also joined women’s sports every day to fight something.” “I think his presence on the ice made everyone around him better. Never mind if it was practice, getting ready for a big game in the weight room, in the locker room. His presence was indescribable; all you needed was confidence. Felt the room around him. ”

Granato, a former US national team captain and Hall of Famer, said he was introduced to Duggan in 2017, as Duggan was seeking advice prior to negotiations with USA Hockey. Granato said she was “extremely impressed” with Duggan’s leadership throughout the process.

“It took a lot of courage,” Granato told ESPN. “He put his neck in line for the betterment of the game. This, to me, is bigger than a gold medal in some ways. It is his legacy, as well as his commitment to the sport, his commitment to winning and that. Very healthy ways. Ability to lead from. ”

Granato then met Duggan in person, along with the rest of the national team, later in 2017 on a trip to the Nike campus in Oregon. Duggan and Team USA were preparing for the 2018 Olympics, coming back to silver finish.

“She wanted to take every note of everything that resonated about our experience as a gold medalist,” Granato said. “The whole team wanted to know everything about our team and what they did. But I did notice, Meghan was particularly interested in telling everything down. It was like, ‘Tell us everything you know Are, because we want to win. We have to win. ‘It was very important for that. ”

Duggan is a native of Denver, Massachusetts and played at the University of Wisconsin. She was the Patty Kazmir Award winner in 2011 as the best female college hockey player in the country.

Duggan played six seasons of professional hockey in the CWHL and NWHL and has been a member of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association since it began in 2019. The group is fighting for a permanent professional women’s hockey league in which players can make a living wage. She is also a member of the Board of Directors at USA Hockey, serves on the Board of Trustees at the Women in Sports Foundation, and was recently named to the NHL’s Player Inclusion Committee.

Duggan said she would like to be involved with hockey, but it would take time to figure out which capacity. “I’ve always dreamed about becoming the first female GM of an NHL team,” Duggan wrote. “And who knows, maybe one day.”

Former Canadian player Gillian Apps, Duggan and his wife welcomed their first child George in February.

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