With the Boston Pride season just a few days away, the new ownership group has tapped a new leader to head the hockey team. On Thursday, the new owner of the Boston Pride, Miles Arnone, announced that former Pride general manager Hayley Moore has returned to the NWHL’s founding franchise to serve as team president for the upcoming season.
Moore, who is now 33 years old, has spent the last two years serving as the league’s deputy commissioner. Prior to that, she notably served as the GM of the Pride during their Isobel Cup-winning season in 2016. She will be just the third female president of a major professional hockey team in the United States and coincidentally the first female president in the NWHL.
“It’s an honor to find myself back home with the Pride during this incredibly pivotal time for the NWHL and women’s hockey,” said Moore in the team’s press release.
For Boston, they are getting a leader in Moore who has spearheaded the NWHL’s player development efforts and brings with her a wealth of knowledge that could help spark the Pride’s growth as a franchise. Back when she served as the GM of the Pride, the team went 30-4-1, won an Isobel Cup, and was a runner-up the following season. Prior to her career as an executive, Moore played for Brown University in college and then later professionally for the Boston Blades of the CWHL.
Pride Ownership Group Quickly Making Changes
Moore will join a Boston Pride team that was purchased by Arnone just a few weeks ago with the league selling the franchise to the investor. Many have already stated the vision that the new owners have are grand, and, in the comments about Moore’s hiring, she mentioned the goal of creating a “blueprint for an independently owned and operated NWHL club”.
The NWHL are now the only game in town, so to speak, with the CWHL ceasing operations earlier this year. Boston being sold to a third party marked an important milestone for the league and could very well signal that more is to come into the league in the future. Hiring Moore was a smart move by Arnone, who got a veteran executive who knows the league inside and out, and has already proven to be a capable shepherd of success at the helm of the Pride.
Pride Could Have Upside
The Pride are coming off a season in which they averaged 706 fans in attendance and finished with an 11-5 record in the regular season. They were third in the standings and fourth in average attendance. Certainly a lot of room for growth for Moore and the Pride, who have settled into the middle of the pack in the NWHL. Boston will once again play their home games at Warrior Ice Arena, the practice arena of the Boston Bruins.
Warrior Ice Arena is a nice facility for sure, but it’s not the easiest to get to from Boston. It’s right off the highway, but no subway stop within close walking distance. Another issue with Warrior Ice Arena is the capacity of 800 seats – Boston’s average is south of that figure but it does leave the upside rather low. It will be interesting to see if, under the new ownership group, and with the return of Moore, they will look to play elsewhere in the future. Maybe Agganis Arena (Boston University) or Matthews Arena (Northeastern) would be a better fit in terms of location and capacity upside.
Boston, being independent from the league, has tremendous upside, allowing for more bandwidth and having Moore at the helm as the savvy team manager. With all of these moves, it’s hard not to take notice of the Boston Pride and the impact they could have on growing the sport of women’s hockey in the United States.
The puck drops on the 2019-20 Boston Pride season this Saturday at the Metropolitan Riveters.
Tanner covers the business of hockey of The Hockey Writers in addition to running his own New England sports website, Trifecta Sports.