The NWHL has appointed a fourth new general manager heading into the 2019-20 season. Word was released on the morning of Jul. 22, 2019 that the Boston Pride have named former Boston University goaltender Karilyn Pilch as the team’s new GM.
“I am honored and humbled to be named the GM of the Boston Pride, and thankful to the NWHL for this opportunity,” Pilch said in the press release for this announcement. “With [head coach] Paul Mara and our staff, we will build a perennial Isobel Cup contender which our players can take pride in representing. We will be a team that excites our fans in a city that demands nothing less than championships.”
Pilch follows Mandy Cronin of the Buffalo Beauts, Bray Ketchum of the Connecticut Whale, and Kate Whitman Annis of the Metropolitan Riveters as a quartet of new general managers for the league this season.
Right Person for the Job
Pilch has the ideal résumé and the right background to assume this role. She served as Director of Hockey Operations at BU for the past three seasons, and generated a great deal of success during that time.
In that role Pilch managed player communication, video operations, the team schedule and team travel. In 2017, she worked closely with Hockey East in hosting the conference’s annual tournament. While overseeing BU’s “Giving Day” campaign, Pilch was able to raise $115,000 in one day.
She possesses plenty of other hockey experience as well, particularly with programs at the NCAA level. Here is a summary of Pilch’s additional previous work:
- Boston University Women’s Hockey goaltender: 2005-07.
- Saint Anselm College Women’s Hockey (NCAA III) assistant coach: 2009-2016
- USA Hockey evaluator and instructor.
“Karilyn is the perfect person for this important leadership position with the Pride,” said NWHL deputy commissioner Hayley Moore. “She is brilliant, creative, determined and is passionately committed to working for the betterment of women’s hockey at all levels. The NWHL is really happy to have Karilyn managing our team in Boston.”
Plenty of Work to Still Be Done
While there is every reason to believe that Pilch is more than prepared to get the Pride’s roster filled – she probably has a few players already in mind – she does have some hard work to get done. It is not necessarily a matter of hitting the ground running per say, but more so pinpointing the right players that fit well with hers and Mara’s vision for the team. Then, bringing them aboard.
The last signing that the Pride had announced was defender Lauren Kelly, and that almost exactly a month ago. Including the Kelly signing, Boston has five defenders and six forwards under contract for the 2019-20 season so far. Assuming that the team’s roster minimum would be at 21 players, that would mean that Pilch needs to add at least 10 more players, including at least two goalies to her roster. The unwritten NWHL standard has long been three goalies on each team’s active roster.
The good news is that the Pride’s Free Agent Camp is being held just five days after the Pilch announcement. The team is hosting the camp on Saturday Jul. 27 and Sunday Jul. 28 at the Warrior Ice Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. A link to the website for potential players to indicate interest in attending the camp can be found here.
The timing for bringing Pilch on board could not be better. She and Mara will be able to work collaboratively to assemble the remainder of their roster. A roster that very much looks like an early favorite to grab the Isobel Cup.
General Manager of the Buffalo Beauts (NWHL). Hockey history writer “The Hockey Writers”. Credentialed media for the NHL Combine and 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships in Buffalo, NY, USA. Born and raised in Buffalo, NY. Lifelong hockey fan for over 40 years. Proponent of the women’s game.