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In this edition of NHL Sound Bites, the Vancouver Canucks hire its first-ever female assistant general manager and the Vegas Golden Knights’ starting goaltender posts a 34-save shutout at the Washington Capitals.
Castonguay Hired as First Female Assistant GM in Canucks History
Emilie Castonguay made hockey history on Monday, becoming the Canucks’ first-ever female assistant general manager. She formerly worked as a player agent at Momentum Hockey, where she became the first female NHL Players’ Association certified agent in Canada in 2016. Her new role with the Canucks has been a long time coming.
“My sister tragically died 10 years ago, and during the last conversation we had, she told me that one day I was going to manage the Vancouver Canucks,” said Castonguay in French. “So, when the Canucks called, it was pretty emotional for me… I felt like the universe was trying to bring me here.”
Her journey to the Canucks organization is a very special one that carries a lot of meaning to her. She is well-prepared for her new role in Vancouver, having represented several NHL players, including Alexis Lafrenière of the New York Rangers, Cedric Paquette of the Montreal Canadiens, Antoine Roussel of the Arizona Coyotes, and more. She has also represented players in the American Hockey League (AHL), junior hockey and international hockey, including three-time Olympic medalist (two gold, one silver) Marie-Philip Poulin, captain of the Canadian women’s national team.
“It’s a historic day, and it goes to show that women have a place in sports and in hockey,” said Castonguay. “I’ve always had such a good reception from everybody in the sport, and it’s important for women that want to be in the sport to know that. Sometimes you get intimidated, but you shouldn’t. If you have the knowledge and you’ve done the work, there’s a place for you here. If it needs to start with me, good, but for me, it’s just always been my experience.”
Lehner Puts on a Show in Washington, D.C., Records 34-Save Shutout
Robin Lehner led the Golden Knights to its seventh consecutive road win, 1-0 over the Washington Capitals on Monday. Turning aside all 34 shots he faced in the game, he managed to keep the Capitals off the scoresheet to seal the win for Vegas. It’s not often that teams win games after only scoring once, but Lehner’s outstanding performance is evidence that strong goaltenders can steal games.
“It’s nice when I get a shutout, for sure, but it’s just nice to start the road trip with a win,” said Lehner. “Big road trip and it was two big points for us.”
The 30-year-old was humble in his post-game press conference, but certainly deserves praise for his incredible effort. With the Golden Knights down two players on a 5-on-3 penalty kill, he managed to make two saves of Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin. The second shot hit Lehner’s helmet cage so hard that it broke, forcing him to wear his helmet from last season.
“It was a really hard shot to take in the head. He broke my cage,” said Lehner. “It was a little scary. You felt the cage kind of bend into the cheekbone a little bit. I was lucky it wasn’t a little bit harder.”
The Golden Knights improve to a 25-15-2 record on the season, good for 12th in the NHL and first in the Pacific Division. The team is in a tightly-contested playoff race and will need Lehner to continue his strong play going forward. He was essential to Vegas picking up two points on Monday.
“We don’t win tonight unless our goalie’s really good,” said Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer. “We needed that from ‘Lenny.'”
Thank you for reading this edition of NHL Sound Bites, and make sure to listen to THW Podcast every weekday (Monday to Friday) to hear everything your favourite hockey writers have to say about the hottest topics around the league.
Tom Pepper is an NHL columnist at The Hockey Writers. He lives in Toronto and is a diehard fan of the St. Louis Blues.