Beginning June 1, NWHL teams can re-sign players from their 2017-18 roster and their draft picks. Additionally, for those players who have completed their college eligibility and want to continue their hockey careers, NWHL Free Agency provides the best opportunity to continue playing at the highest level of professional women’s hockey. The fourth season of the NWHL will begin in October as the Metropolitan Riveters defend their Isobel Cup championship, and with the addition of a fifth team – the Minnesota Whitecaps – this will be the most competitive season yet.
My colleague Dan Rice will keep THW readers up-to-date on Metropolitan and Connecticut’s signings throughout the summer, while I post updates on Buffalo and Boston. Together we will be keeping readers informed of all of Minnesota’s signings.
Perhaps the best way to summarize forward Gigi Marvin is “difference maker”. The 31-year-old veteran has won at every possible level in hockey. Now fresh from winning a gold medal at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, Marvin has rejoined the Boston Pride for what will be her third NWHL season. Word of her signing was announced on Aug. 24, 2018.
?: @GigiMarvin is back!
"I think of being back at Warrior Ice Arena, wearing the Pride uniform, and playing in front of so many of the great people I’ve met in Boston, and I just can’t wait to get going."
— Boston Pride (@TheBostonPride) August 24, 2018
“I had a blast playing in the Olympics and I realized right away that I was definitely going to keep playing,” Marvin said in the release about her signing. “I’m grateful for this opportunity to continue playing the game I love, in Boston with a great team filled with players I love. I think of being back at Warrior Ice Arena, wearing the Pride uniform, and playing in front of so many of the great people I’ve met in Boston, and I just can’t wait to get going. The thing about my teammates with the Pride is, they have so much character.”
Along with Amanda Pelkey and and Haley Skarupa, the addition of Marvin means that the Pride have three members from Team USA’s Olympic squad who can each generate a tremendous amount of offense and are some of the best players in the world. Marvin returning to Boston is a stupendous addition for this team. Boston’s signings have come gradually, but they have made some of the finest ones as we head into the 2018-19 NWHL season.
THW takes a closer look at Marvin’s signing and what it will do for the Pride.
A Tremendous Olympic Performance
Marvin’s ability to be a “difference maker” truly rang through in PyeongChang this past winter. She finished in a five-way tie for third place in scoring among Team USA’s skaters. Playing in all five games at the tournament, Marvin scored a pair of goals and added an assist. By far and large she had the best shooting percentage for all Americans in PyeongChang, and tied for fifth best among all nations. Converting on two of her seven shots, Marvin registered a 28.57% for her accuracy on shots.
Even more importantly was when Marvin scored her goals. When USA faced Finland in the semis, she opened the scoring with the first goal of what would become a 5-0 victory for the Americans. Although it is not counted in the overall stat totals for goal scoring, Marvin converted USA’s first goal of the shootout in the gold medal game that they won over Canada.
In the grand scheme of things, PyeongChang is just one of many international tournaments in which Marvin was integral for her country. PyeongChang was her third Olympics and she helped lead USA to two silver medals in her other two prior Winter Games. Marvin has also won five golds at IIHF Women’s World Championships and two silvers as well. She is one of the most accomplished players in women’s international hockey in general and has been for quite some time.
Continuing a Tradition of Winning in Boston
Marvin’s return to the Pride will continue her penchant for success in Boston. Like a number of both her Olympic teammates and professional teammates, she won a CWHL Clarkson Cup with the 2012-13 Boston (now Worcester) Blades. Marvin played both forward and defense while with the Blades, and suited up for 42 total regular season games for them during her CWHL career. In that stretch she scored 13 goals and 24 assists for 37 points and finished as a plus-22 for plus/minus.
When the NWHL came into place starting with the 2015-16 season, Marvin was one of many former Blades to become inaugural members of the Boston Pride. She and her teammates won the first Isobel Cup championship and then returned to the Cup Final a second year in a row for the 2016-17 season. Combining her two NWHL seasons, Marvin scored nine goals and 19 assists for 28 points in 32 regular season games. Where she may have been at her very best was during the 2015-16 NWHL playoffs as the Pride won the Cup. Marvin finished tied for second in playoff scoring for Boston with two goals and three assists in just four games. One of her goals came in Game One of the Isobel Cup Final against the Buffalo Beauts.
"With Gigi Marvin on board, the Boston Pride are ready to get this season started.”
-Pride Head Coach & 2018 Team USA Coaching Staff Paul Mara
— Boston Pride (@TheBostonPride) August 24, 2018
Marvin is also part of the consistency Boston is showing in compiling bigger, stronger players who can play the physical game, but also are very talented. At 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds she is yet another sizable skater for the team. More importantly though, Marvin’s experience is mostly unmatched throughout the NWHL and its players. Everything that she brings to the table is what is indicative of championship-type player. Something that the Pride hope that Marvin can help them achieve once more.
“Gigi’s combination of great skill, deep passion for the game, and dedication to continuing to improve in all areas has made her a champion and someone that everyone looks up to,” added Pride head coach Paul Mara in the same press release. “I’m really happy to be able to work with her in the pros. With Gigi Marvin on board, the Boston Pride are ready to get this season started.”
With Marvin joining the team, here is how the Boston Pride look as of Aug. 24:
Goalie: Katie Burt.
Defense: Alyssa Gagliardi, Toni Ann Miano, Lauren Kelly, Lexi Bender, Kaleigh Fratkin, Mallory Souliotis, Kaliya Johnson.
Forward: Emily Field, Dana Trivigno, Denisa Křížová, Haley Skarupa, Jillian Dempsey, McKenna Brand, Amanda Pelkey, Taylor Wasylk, Gigi Marvin.