Meghan Hunter named assistant GM to Blackhawks

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Meghan Hunter sports a sweater made for her by Mary Freer when she was just 11 years old and spent hours around the Petrolia arena hoping to play hockey with whatever team needed an extra player.

Oil Springs native Meghan Hunter has a new job with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.

Hunter is now the assistant general manager of hockey operations with the club. She’s only the fourth woman to become assistant general manager in NHL History. Mark Eaton will remain as the assistant general manager of development working with Hunter.

Hunter joined the Chicago Blackhawks organization in 2016, having served in various hockey operations and scouting roles for the NHL club.

In her new role, she will oversee budgeting, team services, contract execution, team security and player services. Hunter played collegiately at the University of Wisconsin where she was a four-year letter winner and, in 2001, was a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award given to the top female college hockey player in the United States.

Prior to her time with the Blackhawks, Hunter worked for the gold-medal Canadian Women’s National Hockey Team and including with the London Knights – a team owned by her uncles – former NHLers Dale and Mark Hunter. Hunter grew up in Lambton County, playing her minor hockey in Petrolia.

“Meghan and Mark have both been important parts of our operation for a number of years and we are lucky to have them in these important and redeveloped roles,” GM Kyle Davidson says in a news release. “Their leadership skills, shared vision with the rest of the leadership team and knowledge of the game gives me plenty of confidence in us achieving our goals.”

“Our goal is to be best-in-class in all we do and organizing a structure and defining roles behind the scenes is an important step.”

Hunter, when she was honoured by the Town of Petrolia being placed on the Wall of Fame at the Greenwood Recreation Centre, talked about her desire as a young woman to make hockey her career and how important her role is as one of the first women in NHL management.

“I really believe now, there is a lot of truth behind, if you see it you can believe it. When I was coming out of university basically there was only females coaching…there were no females in the NHL hockey administration, so I had a hard time figuring out what I was going to do with my career because there wasn’t any females in those roles,” Hunter said before the ceremony in April.

“I don’t really think of myself as a trailblazer, I’m just working my way up,” she tells The Independent. “I don’t take it lightly…I have a little niece who is four years old now who plays for the Lambton Attack and that’s the coolest thing… I just want to be a role model for her.”