Until they are hired with more frequency, women filling a leadership position in a sports league will continue to generate news because of their gender.
That’s fine — for now — with Hayley Moore, who next month will leave her current position as president of the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League to become vice president, operations at the American Hockey League.
After seeing Kim Ng become the first female general manager in MLB history last November, and inspired by many others, including professional female scouts like Blake Bolden and Cammi Granato in the NHL, Moore appreciates the opportunity to help establish what will eventually become a new normal.
”There’ve been so many phenomenal female hires across sports, especially within the last 12 months,” said Moore, a Wakefield native and graduate of Cushing Academy. “Every time I see a female in a groundbreaking environment it’s something that’s extra motivating and inspiring to everyone else — we’re quite qualified, and any position out there is there for the taking.
“The more women we see in these roles the more young girls will understand that’s something they’re capable of. And I think it’s just as important for young boys to see females in those leadership positions.”
Moore will join Melissa Caruso, VP of hockey operations/governance, as the second female vice president in the 85-year history of the AHL, the primary development league for the 31 teams in the National Hockey League.
Moore will oversee on-ice officiating, player safety, league suspensions as well as hockey operations initiatives.
Scott Howson, AHL president and CEO, said Moore distinguished herself in a prolonged interview process as being the best fit for the league in terms of her drive, experience, and love for the game.
Prior to joining the Pride two years ago as their GM, Moore served as deputy commissioner and director of player development of the NWHL. She also was the two-year captain and two-time All-Ivy selection at Brown University, skated professionally for the Boston Blades of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, and also served as an assistant coach for the women’s hockey team at Harvard University.
”I wanted to get the best person — the fact that she’s a woman is great for the league and I think it’s long overdue,” said Howson. “She’s highly qualified and she got the job because she was the best person. She’s really passionate about the game.”
Moore said hockey has been “my biggest passion since as long as I can remember. That’s really what’s fueled my career the entire way — I love development, I love creating opportunity, that’s something that was really attractive about the AHL, to be among one of the greatest development leagues there is.
”My experience in the last six years in the NWHL has really provided me with a platform to develop the tools that will make me successful in this position, so I’m very grateful to the NWHL and the Pride for the platform and opportunity and the empowerment that they provided me in order to put in the position to move on to this role.”
Miles Arnone, owner of the Boston Pride, said “we’re happy for [Moore] but hate to see her go.
”She’s been a big part in building operations and infrastructure of the league and at the team level that makes it all run. She’s very well-versed in what it takes to build out those capabilities, to maintain and improve them, and I think she’s ready to scale up. She’s done a great job here. Obviously the AHL’s a larger entity from a footprint perspective and also in terms of arenas they operate in, the scale of their operations, their complexity and she’s ready to take that leap.”
Moore also has administrative experience as the director of girls’ hockey for the East Coast Wizards youth hockey association in Bedford, Mass., and as commissioner of the Eastern Women’s Hockey Conference.
Moore will finish the current season with the Pride before beginning her new job on Feb. 8.