Danielle Marmer is the first woman to hold an on-ice role with the Bruins. She is certain she won’t be the last.
Appointed this week to the role of player development and scouting assistant, Marmer is assigned to help player development coordinator Adam McQuaid evaluate and support prospects throughout the Bruins’ system.
Marmer spent the last nine months in the Bruins’ Diversity and Inclusion Scouting Mentorship program, a league-wide initiative that selected a dozen candidates to work with members of hockey operations staffs.
“I envisioned it as being an opportunity to work on my ability to evaluate players, but I had no intention of trying to get in with the Bruins,” said Marmer, who worked with amateur scouting director Ryan Nadeau during her internship.
She was tasked with evaluating a select group of players, both pros and amateurs, and reporting back. The Bruins are keeping an open mind about her role this season.
“I like to let players sort of come to me,” Marmer said of her scouting method. “So whatever their strengths are, I try to let that come through first. I appreciate skating, good skaters, so that’s probably the first thing I’m looking for. After that, aside from compete and work ethic, it’s the strengths of the players that stand out.”
Asked to name prospects who stood out to her, Marmer pointed to Matthew Poitras, John Beecher, and Ty Gallagher. She added that it’s her first week seeing them live. “I’m going to leave some of that assessment to Jamie [Langenbrunner] and Adam and some of the guys upstairs — for now.”
Marmer’s hire comes as NHL teams are diversifying. Two years ago, when the Miami Marlins made Kim Ng the first female general manager in baseball history, there were 10 female assistant coaches in the NBA, and hockey had never had a woman in a managerial or coaching position, or directors of player personnel.
There are now five female assistant GMs in the league, including recently hired Northeastern product Kate Madigan (New Jersey). Danvers native Meghan Duggan is the Devils’ director of player development. Boston University grad Karilyn Pilch is the Blackhawks’ director of player personnel. Hayley Moore, of Wakefield, is the AHL’s vice president of hockey operations.
“It’s an honor to work for the Bruins, regardless of gender,” Marmer said. “Luckily I’m not a trailblazer. There are a lot of women right now in leadership roles in the NHL and other development roles. I like to think of myself as a reinforcer, just that that’s going to continue. I definitely won’t be the last.”
The Bruins have had women on staff before, but they’ve held roles in the team services, training, business, marketing or public relations departments. Never had they hired a female caretaker of hockey talent.
“I think it’s great to open it up, there’s no question,” team president Cam Neely said. “I mean, there’s a lot of smart hockey people that are playing women’s hockey and involved with women’s hockey. It’s something that [GM] Don [Sweeney] and I have talked about extensively. You obviously want to hire the right people.”
Marmer, a native of Dorset, Vt., joked that her lack of grace on skates as a toddler saw her “quickly” pushed from figure skating to hockey. The switch paid off. She was a forward for Quinnipiac from 2013-17 and won an ECAC title with the Bobcats in 2016, when the club set a program record by going 30-3-5. Marmer finished her career with 2-13—15 totals in 132 games.
After graduating in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in legal studies and master’s in strategic communication, Marmer spent two seasons as an assistant for Connecticut College’s women’s team. Before joining the Bruins, she was Quinnipiac women’s director of player development and operations since 2019.
“You know, we didn’t do something reactionary, we did something because we wanted to,” Sweeney said. “We just felt that [Marmer] was a terrific fit for where we wanted to go in the directive and the things that she had been doing at Quinnipiac, and what she could apply to our hockey operations, and we’ll continue to do that.”