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Former Team Canada coach named PHF director of hockey operations

Melody Davidson, then head coach of the Canadian women’s hockey team, talks to her players during the World Championship in 2009. (Olivier Morin/AFP via Getty Images)

New Premier Hockey Federation commissioner Reagan Carey has appointed Melody Davidson as the director of league and hockey operations, the PHF announced Wednesday.

Davidson is a Canadian hockey icon, winning four straight Winter Olympic gold medals in women’s hockey beginning as an assistant coach in 2002, then as head coach in 2006 and 2010 and finally as general manager in 2014. The Team Canada coach and manager also has five IIHF Women’s World Championship titles to her name.

“There is not a single person who has done more for the global growth of women’s hockey than Mel Davidson, and it is a true privilege to welcome her to a new leadership role at the PHF,” Carey said in a statement. “She has become legendary for her ability to create winning programs at the Olympic and National Team level, but her dedication to mentoring and coaching others is simply remarkable and unrivaled.

Mel reflects the integrity, experience, and success we value in the PHF and her influence will surely raise the bar for our league in all facets. I’m extremely energized for what’s to come as we join forces to advance professional women’s hockey across North America on behalf of the PHF.”

In her new role at the PHF, Davidson will assist with hockey operations guidance and provide insight on the structure of the league’s regular season, playoffs, and offseason activities. She will also help steer the PHF’s relationships with hockey partners and the sport’s community in North America and internationally.

The move comes as the PHF undergoes an overhaul, with the board of governors announcing in January a plan to invest more than $25 million in the league over three years, increasing the salary cap for the 2022-2023 season to $750,000 per team.

The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association also announced in April a plan to launch its own six-team league in January 2023, breaking away from the PHF.

“I’m super excited that Mel is joining the PHF in a formal role and I can’t wait to see all of the great things she will do for the league,” said Minnesota Whitecaps forward Allie Thunstrom, who captained the All-Star team coached by Davidson. “Mel brings so much experience to the table and is an incredibly well-respected person in the hockey world. We had a blast together in Buffalo where it was a unique opportunity getting to know her and seeing her passion for the game up close.”