Maple Leafs promote Wickenheiser to assistant GM role as part of front office moves

Hayley-Wickenheiser

Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Hayley Wickenheiser shows off her ring on stage in Toronto (Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Toronto Maple Leafs have promoted Hayley Wickenheiser, the Canadian hockey icon who went on to complete medical school after her playing career, to the role of assistant general manager as part of a series of front office changes on Tuesday.

The team also elevated Ryan Hardy and Darryl Metcalf to the assistant general manager position, while hiring Curtis Sanford as a goaltending coach.

Wickenheiser’s specific role will be serving as Assistant General Manager, Player Development, the Maple Leafs said in a statement. Wickenheiser originally joined the organization as its assistant director of player development in August 2018, and was promoted to senior director of player development in May of 2021.

The promotion marks the latest chapter in what has been a storied hockey life for Wickenheiser, who has been inducted into both the Hockey Hall of Fame and the IIHF Hall of Fame for her success as a player. Throughout her career, she earned seven World Championships and five Olympic medals.

Hardy, who was originally hired as the club’s senior director of minor league operations last year, will now be the Maple Leafs’ Assistant General Manager, Minor League Operations, building on a history of success in and around minor league hockey. Prior to joining the Maple Leafs, he was the general manager of the USHL’s Chicago Steel for three years, being named general manager of the year in two of them.

Metcalf, entering his ninth season with the Maple Leafs, started with the organization as an analyst with the hockey research and development department in 2014. He moved into a director role for the department two years later, and was named a special assistant to the general manager in 2018.

Sanford spend the past five seasons as goaltending coach with the Abbotsford Canucks and the Utica Comets, the AHL affiliates of the Vancouver Canucks. Over the course of his professional playing career, Sanford spent time in the KHL, AHL and NHL, where he played 144 regular season games with St. Louis, Vancouver and Columbus.

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