Carla MacLeod named head coach of Ottawa’s PWHL team

By CityNews Ottawa and The Canadian Press

A two-time Olympic gold medalist has been named the head coach of Ottawa’s new Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL).

Carla MacLeod, who as a player is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2006, 2010) with Canada who also won four IIHF Women’s World Championship medals (one gold and three silver), will be behind the bench when Ottawa’s PWHL team hits the ice starting in January of 2024.

MacLeod recently coached the Czech Republic women’s national ice hockey team to consecutive bronze medals at the 2022 and 2023 IIHF Women’s World Championships. 

The Calgary, Alberta native spent the last two seasons as head coach of the University of Calgary Dinos women’s hockey team, and before that was an assistant coach with Team Japan from 2012-14.

MacLeod is one of five Canadian coaches announced by the PWHL that are Canadian with the other four being Troy Ryan (Toronto), Kori Cheverie (Montreal) Courtney Birchard-Kessel (Boston) and Howie Draper (New York).

Minnesotan Charlie Burggraf was named head coach of the Minneapolis-St. Paul club.

The PWHL will hold a 15-round draft on Monday, Sept. 18 in Toronto and start training camps Nov. 13.

The PWHL, which opens a 24-game regular season in January, intends to accommodate the schedules of its international players in order for them to compete in both.

MacLeod and longtime Pandas coach Draper leave the Calgary and Alberta programs respectively for their PWHL gigs.

“It is with mixed emotions I take this next step,” MacLeod said in a statement. “The excitement surrounding the PWHL, and the direction women’s hockey is headed professionally is certainly something I am proud to be a part of. I am humbled that Ottawa believes I am the right coach to help build their program and look forward to the opportunity that lies ahead.”

With files from The Canadian Press.

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