Meghan Duggan Named to Devils Front Office

In a busy news day for the Devils, the team announced this morning that former United States Olympian and gold medal winner Meghan Duggan has been named to the front office as Manager, Player Development and will operate within the team’s Hockey Operations Department.

The announcement was made by Executive Vice President and General Manager Tom Fitzgerald who said “[w]e are incredibly excited to announce that Meghan has joined our Player Development Department. As our group has evolved over the past few years the past few years to include as much about off-ice as on-ice for development, we believe Meghan will be perfect for this position. Her successful track record as a teammate, leader, captain and driver of initiatives will be resources to all players in our organization. We look forward to her utilizing her perspective of the game, attention to detail and creative thinking to help our players reach their potential.”

The press release put out by the Devils states that “Duggan will work closely with Senior Vice President/Assistant General Manager Dan MacKinnon across all levels of the development department’s operations, with a specific focus on on-ice and off-ice information. She will coordinate with the Athlete Care group, Development Coaches and Management on the design, improvement and execution of progress plans for all players within the organization. Duggan will be responsible for staff schedules, synthesizing information regarding prospects and AHL/ECHL players while assessing all players through in-person and video scouting. Additionally, she will join the Devils’ staff in on-ice development throughout the year.”

Having just retired from professional hockey, she had an international career that is unparalleled in hockey for men or women. The Danvers, Massachusetts native won 11 medals, including eight gold medals for Team USA. In the Olympics, she won silver in 2010 in Vancouver, silver in 2014 at Sochi (her first Olympics as captain) and gold in 2018 at PyeongChang.

At the IIHF Women’s World Championship, she won gold seven times (2008-09, 2011, 2013 and 2015-17) and won silver once in 2007.

In 2014, while still playing, she was named to the USA Hockey Board of Directors and to the USA Hockey Women’s Advisory Committee in 2017.

She played college hockey at Wisconsin as a forward from 2006-2011 and own the Patty Kazmaier Award (given each year to the top women’s player in the NCAA in their senior season) The presser notes that she was “the Badgers’ all-time leading scorer” following her collegiate career.

In 2011, she was drafted eighth overall by the Boston Blades of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. She played in Boston from 2011 to 2015 and won the Clarkson Cup (the CWHL’s championship) twice – in 2013 and 2015.

Following her time in the CWHL, she moved to the National Women’s Hockey League in 2015 and played for the Buffalo Beauts in 2015-16 and the Boston Pride in 2016-17.

The press release notes that she has long advocated accessibility, diversity and participation in the game. It notes that “[s]he was part of the inaugural group that was named to the National Hockey League’s Player Inclusion Committee last season. She has served as a member of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PHWPA) and the Women’s Sports Foundation as a Board of Trustees member. Duggan has used her platform throughout her career for mentorship and motivational speaking with a focus on gender equality, diversity & inclusion, leadership, LGBTQ+ advocacy and teamwork.”

Devils and Fanaply Enter into NFT Partnership

Don’t know how I missed this.

The Devils, on Monday, announced that they have entered into a partnership with Fanaply to offer the first digital collectibles in team history.

According to the press release, “[v]ia the landmark partnership, industry-leading digital collectibles provider, Fanaply, will host, mint, sell and distribute the Devils first officially licensed Non-Fungible Token (NFT) Collection.”

The press release describes that the NFTs “will feature imagery inspired by iconic moments in Devils history, the team’s vibrant fanbase and the team’s recent “Made in Jersey” brand campaign; providing true digital ownership and engagement for fans at both premium and accessible prices.”

The presser continues by adding that “[t]he NFTs in partnership with Fanaply will all be minted and backed on the Ethereum blockchain.”

The Devils, to further educate “Devils, hockey and sports fans across the NFT landscape” created a new “educational landing page explaining blockchain-supported digital artwork marketplaces.”

Grant Dexter, co-founder and CEO of Fanaply, commented that “[b]ringing limited-edition digital assets to the fans of an incredible, storied franchise in the New Jersey Devils is central to Fanaply’s belief that NFTs are the future of fan and consumer engagement. They allow fans to commemorate amazing moments, milestones and experiences of the teams, games, venues and communities they love through ownership in a unique digital collectible. Our NFTs are inclusive, environmentally friendly and can seamlessly integrate into a team’s existing sales, marketing and promotional strategies to create incremental revenue, real fan engagement and unlock digital and real-world rewards. Fans are telling us they want digital products, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with an innovative, thoughtful, fan and community-driven group at the New Jersey (sic). It’s truly refreshing to see a franchise embrace this new technology and explore how we cand do even more for the fans.”

Jake Reynolds, Devils’ President, added: “[t]he partnership between the Devils and Fanaply originated from a shared vision and desire to provide a creative vehicle for fan engagement that honors the Devils stories legacy and continued brand story in new, digital ways that will build with the debut of each new digital collectible. Our Front Office continues our dedication to creating unique, impactful and innovative ways for our fans to connect with our team at every engagement and interest level. We appreciate Fanaply’s diverse experience and success among major, international sports and entertainment brands in the digital collectible space; and we look forward to amplifying these digitized fan offerings with packages that include reality-based experiences and opportunities to give back to our community.”

The first drop will includes the NJD EST 1982 coin and the NJD 3x Champ coin. The EST 1982 coin is a 1/1 collectible that will be sold in an auction-style format. The winner will also receive two free season tickets for the 2021-22 season. The 3x Champ coin will also be sold auction-style and the winner will also take home ‘the opportunity to watch a 2021-22 season game in the New Jersey Devils Alumni Suite with a Devils’ legend from one of the championship years at Prudential Center.”

Elliott Friedman tweeted yesterday that this is the first such partnership by an NHL team with Fanaply to sell NFTs.