Within the midst of the U.S. girls’s hockey nationwide group combating for higher wages and equitable assist, Meghan Duggan acquired on the telephone with each participant to clarify what it was all about.
With the world championships on residence ice weeks away and the stakes excessive, Duggan felt it was her responsibility as captain.
“Once you consider a captain in your group and a pacesetter in your group, you need somebody that’s prepared to do issues that nobody else is prepared to do,” teammate Monique Lamoureux-Morando recalled.
Duggan did that on and off the ice, main the U.S. to the 2018 Olympic gold medal and spearheading the wage boycott. A 12 months earlier, that battle led to a brand new contract and a brighter highlight on the game.
“We had been capable of work by way of that and transfer by way of issues collectively and be on the fitting facet of historical past,” Duggan stated Tuesday in saying her retirement after 11 years with the nationwide group. “That have introduced us collectively as a group, it empowered us and it inspired us to be even higher shifting ahead.”
Duggan was the primary American males’s or girls’s participant to win seven consecutive world championship gold medals, two silver medals on the Olympics and one at worlds and the title in South Korea in her closing worldwide event. She stated household, teammates, coaches, workers, followers and the following era modified her life.
She additionally modified theirs.
Her legacy off the ice will likely be outlined by her position within the 2017 boycott over participant compensation, particularly in non-Olympic years. Duggan was a central determine in negotiations with USA Hockey and was a spokeswoman for the group whereas they had been ongoing earlier than a four-year deal was reached.
“She fights for our sport the way in which she fought on the ice to win a sport,” stated Canadian defender Renata Quick, who had Duggan as an assistant coach at Clarkson College and performed in opposition to her on the Olympics. “She was simply so aggressive in all the pieces she did, and he or she at all times had an amazing head on her shoulders that knew the route of the place our sport wanted to go.”
With Duggan carrying the captain’s “C,” the U.S. gained the worlds after their contract victory. Then she turned her consideration to the Olympic gold medal that had eluded the U.S. since 1998.
At an occasion within the fall of 2017 at Nike’s campus in Beaverton, Oregon, Duggan took copious notes when Hockey Corridor of Famer and ’98 gold medalist Cammi Granato was addressing the group. Duggan and Granato had numerous conversations that 12 months about getting a extra equitable contract and making an attempt to win on the Olympics.
“The gist of it was, ‘How can we win this gold medal?’” Granato stated. “Like, ‘We aren’t going to this Olympics and coming away with no gold — how can we do it?’”
Duggan recorded 75 factors (45 targets, 30 assists) in 137 video games in a U.S. uniform and helped remodel the tradition after a gut-wrenching time beyond regulation loss to Canada within the gold-medal sport on the 2014 Sochi Video games.
“I feel that span from 2014 to 2018 was in all probability probably the most essential years for our program,” longtime teammate and pal Kacey Bellamy stated. “Meghan had such a hand in the way in which she led our group and the change in tradition that we needed to do so as to achieve success, and that’s one of many most important explanation why we gained gold in 2018.”
Duggan was a founding member of the Skilled Ladies’s Hockey Gamers Affiliation in 2019. The purpose was to ascertain one sustainable professional league. She might proceed taking part in an important position in combating for extra prominence for her sport.
“She’ll proceed to be part of that, clearly not as a participant, however I feel in different methods,” stated Hockey Corridor of Famer Jayna Hefford, who performed in opposition to Duggan with Canada and now works as an govt with the PWHPA. “We’re fortunate to have her as a voice.”
Duggan put up 238 factors in 159 video games over 4 seasons whereas profitable three nationwide championships on the College of Wisconsin. She had 19 factors in 26 video games over 4 within the Canadian Ladies’s Hockey League and 36 extra throughout two within the Nationwide Ladies’s Hockey League.
“It goes simply to her work ethic on the ice — hardest employee I do know,” stated Brianna Decker, who performed with Duggan in school, the CWHL, NWHL and on the nationwide group. “She at all times led by instance on the ice however off the ice, too, each little element of the sport.”
Due to her accomplishments from the boardroom to the locker room and on the ice, Duggan will probably quickly be part of at the least the U.S. Hockey and Worldwide Ice Hockey Federation Halls of Fame. She will not have to attend lengthy.
“Not many athletes get to finish their profession on high,” teammate Kendall Coyne Schofield stated. “Regardless of the standards is for the the ready interval, she’ll be there. So give it the grace interval and we’ll positively see her in these Corridor of Fames.”