Meghan Duggan has always looked for a challenge. Whether it's competing on the ice with Team USA at the Olympics, World Championship, and everywhere in between, to playing on club teams, the resume goes on and on. She has seven gold medals at the World Championships, Olympic gold, and two Olympic silvers.
The hope is to add a Stanley Cup to that mix one day.
She's inspired a generation of young women looking to get into the game and now, as her playing career has ended, she's looking to inspire a generation off the ice as well.
This past summer Duggan joined the New Jersey Devils in a newly created role as Manager, Player Development. Ask Duggan what her role entails, and that's where the challenge begins.
"I think my role, we're all still kind of learning where I can best add value," she said. "I've certainly done a lot of work with the prospects and some of their development aspects over the summer, but I think every player always wants to get better when you're working on the development side. And I want to be able to provide resources to all the players in our system or to do anything I can in order to help them achieve their goals, regardless of where they're at in their lifecycle."
Duggan has been a constant presence around Prudential Center as training camp opened, and even well before that she had been around management to really dig her feet into the organization. She says the connection between herself and the team happened organically, but not without time and effort on her part. This was something she was seeking out after she retired from playing the game and wanted to continue to stay involved.
"I spent some time thinking about what is that next step that I want to take?" she shared. "I knew that I always wanted to have an impact in male professional hockey, in the National Hockey League. I wanted to move forward in that direction and so I started doing my homework and my research and trying to figure out what was out there, where could I have an impact and, and really started networking right off the bat."
That networking landed her a job in New Jersey, where she was an active member in the 2021 draft process, being in the room with management as decisions were being made. As training camp began, Duggan moved from watching video of the Devils prospects to being right in the arena with them, beginning to cultivate the relationships and trust that are fundamental to being successful in her role.
"It's been an incredible experience, my first four months," Duggan shared. "My biggest takeaways are the people, the culture, kind of the group, and I've had the great opportunity to, whether it was at the draft or whether it was during different meetings leading up to the draft, being in market a few times, and just getting to meet a variety of different people that, like everyone on here, all have the same goal, right? We all have the same goal, we want the team, the New Jersey Devils to be excellent, and to compete and play meaningful games and win a Cup."
Here are a few highlights from the Speak of the Devils podcast with Meghan Duggan are below:
- The impending birth of her first daughter, and what it will be like raising a girl
- Raising a family with Gillian Apps, who is a decorated hockey player of her own, and a member of Team Canada
- Beginning to carve out her role with New Jersey
- A new breed of athlete emerging, more willing to accept advice off the ice
- How she sees her role developing
- The important impact of having women as part of the NHL