Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. captain Duggan retires

Meghan Duggan, the 2018 Olympic gold medal-winning hockey captain, retired Tuesday after a profession through which she was on the forefront of the U.S. ladies’s gamers boycott over wages and equitable help that led to a brand new contract and a brighter highlight on the game.

Duggan’s resume consists of that title in Pyeongchang in her remaining worldwide event and 7 consecutive world championship gold medals, a primary by any American males’s or ladies’s participant, plus with two silver medals on the Olympics and one at worlds.

She recorded 75 factors (45 targets and 30 assists) in 137 video games in a U.S. uniform and helped remodel the tradition after a gut-wrenching additional time loss to archrival Canada within the gold-medal sport on the 2014 Sochi Video games.

“I believe that span from 2014 to 2018 was in all probability essentially the most essential years for our program,” longtime teammate and buddy Kacey Bellamy mentioned. “Meghan had such a hand in the way in which she led our group and the change in tradition that we needed to do as a way to achieve success, and that’s one of many essential the explanation why we gained gold in 2018.”

Duggan’s legacy off the ice will probably be outlined by one thing she did a yr earlier when gamers threatened to boycott the 2017 world championships on residence ice over compensation, particularly in non-Olympic years. She helped spearhead negotiations with USA Hockey and was a spokeswoman for the group whereas they have been ongoing earlier than a four-year deal was reached.

In the course of these talks, Duggan spoke up among the many management group and mentioned she would name each single participant on the nationwide group to clarify the scenario and spent all day on the cellphone with gamers and fogeys as a result of she felt it was her responsibility as captain.

“Our group was not going to have the ability to get replaced,” Monique Lamoureux-Morando mentioned. “Once I consider that timeframe and that pivotal second and we have been within the thick of it and she or he did that, whenever you consider a captain in your group and a pacesetter in your group, you need somebody that’s keen to do issues that nobody else is keen to do.”

Canadian defender Renata Quick, who had Duggan as an assistant coach at Clarkson College and performed in opposition to her on the Olympics, known as the 33-year-old “somebody who’s pushing the sport ahead.”

“She was all the time keen to struggle for extra for everybody,” Quick mentioned. “She fights for our sport the way in which she fought on the ice to win a sport. She was simply so aggressive in every little thing she did, and she or he all the time had an awesome head on her shoulder that knew the course of the place our sport wanted to go. And I believe she did an awesome job utilizing her model and utilizing her voice to place the game on the market and actually acquire traction for it.”

With Duggan carrying the captain’s “C” the U.S. gained the worlds within the aftermath of their contract dispute 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 medal-winner Cammi Granato was addressing the group. Duggan and Granato had numerous conversations that yr about getting a extra equitable contract and attempting to win on the Olympics.

“Good leaders wish to get info from all people,” Granato mentioned. “The gist of it was, ‘How can we win this gold medal?’ Like, ‘We aren’t going to this Olympic and coming away with no gold — how can we do it?’”

Duggan took her experiences from falling brief in 2010 and 2014 and had two assists to get the U.S. again within the Olympic remaining, the place it defeated Canada in a shootout. After remembering the ache of 4 years earlier, Kendall Coyne Schofield was thrilled Duggan obtained to the mountaintop of ladies’s hockey with that win.

“I’m so blissful she was in a position to get her gold medal and exit on high,” Coyne Schofield mentioned. “Not many athletes get to finish their profession on high.”

Duggan’s enjoying profession could also be over, however her affect off the ice is not. She was a founding member of the Skilled Girls’s Hockey Gamers Affiliation in 2019 and with the goal of building one viable, sustainable professional league and will proceed enjoying an important position in preventing for much more prominence for the game.

“She continues to be a robust voice for what we’re attempting to do,” mentioned Hockey Corridor of Famer Jayna Hefford, who performed in opposition to Duggan with Canada and now works as an govt with the PWHPA. “I do know that she’ll proceed to be part of that, clearly not as a participant, however I believe in different methods. We’re fortunate to have her as a voice.”

Past her worldwide expertise, Duggan put up 238 factors in 159 video games over 4 seasons whereas successful three nationwide championships on the College of Wisconsin, 19 factors in 26 video games over 4 within the Canadian Girls’s Hockey League and 36 extra throughout two within the Nationwide Girls’s Hockey League.

“It goes simply to her work ethic on the ice — hardest employee I do know,” mentioned Brianna Decker, who performed with Duggan in faculty, the CWHL, NWHL and on the nationwide group. “She all the time led by instance on the ice however off the ice, too, each little element of the sport, each little element off the ice, she did it to a ‘T’ and she or he labored her butt off at it, and that was why we had an awesome instance setter.”

Due to her accomplishments from the boardroom to the locker room and on the ice, Duggan will possible quickly be part of no less than the U.S. Hockey and Worldwide Ice Hockey Federation Halls of Fame. She will not have to attend lengthy.

“Regardless of the standards is for the the ready interval, she’ll be there,” Coyne Schofield mentioned.


Extra AP sports activities: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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