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Interview: Pride GM Hayley Moore talks NWHL, new AHL VP role

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Hayley Moore is leaving the Pride again, this time likely for good as she takes on an AHL executive role.

NWHL/ Michelle Jay

One of the original figures in the NWHL is moving on.

Hayley Moore, who has been involved in just about every level of operations in the league since its inception, will be taking a well deserved next step as she moves over to the AHL to take on the role of VP of Operations. In the role, she will be in charge of officials and discipline.

Moore was the original GM of the Pride in the inaugural 2015-2016 season. One of her first moves was to draft Kendall Coyne with her first pick in the first draft. She would also work out a deal to acquire the rights to Alex Carpenter.

In that season, Moore made her debut, and only appearance, as a player in the NWHL to date. She dressed in a game against the then-undefeated Connecticut Whale, winning a face-off, en route to a Pride win and seemingly the downfall of the Whale franchise. Moore feels that experience was important in her growth in her front office roles as it allowed her to better understand the day-to-day nature of her players and do what is best for them.

“In smaller sports leagues, people wear a lot of hats," she said. "I just look back on that year and that moment as another hat that I wore. It was definitely great to be able to play a game on the ice, in a league that I was so proud to create that opportunity for other players. So for me to be able to skate in a game was an exciting moment, and I took it as an opportunity to learn what the player experience was like and hopefully better myself as a GM at the time."

"Itwas a really motivating and inspiring moment for our team to take down the then undefeated Connecticut Whale," she continued. "I remember sharing the ice with Denna Laing who is near and dear to my heart, and that is one of the things I look back and remember the most.”

Moore then moved on to a league-wide role as the Deputy Commissioner and director of player development in 2017. In that role she oversaw a myriad of duties including overseeing all (then) five teams staffing and player development while also being the leagues liaison between the national team bodies and collegiate programs.

Once the Boston Pride were acquired by a private ownership group in 2019 they were quick to bring Moore back into the fold, this time as team president.

Outside of her NWHL roles she has been the Director of Girls’/ Women’s Hockey for one of the most elite club programs in the area, the East Coast Wizards.

“My experience at the Wizards, especially, helped me see the overlap between how we brand the boys and girls programs there. Working with college hockey and their counterparts, so much of what we do is transferable and I think my experience within the NWHL at the team and league levels has provided me with that professional level of experience. Seeing the perspective from both sides of the coin and understanding the value of communication and collaboration that needs to be achieved from the team through the league level are things I look to carry over to the next role.”

Moore is one of the pioneers for women in executive positions for men’s professional leagues, a number of doors have been opened over the last year, but views her newest role as just the next step in what she is meant to do.

“It’s funny I don’t necessarily look at myself and think of myself [as a trailblazer]," she said. "I just feel like I am somebody who is doing what I am supposed to do. I think I have always felt that way, from the time I was playing boys hockey as the only girl on the team, I didn’t necessarily feel any different then everyone else out there I was just pursuing my passion. But I look at these other women who have taken great roles like Florence [Schelling] and Kim Ng… and I look at them inspired and believe that we are all going after what we are passionate bout and have worked really hard along the way to have these opportunities. I recognize it is seen as a trailblazing moment but I hope that anyone who sees it recognizes that we are here following our passions as anyone else is, and I hope young girls see this as another possibility and not a barrier.”

The process of applying for the AHL position began back in August when posting was passed around all the professional leagues. Multiple people reached out to Moore to make sure that she was putting her name in the ring.

After the news started to spread many people she has worked with for her entire tenure with the NWHL, including founder Dani Rylan and Pride Captain Jillian Dempsey, were excited for her. Moore views this as a big achievement for the NWHL.

“Hockey has been my biggest passion my entire life, I have had such great support especially form my family," she said. "I am so grateful to the Boston Pride, our players, ownership and staff, and to the NWHL for giving me this platform and fueling my fire for the last six years. We are not done yet we still have some business to take care of in the next few weeks. Moving on I will I’m going to look back so proudly on everything that I have been a part of and I can’t wait to see what they do next. I am going to be the biggest Pride fan moving forward.”

Moore will not be leaving the Pride until after the Lake Placid bubble is completed on February 5th with the AHL seeking to begin operations on the same day, she will begin her new role on the 8th.