Hayley Wickenheiser and Danielle Goyette join forces again to guide Maple Leafs player development
CALGARY -- You have to wonder how Hayley Wickenheiser does it. On the weekend, she tweeted that she got her wings, meaning she is officially a physician.
Then on Monday morning, Dr. Wickenheiser got a promotion from the Toronto Maple Leafs. She is now the team's senior director of player development.
Wickenheiser says doing both jobs will be a challenge but she's up for it.
"Well, when (Leafs general manager) Kyle (Dubas) approached me with the opportunity, I initially thought, 'oh boy it's a big job,'" she said.
"Both are big jobs and we just talked about how we could make it happen."
The way they could make it happen is Dubas told Wickenheiser she could hire a director of player development.
And it didn't take Wickenheiser long to figure out who that was going to be.
She turned to a former teammate with the Canadian women's national team, Danielle Goyette, who was the head coach of the University of Calgary Dinos women's hockey team.
Goyette says it was tough to leave the Dino's but she couldn't pass up this opportunity to work with Wickenheiser and join the Leafs.
"I'm looking forward to it," said Goyette.
"They have great staff over there. I was lucky to be able to work with some of them in the past and I'm looking forward to learning more and adding a little bit of my experience to them. At the end of the day it's teamwork that is going to benefit the players."
The Leafs are the first NHL team to have two women leading their development staff. Goyette and Wickenheiser know each other well.
They were on the same line with the national team and Goyette coached Wickenheiser when she laced up with the Dinos.
They've had great chemistry in the past and Wickenheiser believes they will be able to continue doing that with the Leafs.
"We were linemates for, oh boy, 15 years, and we played incredibly well together as kind of a one two tandem," Wickenheiser said.
"I played for Danielle for several years at the University of Calgary. Then I said to her, 'now I'm your boss,' so it flip-flops but I don't look at it like that. I look at it like we're teammates."
Goyette and Wickenheiser are both very driven and they have high expectations. Goyette believes teaming up again can only help the Leafs.
"For us right now it's to make this program better and we're gong to do anything in our power to get there," she said.
"I kind of know what to expect from Wick and I don't see anything that's going to change about the relationship we have right now. I think we're going to keep pushing each other. I think that's what we did all the time that we played together and I think that's going to keep going in that situation as well."
Goyette grew up a diehard fan of the Montreal Canadiens. Now that she's with the Leafs she says it's time to cheer on the Blue and White. And the timing couldn't be better. The Leafs and Canadiens kick off their first round playoff series on Thursday night.