The Florida Panthers have a new assistant general manager, hiring Brett Peterson away from his role as Vice President, Hockey for Wasserman Media Group, which acquired Acme World Sports earlier this summer. As the press release indicates, Peterson is believed to be the first Black assistant general manager in the NHL. Panthers GM Bill Zito, who founded Acme before he moved into hockey operations for the Columbus Blue Jackets, released this statement on the hire:
His substantive hockey experience as a player, significant developmental and evaluation skills, and business acumen as a negotiator combine to form an elite skill set that is very difficult to find in our sport. There are many who can excel in one of those disciplines, but few who excel in all three.
Peterson, 39, does not come only with experience on the agency side. A four-year defenseman for Boston College where he won a National Championship in 2001, he then played several years in the ECHL and AHL. A playing career ended in 2009, at which point he jumped to the other side of the table and became a certified player agent.
He’ll get his first chance in an NHL front office under Zito, but will continue his work to help make hockey more inclusive. The release indicates that Peterson will take an active role in the Panthers’ community-based programs. He joins Paul Krepelka who was hired as an AGM earlier this month and a front office that includes other experienced names like Paul Fenton and Tom Bark.