Panthers name Brett Peterson first Black assistant GM in NHL history

·2 min read
Brett Peterson (left) is believed to be the first Black assistant GM in NHL history. (
Brett Peterson (left) is believed to be the first Black assistant GM in NHL history. (

The Florida Panthers have hired Brett Peterson, the former vice president of Wasserman Media Group's hockey division, to work on newly-appointed general manager Bill Zito’s staff, making him what the club says is “believed” to be the first Black assistant manager in league history.

Florida made the hire official on Tuesday.

"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," Zito said in a statement.

"There are many who can excel in one of those disciplines, but few who excel in all three."

Peterson, a former defenseman, won a national championship at Boston College before bouncing around in the minor leagues for a five-season stretch between 2004 and 2009. He immediately transitioned into the agency space upon retirement, serving as a certified player agent since 2009.

As the co-founder of Acme World Sports, which the Wasserman Media Group purchased earlier this year, Zito quite clearly has a strong working relationship with Peterson, who would have been highly involved in that transaction.

Peterson is one of several former player agents to be hired under Zito, who of course also got his start in the agency space as well. The Panthers named Paul Krepelka — who spent 20 years representing clients and was partner at Orr Hockey Group — an assistant to Zito earlier this month.

In their statement, the Panthers mention that Peterson will play an active role in the organization’s community-based initiatives, which are focused on making hockey a more inclusive space in South Florida.

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