Today, the New Jersey Devils announced a promotion within their front office staff. The team has named Kate Madigan an Assistant General Manager for the team. Per the team’s announcement, she’s the first woman to hold the position in the Devils organization and the sixth woman to hold such a position in the NHL. Five are currently in such a position, with Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser becoming the fifth just yesterday as Toronto promoted her up.
The name should be familiar to those who have been following the Devils’ off-ice staff in recent years. Madigan joined the organization back in 2017 as part of a group of analysts meant to help guide management. Her position was officially a Player Information/Video Assistant. She did well enough to get promoted to the position of Director of Pro Scouting Operations, which she served for the last two seasons. As indicated by the team’s announcement, she was involved in more than just scouting and, in retrospect, it served to set her up for the position she was named to today. The promotion is a good example of how someone can and does work their way up to reach a level few expected back when the hire was made.
The New Jersey Devils now have two formally titled Assistant GMs. Dan MacKinnon, who was brought into the organization around the same time as Madigan, is the other assistant GM. MacKinnon is also the GM of Utica Comets with Scott Litwack assisting him. As both would answer to Fitzgerald, it will be curious how the responsibilities will be divided up. I would think both would certainly have a seat at the table when it comes to decisions and discussions about the team’s direction and what they should do with players and other assets. I would also figure MacKinnon would still be in charge of Utica as I do not think the Comets need a new voice at the top after their successful 2021-22 season. Madigan may continue focusing on the professional side of things given her previous position in pro scouting. Of course, MacKinnon and Madigan are not the only ones in the “inner circle” of management. While he is not listed as an assistant GM, I would have to think Martin Brodeur has influence as well. Brodeur’s official position is Hockey Operations Advisor. I do not think he is there just to talk without anyone listening.
To that end, that is how I, an outsider, interpret the management structure under Fitzgerald with the promotion of Madigan. There’s Fitzgerald, then there is MacKinnon, Madigan, and Brodeur. Should Fitzgerald not be the GM of the Devils - which is a legitimate possibility during the 2022-23 season should it fall apart like the last two seasons - then it will be real interesting who gets the call as interim GM. MacKinnon would be the experienced choice, Brodeur would be the fan favorite, and Madigan would be the wildcard. The best case scenario, obviously, is that the Devils do not fall flat on their face a month and a half into the coming season and no such change is needed. It is still something to keep in the back of one’s mind going into the 2022-23 campaign.
For more details about the how this happened, I would recommend checking out Ryan Novozinsky’s story at NJ.com about it. You will learn how the offer was made by Fitzgerald to Madigan. You will learn that the Devils look to hire assistant coaches over the next few weeks. You will learn that the situation with the second overall pick is “fluid.” Novozinsky has hit the ground running as a beat reporter for the Devils. If you, like me, were lamenting the lack of a beat reporter, then go forth and support Novozinsky.
Congratulations to Madigan for her accomplishment and promotion. I wish her the best as her success would mean success for the team we support: the New Jersey Devils. Please feel free to leave your thoughts about Madigan being promoted in the comments. Thank you for reading.