Marie-Philip Poulin turns down ECHL offer, asks instead for support of women’s hockey

Marie-Philip Poulin #29 of Team Canada celebrates her gold medal.
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Canadian hockey forward Marie-Philip Poulin got more than just a congratulatory text from Trois-Rivières Lions general manager Marc-André Bergeron after scoring the winning goal in Canada’s gold-medal victory over the U.S.

She got a job offer.

Bergeron told French-language newspaper Le Nouvelliste that he extended an invite to Poulin to play for the ECHL’s Lions.

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“I played with her, I know what she is capable of,” he said via translation. “I saw like everyone else what she still offered in her performance at the Olympics. I think she could hold her own with us.”

Poulin scored two goals in the gold-medal game, raising her tally to seven goals scored for the Canadians among the team’s 10 goals in the last four Olympic finals. She also scored the Canada’s winning goal in the 2010 and 2014 gold medal games.

“I think everyone wonders how far she could go in [the men’s league],” added Bergeon, who characterized Poulin as “the best in her sport.”

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The two met while playing together at a charity event several years ago, but Poulin has pledged her allegiance to the PWHPA, which she has been involved with since 2019.

Poulin hasn’t played with the boys since youth-league action, where she finished among the top scorers on her team. She subsequently was invited to training camp for the Victoriaville Tigres and Terrebonne Cobras, two junior ice hockey teams in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, but the offers were rejected, as Poulin had already committed to Boston University.

Poulin hinted that she’s ready for another Olympic cycle, and when asked about her future plans she said, “I’m just going to enjoy this moment with my teammates and then go from there.”

While Poulin has not publicly addressed the offer, her Momentum agent, Olivier Fortier, told Le Nouvelliste: “Marie-Philip has dedicated her career to the development and advancement of women’s hockey. She intends to continue her work of persuading [others] so that there will be a professional women’s hockey league. Marie-Philip has no intention of joining Trois-Rivières Lions, but invites them to join her and the hundreds of players who wish to promote female talent in Canada.”

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The NBC Olympics research team contributed to this report.