It’s impact on the hockey world is truly groundbreaking and monumental as Cammi Granato becomes the second female NHL assistant general manager on Jim Rutherford’s Vancouver Canucks hockey staff. She joins Emilie Castonguay, the French Canadian lawyer and analytics specialist who was hired January 24th.
For Rutherford, the Vancouver Canucks President of Hockey Operations, it’s clearly “the more diverse the better”, a mantra shared by the expansion Seattle Kraken organization just down the highway. Granato became the NHL’s first female pro scout when the Kraken hired her in 2019. A resident of North Vancouver, Granato did most of her NHL player evaluations from the Rogers Arena press box, but she wasn’t in her seat the last two home games, she was finalizing arrangements for her new position.
“For me it came kind of quick, I think it was in the last eight to ten days” Granato said, “just had a lot of good conversations with Jim and I knew it was an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up and really excited for … that’s how it came about.”
“Cammi is a tremendous leader and has earned the respect of the hockey world,” Rutherford said in a statement. “She has a great mind for the game and experience and influence at all levels. In her role, Cammi will oversee our player development department and our amateur and pro scouting department. Cammi’s input will also be included in all areas of hockey operations as we leverage the diverse opinions and experience of our new leadership group to build a winning team.”
Vancouver Hockey Now spoke with Cammi and profiled her career and her scouting work in a late November article. We identified her as a “trailblazer” and she becomes one yet again. Like Rutherford, she’s a Hockey Hall of Fame inductee. In fact, she beat him to that punch by nine years, Granato inducted for her playing prowess in 2010, Rutherford as a builder in 2019.
Not that any of her family members can top that playing honour, but now she steps it up to an even greater degree in the family pecking order, one rich with pedigree. Her brother Tony played 13 NHL seasons and now coaches the University of Wisconsin, his alma mater, while brother Don coaches the Buffalo Sabres. Husband Ray Ferraro played 18 NHL seasons and has since spent a couple of decades commentating hockey on radio and television. Ray’s son and Cammi’s stepson Landon Ferraro presently plays for Team Canada at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Jokingly, Ms. Granato could be the boss of all of them.
“Yeah, I haven’t used that one on them but maybe I’ll put that in there when I need to,” Granato said with a smile. “Obviously super excited, my whole family is excited. I have an amazing support system with my five siblings and my parents and feel super lucky that I have them and everybody was really thrilled. I lean on Tony and Donnie a lot and vice versa, we talk a lot about the game, I’m really happy to have that support system with the family.”