Former Quinnipiac University ice hockey player makes history – Q30 Television
Former Quinnipiac University ice hockey player Danielle Marmer will join the Boston Bruins NHL team as a a player development and scouting assistant. Marmer is the first woman in history to hold an on-ice position with the Bruins.
Head coach of the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team and former coach of Marmer, Cassandra Turner is confident in Marmer’s ability to make a difference in the game of ice hockey.
“Danielle is incredibly intuitive, she is very bright, she is someone who looks, who sees and who understands situations and people. She was always a phenomenal connection to people,” Turner said. “She deserved it, you know, it’s not by chance. She certainly deserved this opportunity and will do a very good job.
Marmer will work alongside Adam McQuaid, the player development coordinator, and Jamie Langenbrunner, the player development director. It will help players from the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League (AHL) to advance them to the NHL to become a Boston Bruin.
As the first woman to hold an on-ice position with the Boston Bruins, Marmer expressed she was extremely grateful to be part of the organization.
“I think anyone would just be honored to be part of our organization,” Marmer said. “You know, the fact that I’m a woman obviously comes into play…it’s a big deal, that I’m the first woman, but you know, I’m not so excited anymore to be part of the organization, regardless of whether that I am a woman.”
Marmer’s lifelong desire to be on the ice has guided her to success with the Bruins. At age five, Marmer started playing hockey and has stuck with it ever since.
“During my sister’s figure skating lesson, I was bothering my mom on the bench begging her to get on the ice and asking her when it was my turn,” Marmer said.
Only two years old at the time, Marmer begged her mother to ask the instructor if she could skate too.
“My mom said I’d go out and take a few steps and fall down and come back,” Marmer said.
When Marmer arrived in Quinnipiac, she knew her journey would not be easy. After seeing players from around the world in Quinnipiac, Marmer realized she had been a “big fish in a small pond” in her small town in Vermont. Working very hard, Marmer set herself many goals to ensure that she would become a valuable player on the team.
“I wanted to become a hard-hitting player. I wanted to be someone who had a positive impact on the program. It was really hard to find a way to do it,” Marmer said.
Marmer is clear in paying tribute to those who have guided her through her journey on the ice, especially her former coach, Turner.
“The head coach there now, Cassandra Turner, she really helped me define a role, buy into it and be excited about it,” Marmer said.
As Marmer became good at one role, Turner repeatedly challenged her with another until Marmer could work her way “into the lineup and into longer ice time.”
Looking back on her experience with her coach, Marmer said. “She helped me love hockey again and find a place and be excited about it and then want to help other people do it.”
Marmer also credits her family, especially her father, for being her biggest supporter and helping her through some tough times during her hockey career at Quinnipiac.
“I had a lot of phone calls with him and he was not easy with me. If I called him to complain about something, he was the first to tell me to suck it up and figure it out and that my coaches were always right and listening to them,” Marmer said. “At the time, it wasn’t always the feedback I wanted to hear, but I’m so thankful he didn’t just leave me complaining about certain things or letting me sit in those moments of struggle.”
As Marmer neared the end of her hockey career at Quinnipiac, she looked for ways to continue her involvement in the sport. The former Marmer coach drew his attention to the Boston Bruins’ diversity and inclusion mentorship program.
Marmer’s interest in the program with the Boston Bruins was not just because she was a lifelong fan, but she wanted to show that she could help players too.
“I wanted to prove that I could assess players and analyze the characteristics of their game and project where they would end up. Doing this with an NHL team and with NHL scouts, I thought would be the perfect opportunity,” Marmer said.
With Ryan Nadeau, the Bruins’ associate director of amateur scouting, as a mentor in the program, Marmer developed a better understanding of how to work with hockey players at a professional level.
“We met once a week on zoom every Tuesday at 9 a.m. from September to May, so we got to know each other very well and we analyzed the film of the match, we watched the prospects and the players, and I wrote eval[evaluation] reports on these players,” Marmer said.
Through his work in the Boston Bruins program, Marmer managed to prove himself to his mentor and eventually started the conversation about continuing his work with the Bruins.
As the head coach of Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey, Turner is especially proud that Marmer is the first woman to be hired by the Boston Bruins for an on-ice position.
“[It’s] so cool, she’s not called a trailblazer, she’s not called someone who does something new, but she is, she’s too humble to admit it,” Turner said.
Turner thinks Marmer is nothing short of an inspiration to other female ice hockey players. Turner says she has “a passion for wanting to learn and grow as a player.”
“The players in our program, you know, the people we talked to who are in high school, for them to see people like Danielle, they’re now thinking, oh, I could go down that road and be in hockey in a different way. said Turner.
Turner will continue to support Marmer throughout his journey outside of Quinnipiac and in the NHL.
“I just hope she just has an excitement and a passion and likes it, you know, I’m confident she will and find and carve out that role,” Turner said. “She’s asserted herself and has become someone who will definitely be confident to give thoughts, opinions, new ideas and I just want her to embrace that opportunity and that experience.”
Marmer believes working with the Boston Bruins will not only help her, it will open up opportunities for other women interested in joining the NHL.
“I just want to continue to prove that women can be here, that there is a place for women in the NHL, and to make sure that I work hard so that [that] the door remains open for young women who want to be part of it as well,” Marmer said.