The Vancouver Canucks have been making a little bit of history with their front-office hirings.
Earlier in the week, the Canucks' president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford hired Emilie Castonguay, making her just the second woman ever to be an assistant general manager in the NHL and the first-ever in Canada. Angela Gorgone was the first with the Anaheim Ducks, promoted after "revolutionizing" the team's scouting process as the scouting coordinator. She only lasted one season in the role, however, and Castonguay will be looking to last much longer.
According to multiple reports, the Canucks will be making history again with their new general manager.
As reported by pretty much everyone, the Canucks are hiring Patrik Allvin, who will be the first Swedish-born general manager in NHL history. Well, technically he already was.
Allvin was briefly interim GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins, taking over for none other than Rutherford. He was only in the position for two weeks, however. He'll presumably be GM of the Canucks for significantly longer.
Yes, he is another white man, as every single general manager has been in NHL history, but when it comes to the NHL, hiring a European general manager is exceptionally diverse.
Allvin comes from a scouting background, with a decade of experience as a scout with the Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins. He then worked his way up the Penguins organization from director of European scouting to director of amateur scouting to, finally, assistant GM.
His promotions in Pittsburgh to director of amateur scouting and assistant GM came under Rutherford.
"Patrik has made a lot of contributions during his 14 years with Pittsburgh, and has proven to be a valuable asset for us," said Rutherford when he promoted him to assistant GM. "We've been impressed with his hockey knowledge and work ethic, and I look forward to working more closely with him."
As assistant GM, Allvin expanded his duties from overseeing the team's amateur scouting to working with the salary cap and collective bargaining agreement, giving him a broad area of knowledge that would be well-suited for the GM role.
The Canucks, with their long history of Swedish stars like Thomas Gradin, Markus Naslund, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and now Elias Pettersson, seem like the right fit for a Swedish GM. Allvin spent most of his professional career as a defenceman in Sweden, though he did play a couple of season in North America in the IHL and ECHL.
With two months to go until the NHL's trade deadline and a team flirting with getting back into playoff contention, Allvin will immediately have some difficult decisions to make.