Marie-Phillip Poulin opens up about legacy, Canadiens gig, and her next career goals

Feb 2 2023, 9:13 pm

Marie Philip-Poulin may be a part-time player-development consultant with the Montreal Canadiens, but she’s still striving for more game-winners and gold medals with the Canadian women’s national team.

The 2022 Canadian Press Female Athlete of the Year and North Star Award winner is looking for her 17th international medal in a career that includes 10 world championship podiums (three gold, six silvers, and a bronze), two U18 medals, and four Olympic medals (three gold).

In April, the IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championships head to the CAA Centre in Brampton, giving her yet another opportunity to win a title with Canada.

“We’ve got [another tournament] coming up soon, and that’s very exciting,” Poulin told Daily Hive. “It’s going to be exciting and obviously being on home soil. We’ve got to keep going because the target is on us, and we’ll have to bring it back here.

Team Canada will open their tournament against Switzerland before facing Czechia and Japan ahead of a headline group finale against Team USA on April 10.

Even with all the accolades, there’s a desire to keep chasing gold, especially with the tournament on home soil as they did in Calgary in 2021. Canada was scheduled to host the tournament in Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia, in 2020 and 2021, but COVID-19 derailed those plans, pushing the event to Calgary and now back to Canada’s eastern provinces for the first time since Ottawa in 2013.

Ahead of the World Championships, Poulin has partnered with Turo, with the new Turo SK8, a mini ice resurfacer which is available for rental on private outdoor rinks around the city of Toronto. Costing $29 for a four-hour period (as an ode to Poulin’s jersey number), the machine is designed for “backyard shinny and community-free skates.”

All proceeds from the SK8 are being matched and donated to KidSport Canada, a charity that provides funds for equipment and registration fees.

“Knowing that the proceeds are going towards KidSport… being able to help kids to get involved in sport where they have trouble I think is pretty awesome,” Poulin said.


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Poulin suggested new locations for the Turo SK8 could be coming soon after its run of rentals in Toronto.

North American women’s game still at a tipping point

While the Women’s World Championships continue to play each year, the professional game in North America still stands at a formative point.

Poulin plays for Team Harvey’s in the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association, playing in showcase stops around the country, albeit not a professional league. Meanwhile, other Hockey Canada gold medalists like Loren Gabel ply their trade in the Premier Hockey Federation.

Despite the PHF’s Toronto Six recently signing American Darryl Watts to a contract worth USD $200k a year, there’s still a desire from Poulin and many of the Canadian Olympians to form a PWHPA league.

The 2022-23 season is the first time the PWHPA keeps track of standings, a step closer to the players’ desired league structure.

Prior to the PWHPA, Poulin played in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, which folded in 2019. She won the Clarkson Cup twice and was named CWHL MVP three times.

“Having a league is something we’ve been working towards for many years,” Poulin said. “I think gathering standings having a team for your with the whole season… We get to travel, we get to spend more time in communities where I see little kids coming up to see us, and you see more people getting rich reached out by women’s hockey, and it’s pretty amazing.

Poulin has nine goals and six assists in 15 games with Team Harvey’s this season, with hopes of launching a full-fledged professional league in 2023-24.

“We’re very close [to creating a league],” the 31-year-old said. “We have the right people in place. A lot of people working behind closed doors, obviously. I think next year will be in place.”

However, it’s not just playing for Poulin anymore, but coaching as well, as she joined the Canadiens as a member of their player development staff, getting a chance to mentor the prospects through pre-season before embarking on her campaign.

“Being able to be there in the summer, at the camps, and just connecting with the players to see who they are, what they are, how they’re getting their season going,” Poulin said. “I’ve been able to go to Laval a little bit at the beginning of the season, and hopefully, and maybe the career is over for me to be getting more involved for sure.”

The IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship begins on April 5.

Ben SteinerBen Steiner

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