Panthers hire NHL’s first Black assistant GM

The Florida Panthers named Brett Peterson as assistant general manager on Tuesday.

Peterson, 39, is believed to be the first Black assistant GM in NHL history.

He has been a certified NHL player agent since 2009 and most recently worked as the vice president for hockey with the Wasserman Media Group.

“His substantive hockey experience as a player, significant developmental and evaluation skills, and business acumen as a negotiator combine to form an elite skill set that is very difficult to find in our sport,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said in a news release. “There are many who can excel in one of those disciplines, but few who excel in all three.”

Peterson’s duties in Florida will include an active role in the Florida Panthers Foundation’s community-based programs, which aim to make the sport more inclusive in the South Florida region.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity with the Panthers and with Bill’s growing front office team,” Peterson said. “It’s a special day for myself and my family and I can’t wait to get to work.”

A Massachusetts native, Peterson played five years of professional hockey (2004-05 to 2008-09) as a defenseman in the American Hockey League, ECHL and International Hockey League. Prior to that, he helped Boston College win a national championship in 2001.