The signings for the Boston Pride started to trickle out this week in a steady flow of good players and intelligent moves. The Pride changed the formula this off-season by having one player a day being announced instead of the whole team in one fell swoop. The roster is starting to shape up so let’s look at who is here one week in and who isn’t. One thing to remember about the Pride this offseason is that they have a brand new general manager, Maddie Rigsby.
Signing one – McKenna Brand – Forward – #17
The Pride started their off-season with returning Pride member and Northeastern alum McKenna Brand. While Brand was not the first player I was expecting to be announced, she is a fantastic player and worthy of the honor of being the first player announced by Pride this season. Just look at this play; she’s outstanding.
Brand’s stats from the Pride last season, where she wore the ‘A,’ were nothing to scoff at; she had 15 points in 20 games. If you want to know more about McKenna Brand, I wrote a whole article about the signing that you could read next.
Signing Two – Becca Gilmore – Forward- #15
The Pride went in a route that most people didn’t expect with the signing of Becca Gilmore straight out of Harvard. Becca Gilmore is a Massachusetts native hailing from Wayland. Gilmore has had an impressive international career with Team USA, winning gold at the Women’s World Juniors championships U18 twice and silver once. In Gilmore’s three appearances with Team USA, she only finished under a point a game once, which was her first time in the tournament when she was only 16. At Harvard, she had an excellent career. The best season of the four that she played, the 2020-2021 season, was canceled due to covid; it was her senior season. In 32 games, she had 45 points, 19 being goals.
Look at this gif from the amazing @strongforecheck for a taste of Becca Gilmore’s play.
Signing Three – Meghara McManus – Forward- #42
Milton Mass native Meghara McManus is back for more with her third season on the Boston Pride. While playing pro hockey, McManus has never lost, and the Pride wants to keep her and her play on the team. Before playing on the Pride, she played for the University of New Hampshire for four seasons. While never a high point scorer at the professional or the collegiate level, McManus can be easily described as a playmaker. McManus is a great member to bring back to the team.
Signing Four – Allie Thunstrom – Forward- #91
Allie Thunstrom. Need I say more? Well, since this is an article, I probably do. Allie Thunstrom is the former alternate captain of the Minnesota Whitecaps. Thunstrom is an explosive offensive player who brings both play and leadership to the Pride’s roster. Her joining the Pride is almost as if you can’t beat them join them. This change of teams by Thunstrom is one of the most significant moves of the offseason. Her play is easily described in one word and one word only, fast. She is a former competitive speed skater. It was to the point where she had to choose between pro hockey and pro speed skating; luckily for the Pride, she decided on hockey.
Signing Six – Christina Putigna- Forward- #21
Christina Putigna is back for four! The first non-american signed to the roster is Putigna. Her fun personality is everything, both off the ice with her antics during tv interviews and on the ice with her fast and challenging play. While her rookie season was the best regular season in her career, Putigna is a playoff performer. In three playoff games last season, she had two goals and two assists for four points. It is helpful to note that the Boston Pride weren’t as high scoring this past season, but I think they can bring that offense back, and Putigna will be a large part of it.
Signing Seven- Kali Flanagan- Defense- #6
Starting up the blueline for the Pride is olympic gold medalist and Massachusetts native Kali Flanagan. She joins the Pride for a second season, inking a two-year deal. She is the first player for the Pride to get a multi-year contract. Last season she joined the Pride midway through. She had four points. She is a defensive defender that fits well into head coach Paul Maura’s system. n her 14 regular season games with Boston, all of those assists.s
Where does that leave us? The Boston Pride have officially announced a strong top six and a solid blue-line presence. Where my personal main question lies are upfront with one key name. That name is Boston Pride captain Jillian Dempsey. Is she going to return? I hope so, and I haven’t heard any rumors of her retiring. I hope that she returns to the team. I could see the Pride announcing her signing last. One other thought is goaltending. I wonder if Vic Hanson will return. Last season she played a pure backup role to the incandescent duo of Massachusetts girl Katie Burt and super swede Lovisa Selander.