Team Canada star Poulin has yet to hang up his skates

Marie-Philip Poulin does not intend to hang up her skates any time soon.

Although the captain of Canada’s Olympic champion women’s hockey team is currently away from the ice, she has no plans to retire. The 30-year-old striker is even open to donning her kit for the Milano Cortina Games in 2026.

“If the body holds up, if I can still keep up with these kids, I would love that,” Poulin said in a phone interview with The Canadian Press. “The heart and mind are still there, so we’re going to take it one year at a time. But I still love (playing hockey).

Nicknamed “Captain Clutch” for her incredible ability to get into big games, Poulin once again led Canada to gold with two goals in the final of the Beijing Games last month. She has now scored in four consecutive Olympic finals, scoring seven goals in the sport’s biggest games.

There has been much speculation about how the three-time gold medalist will follow up on her latest Olympic performance, including talk of a potential role with an NHL team.

However, Poulin is not ready to leave the ice to sit in a reception hall just yet.

“Obviously hockey is a big part of my life and after my career I would like to get involved, I would like to do something within hockey,” she said. “Obviously it would be adorable, I would love it. I still want to play a little more and then we’ll see.

The general manager of the ECHL’s Trois-Rivières Lions publicly mused recently that he was interested in signing Poulin to play. Momentum Hockey, the agency representing Poulin, quickly dismissed the idea, releasing a statement saying she had no plans to join the team.

The statement said the hockey star has dedicated her career to the advancement and development of women’s hockey and will continue to work towards building a women’s league.

“We really believe in our product and obviously every four years we have a lot of momentum with the Olympics and then we have to do that again every four years,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll change that narrative and bring it back to talk about it every year, to be excited about it.”

When the Canadian Women’s Hockey League abruptly disbanded in 2019, Poulin and many other high-profile players joined the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association, which wants to create a sustainable league where players earn salaries. decent and get similar support as professional men.

“We believe in it. We fought to get this league not just for ourselves but for the next generation and we’ll go from there,” Poulin said. “We just have to be patient. I think great things take time and I believe in that and we’ll see what happens.

She admitted that a lot of patience had already been demanded of everyone working for the new league. The PWHPA will use the momentum built up during the Olympics to keep fighting for a league, Poulin said, and should be among the stars playing March 12 in Pittsburgh when the United States and Canada resume their rivalry.

Poulin also supports hockey at the grassroots level, acting as an ambassador for Kraft Hockeyville. The contest gives communities across Canada a chance to compete for up to $250,000 in arena upgrades and a pre-season NHL game.

Growing up in Beauceville, Quebec, the arena was where Poulin and his brother spent much of their time.

“I think back to my personal experience and that’s where it all started, in my community, the local rink in my home. This is where hockey brings everyone together,” she said.

Now a massive poster outside the local rink bears the image of the four-time Olympian.

“It’s pretty amazing. When you come back, it’s kind of scary to see your face that big,” Poulin said. “Sometimes I need to pinch myself with everything that’s happened to me because it’s quite surreal. And I’m very grateful, of course.

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