Report: Natalie Darwitz out as general manager for PWHL Minnesota

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As the architect of the team that recently brought Minnesota the first Professional Women’s Hockey League championship, Natalie Darwitz added another significant accomplishment to an already stellar hockey resume.

On Friday, she was out as the team’s general manager.

Front office personnel decisions are made by PWHL officials, and while the league has not officially released the news, Darwitz confirmed to at least one news outlet that she has been
relieved of her duties.

Darwitz did not respond to a text message from the Pioneer Press seeking comment.

A sign that all was not right within team leadership emerged during a postseason press conference when Darwitz was noncommittal when asked if Ken Klee would return next season
as head coach.

A team spokesperson said on Friday that Klee was not currently available for comment.

Thus, the inaugural season began and ended on a tumultuous note. Klee joined the team a week before the start of the regular season when Charlie Burggraf resigned for personal

Darwitz, who had a storied playing career with the University of Minnesota and on the international stage, appeared to be moving forward with business as usual earlier this week when she talked about the teams plans for the PWHL draft, which will be held on Monday at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul.

By all indications, she was preparing to make the team’s picks in the seven-round draft.

Following her playing days, Darwitz, an Eagan native, enjoyed a successful coaching career at both the high school and college level, including as a Gophers assistant. She left the Gophers prior to this season and was set to coach the girls’ team at Hill Murray before being named Minnesota’s GM.

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