Hilary Knight is leaving Boston for Montreal.
The free agent and former Boston Pride star will join the defending CWHL champions, Les Canadiennes, in time for their playoff run. Knight scored the first goal as Team USA claimed gold in the Winter Olympics final, and now she’ll be playing alongside three of the Canadian players she defeated in Pyeongchang.
“Hilary Knight is one of the most talented players in the world, and a champion for female athletes everywhere,” said Les Canadiennes’ general manager Meg Hewings in a statement. “We’re thrilled to welcome Hilary to Montreal, to have her join our all-star roster and play in hockey’s most passionate market.”
Boston fans might take issue with Hewings’ last assertion, but there’s no doubt Knight is one of the world’s best. After she scored 143 goals at Wisconsin, the school’s all-time record, the Boston Blades drafted Knight fourth overall in the 2012 CWHL Draft. The Palo Alto native went on to win an MVP award and claim the Clarkson Cup twice, then moved to the NWHL’s Boston Pride and added the 2016 Isobel Cup to her collection.
— Jordan Stoopler (@JStoopler) March 8, 2018
“I’m very excited for this opportunity to get back on the ice and to play in Montreal in front of Fabs fans,” Knight said. “It’s always an honour to be able to promote women’s hockey, and my goal is to help Montreal defend their title as Clarkson Cup Champions.”
Before she left for Pyeongchang, Knight told Boston.com that she intends to spread the sport beyond the Olympics and continue the fight for equity in women’s hockey.
“People don’t know how fantastic women’s ice hockey is,” she said. “People don’t know how fantastic hockey is in general.”
Knight is expected to practice with her new team Thursday before making her debut on March 11 against the Calgary Inferno.