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Kristen Hagg: More than just the GM for the Calgary Inferno

With all the events at the Olympics, sometimes the behind-the-scenes stories get swept under the rug. This one’s about Kristen Hagg.

Kristen Hagg is a busy woman. When she’s not acting as GM for the Calgary Inferno, or working with sponsors, or planning different events, or having meetings with players or coaching staff, she’s at her 9-5 where she’s a lawyer. In her first year as the GM of the Inferno, it’s been a successful one.

The Inferno came into this season as somewhat of the underdogs. Losing nine players to Team Canada (and two others to Team Japan), they needed some replacements. Hagg put in work in the off-season and did some major recruitment. The Inferno have nine rookies this year and lost basically two lineups of players. But of course, for good reason.

All the players the Inferno lost to Team Canada, Hagg either played with them or worked with them (as assistant GM last season). So it was a proud feeling to see so many of them make the national team. This is where the lawyer in her came in handy.

Hagg told Haley Irwin, one of the nine Inferno players who made the national team, that if they needed help, she could help them with their contracts.

“I was encouraged to explore opportunities to combine my passions,” Hagg said. “And people that I work with had suggested offering pro bono work to amateur athletes because it’s a good way to network and make connections and so I told one of the players, I think it was (Haley) Irwin that I had told initially about that and it wasn’t too long after that the general manager contacted me saying, you know, they almost felt bad about approaching me like, ‘You really don’t have to do it if you don’t want to’ and I was like oh no, I mean I was doing it for the experience really. For learning about that type of work so that I could put that on my resume and whatever, and I obviously like working with them.”

Hagg has offered pro bono work to some friends before. And of course, if you have a lawyer friend who gives you legal advice or helps you in any way, you want to do something for them. In Hagg’s case, she always had friends wanting to get her a gift card or buy her a case of beer. But this time, it was more than she could have imagined.

She gets a call one day from Brianne Jenner. She picks up the phone and Jenner’s on the other line asking her if she wants to come watch the Olympics live. Oh no biggie, let’s just go to PYEONGCHANG AND WATCH THE OLYMPICS.

“It honestly caught me completely off-guard. Like even when I’ve done one-off pro bono stuff for friends, they always insist on getting me something, and even then I’m always like ‘No, no, don’t please.’ So this was beyond anything I could ever imagine. And that’s the thing, you never do something like that because you’re looking for a reward.”

Hagg got to watch the Canadian Women’s Hockey Semi-Finals and the Women’s Gold Medal game where the Canadians lost in a shootout to the USA.

“I was apparently on TV and seen crying on TV, so there’s that” Hagg remembered.

Alright, so there’s crying on TV. Don’t worry Kristen, we’ve all been there. I’m sure there were other memorable moments that trump that.

“There’s this place called Canada House where people can register to get bracelets to get access to this special house that’s all Canada themed and there’s always Canada events playing and all that kind of stuff. And as being part of the friends and family group I was able to get a wristband to that, but anybody can really just get in and pay a cover fee or whatever. But all the athletes go there and stuff too. So we got to hang out with all Canadian fans in Canada House.

“When athletes are done their event, they come there. So I got a picture with Scott Moir and that was before he was famous for being a hockey fan on TV. Then all the players came out after and all the media and stuff like that so I got photos with like Kate Beirness. And yeah it was a fun place to be obviously and it’s fun to watch stuff like that.”

There were plenty of exciting stories for the Olympics this year, so sometimes things like this don’t get heard of and get somewhat swept under the rug. But Hagg’s efforts are much appreciated and the Canadian Team definitely let her know that.

This was Hagg’s first ever live Olympic games and I’m sure she’ll remember it forever. So maybe this means she’s also bad luck for the Canadian squad…

Hey Haggs, maybe turn down the offer next time.