Connecticut Whale head coach resigns, circumstances unknown [UPDATED]

The Connecticut Whale are in first place in the NWHL despite seeking their third general manager in the first season of the league/team and now are looking for a new head coach.

As first reported by Kate Cimini of Today’s Slapshot, Jake Mastel, head coach of the Whale, has resigned from his position. Puck Daddy has requested comment from the NWHL and has not received a response at the time of publication. The league has yet to send a press release officially announcing the resignation Mastel.

Back in December, General Manager Harry Rosenholtz resigned for personal reasons and his position is currently being occupied by league COO George Spiers. Rosenholtz was the replacement for the original GM of the Whale, Chris Ardito, who resigned two weeks shy of the end of the free agent signing deadline.

On Wednesday, the Whale moved goaltender Chelsea Laden to the New York Riveters for goaltender Shenae Lundberg – despite the league’s repeated insistence there would be no trades this season. It makes hockey sense, two goaltenders beset by injuries moved for a chance to play, but it’s still odd. 

One can’t help but wonder what the heck is going on within Connecticut organization. The team is strong, that’s for sure, but the infrastructure behind it, maybe not. We’ll update the story as more information is released.


On Friday, the NWHL released this statement:

The National Women’s Hockey League today announced the resignation of Connecticut Whale head coach Jake Mastel. Heather Linstad, former head coach of the Northeastern and University of Connecticut women’s hockey teams, will take over alongside assistant coach Lisa Giovanelli.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity to work with such a talented group of athletes,” said Heather Linstad. “They have clearly established a winning tradition early on in Connecticut, and I hope to build on that leading into playoffs.”

Short and sweet. The reason for Mastel’s departure remains a mystery.