Anchorage woman named NHL’s Most Valuable Hockey Mom
A longtime manager of an Anchorage youth hockey team is being honored for her support of the sport by the National Hockey League.
Autumn Makar is the NHL’s first Most Valuable Hockey Mom, according to a statement from MassMutual, which presents the award. Makar, who has managed the Alaska Oilers for about a decade, balances a full-time job requiring extensive travel with running the team’s fundraisers, team dinners, game scoreboard and clock.
One mark of Makar’s dedication was her response to five players’ departure from the team to play in other states: recruiting replacements from Michigan, California and Russia, then arranging housing for them.
“She not only found homes for the players but took on two of the players herself,” MassMutual officials wrote. “She even went as far as converting her dining room into a bedroom by having another coach build in a wall for more privacy. She took all her children and billet children on many Alaskan adventures giving them a glimpse of the Alaskan lifestyle.”
In a MassMutual blog post profiling Makar, she said both she and her husband grew up in sports families that hosted athletes.
“We didn’t really use our dining room anyway,” Makar said. “I actually lost my garage, too, because it was full of hockey gear, which meant outdoor parking over the winter — in Alaska. But the boys were all so great with shoveling me out of the snow.”
Makar was nominated by hockey fans in a nationwide contest hosted on the NHL website leading up to Mother's Day. As its winner, she receives a June trip for two to attend the 2019 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
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