The NHL’s reluctance to change continues to leave women on the outside looking in (USA)
While teams around the National Hockey League have been hiring women in various capacities, the NHL remains the last of the four major leagues without a full-time female coach or manager, assistant or otherwise.
Women have been hired as skating coaches, scouts, and analytics personnel for years now. The Arizona Coyotes were the first NHL team to hire full-time female coach when they named Dawn Braid as the team’s new skating coach back in 2016. The Toronto Maple Leafs hired Canadian hockey legend Hayley Wickenheiser back in August as their assistant director of player development. Power skating coach Barb Underhill consults for various NHL teams and their AHL affiliates, including (most recently) the Tampa Bay Lightning. In 2017, Rachel Doerrie joined the New Jersey Devils’ Hockey Operations Department as an analyst specializing in player information and video.
Those hires, while only a few of many, have indicated that the NHL’s gender barrier is slowly, but surely, falling. It is no longer groundbreaking when a woman is hired by an NHL team. However, there is a glaring difference between the NHL and the other three major leagues regarding their hiring of women, and it indicates the league is not ready to see women assume full-time coaching and executive duties for an NHL team.
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