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Hockey’s Ever Changing Culture

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As much as the world’s changing, some are still living in the past when it comes to having Women involved in Men’s sport at the pro level of the game.

It’s only the one’s that fail to embrace change for the few that continue to hide under a rock and live in the past but thankfully that ship has sailed!

It’s true that we can all learn from each other but some simply won’t admit that sport is one constant that can keep the sporting world united without being offside and also sitting in the sin-bin.

While this was the big news of the day so questioned that this might just be a publicity stunt by the Kraken to gather a “W” with the female part of society which might be related in the same manner that Phil Esposito signed Manon Rhéaume in 1992 with Tampa Bay.

Earlier in the day I just happened to be out having coffee (surprise) when a couple of guy’s wandered by the table and the conversation quickly turned to the newest hire by the Seattle Kraken.

For those who have been in hibernation all day you should know that the Kraken made it official announcing the hiring of Jessica Campbell as Assistant Coach becoming the first women to work behind an NHL bench.

She played at Cornell managing to collect 100 points through four seasons while wearing the “C” in her final year leading to success playing with the Calgary Inferno as well as Team Canada.

In addition to other ventures she began her company, JC Powerskating that many feel quickly started her off into coaching in Europe and North America;  and now working under Dan Bylsma.

She mentioned to the media “Maybe in a naive way, I’ve had the courage to believe that this could be possible and even though I didn’t see it, I believed I could do it. And I think that with that inner belief, whatever it is, in sport, in life, you can create whatever you believe in.”

Several athletes have their sights set on a career beyond playing and turning to coaching, but not all achieve success at the transition, but she loves hockey and teaching skating which she can add to her portfolio.  .

One of her sessions was with Coquitlam’s Mat Barzal who played with the BCJHL Express then advancing to the WHL Seattle Thunderbirds playing from 2013-14 to 2016-17 then jumping to the Islanders.

She was the skills coach for the Nurnberg Ice Tigers (Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Germany) and behind the bench for Team Germany at the 2022 Men’s World Championship. 

Dan Bylsma was eventually named Head Coach of AHL Coachella Valley and brought Campbell to his staff that saw her as the first woman as an Assistant Coach in the AHL.

Not just coaching but also making it a fun work environment knowing that its’s believing in the old cliché “games are won in practice” knowing that she credits the culture of the staff in Coachella Valley that helped build it into a pair of runs to the Calder Cup Final in their first two seasons.

Campbell knows she is the first woman and thrilled to hold this position knowing that she’s not just growing women’s presence in hockey alone!!!

Wishing her all the best moving forward with many wondering if the Kraken will have a better record than the Canucks in the upcoming season.


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