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Seattle NHL team hires league’s first full-time woman hockey coach

The Seattle Kraken hockey team has appointed a woman to be their newest assistant coach, making her the National Hockey League’s first-ever female full-time coach.

Jessica Campbell, 32, was with the Coachella Valley Firebirds before working with the Seattle team. The Firebirds are the Kraken’s minor league team in the American Hockey League (AHL). Dan Bylsma, who also coached the team, was named the Kraken’s new head coach.

“This is an important day for our organization,” Seattle Kraken General Manager Ron Francis said in a statement. “We’re bringing in valuable coaching experience to our staff and are confident that both Bob and Jessica will make an immediate impact for our team.”

Jessica Campbell, 32, has been named as the new assistant coach for the Seattle Kraken, making her the National Hockey League’s first-ever female full-time coach
Jessica Campbell, 32, has been named as the new assistant coach for the Seattle Kraken, making her the National Hockey League’s first-ever female full-time coach (National Hockey League )

The Associated Press previously reported that Campbell was being talked about as a possibility for the position. During her time in the AHL, she became the first female full-time assistant coach in the league. She was hired in July 2022.

She’s broken the glass ceiling in other instances as well. Before going to the Firebirds, she was the first woman to coach a national team in the World Championship when she worked as an assistant coach for Germany in the IIHF Men’s World Championship, according to King 5.

The coach spent time playing the sport as well in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. She played three seasons and took home the Clarkson Cup in 2016. Campbell, a Saskatchewan native, played for four years at Cornell University. She became a captain during her senior year.

From there, she went on to represent Canada in two U-18 World Junior Championships. In 2010, she scored the goal medal-winning goal, the outlet reported.

The team is set to work with valuable free agents in their upcoming season. The Kraken has agreed to work with Stanley Cup champion Brandon Montour and former Vegas Golden Knights center Chandler Stephenson.

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