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Kraken and Campbell could make NHL history: First woman to coach?


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Owen Fullerton
May 28, 2024  (7:20 PM)
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Jessica Campbell gives instruction to a player
Photo credit: Cornell University

The Seattle Kraken named their second coach in franchise history by promoting Dan Bylsma from the AHL, but the team could be announcing a huge 'first' in the coming days.

After being named to the top job in Seattle, Bylsma said Jennifer Campbell, a member of his staff with the Coachella Valley Firebirds, would be considered for a role on his NHL coaching staff.
After becoming the first at the AHL level, she would be the first woman to coach behind an NHL bench full-time.
New Kraken head coach Dan Bylsma tells reporters in Seattle that Jessica Campbell will be considered for a job on his coaching staff.

There's never been a full-time female assistant coach in the NHL before.

After being announced this morning, Bylsma said he still needs to have conversations with the current assistants, Jay Leach and Dave Lowery, but the coaches in the AHL are being strongly considered.
Jessica's been part of that conversation. Stu Bickell has been part of that conversation, and what they've done the last two years in developing players down there — Tye Kartye, Ryker Evans — is evidence of that, so they are part of the conversation about going forward with the staff here.

Campbell became the first female to work behind an NHL bench during a pre-season game for Seattle in October, but joining Bylsma's staff would make her the first full-timer and could open the door for other women looking for meaningful jobs on NHL staff.
The 31-year-old helped lead Coachella Valley to a Pacific Division-leading 46-15-6-5 this season.
Source:
Bylsma: Campbell to be considered for Kraken coaching staff
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Kraken and Campbell could make NHL history: First woman to coach?

Is it time to break the gender barrier behind NHL benches?

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