Canadian women’s ice hockey legend Jessica Campbell will make history this summer by becoming the first woman in the history of the Original Six franchises to serve as a development camp coach.
Original Six refers to the only six teams in the National Hockey League that were a part of the NHL between 1942 and 1967. Those teams include: the Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Rangers announced earlier this month that Campbell would be joining the team as a coach for their 2022 development camp from July 12-15.
“Her coaching résumé and playing résumé certainly speak for themselves,” said Rangers General Manager Chris Drury. “I think she’s going to bring a lot to our group for that week, and we’re excited to have her in Tarrytown.”
The NHL lags behind the other big three professional North American mens sports organisations (NFL, NBA and MLB) by being the only of the four not ever having a regular season female coach.
Making history in the ice hockey world is not something that is new to Campbell, earlier this spring, the Saskatchewan native appeared as an assistant coach for the German men’s hockey team during the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Men’s World Championship.
This coaching position made Campbell the only woman to ever coach a men’s national team.
“My focus is just doing my job to the best of my ability,” said Campbell. “I don’t see so much about the trail-blazing because that’s not my focus. I can do a good job and that blazes trails, that’s amazing, but I take a lot of pride in this opportunity. At the end of the day, we’re all talking hockey. I don’t see barriers; I see goals.”
The 30-year-old coach hopes to one day become a full-time coach for the NHL, and her position with the New York Rangers this summer brings her one step closer to her goal.