Seattle Scuttlebutt: Kraken to Have First Female Coach on the Bench

Last night, the NHL had a new first experience. The Seattle Kraken had Jessica Campbell, the assistant coach for the Coachella Valley Firebirds, with them on the bench. The Kraken played the Calgary Flames and won 5-3. In the past, there have been female trainers present for NHL games, but not coaches…until last night. As per a Tweet from Alison Lukman, “She is believed to be the first woman to coach an NHL game.”

 Jessica Campbell had a career playing hockey, but she would eventually decide to switch it up and give coaching a try. She was born in Moosomin, Saskatchewan on June 24, 1992. The ex-forward played for Cornell University from 2010-2014, playing as the team’s captain during her last season. She played 131 games, scored 46 goals, assisted 54, and spent 121 minutes in the penalty box. Each season spent with Cornell, she finished with a positive plus/minus rating: 22, 18, 26, and 17. After her time in college, she spent her next three seasons with the Calgary Inferno of the CWHL. There, she spent 63 games on their ice, scoring 29 goals, 21 assists, and 26 PIM. Once again, she finished each of her CWHL seasons with positive plus/minus ratings: 8, 6, and 12. Her consistency in her ratings goes to show what an incredible offensive presence she had on the ice. Just think of what offensive help she could bring to the Seattle Kraken and their thirst for the Stanley Cup.

The first period of last night’s preseason matchup finished tied, with each team having scored once. Cale Fleury hit the net at 5:35, contesting Calgary’s first goal. Kailer Yamamoto would score the Kraken’s second goal with a slapshot assisted by Eeli Tolvanen. Following his goal would be an unassisted goal from Tye Kartye at 19:57 in the period. The Flames would score their third and last goal in the third period, however, it wasn’t enough to pass the Kraken. Will Borgen lit the lamp at 2:36 into the last period, followed by the last goal from the Flames. Yamamoto came back again for a second goal, once again off of Tolvanen, giving the game a final score in their favor.

Jessica Campbell’s first time behind an NHL bench for a game is the start of more female involvement in the NHL as a league. It would be amazing to see her play a pivotal role in helping the Kraken win their team’s first Stanley Cup. All we can expect to see this season is all good things from coach Jessica Campbell.

Gabrielle Klempner

Hello! I'm Gabi and I mainly cover the ECHL's Savannah Ghost Pirates, but also the Vegas Golden Knights and the Seattle Kraken. For updates, articles, and more on these teams, follow me on Twitter @gabriellediane0

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