For the first time in National Hockey League history, there were two women coaches behind the bench for preseason action this week. Kori Cheverie and Jessica Campbell became the first women to coach an NHL team when they took up the role for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Seattle Kraken, respectively.
Cheverie is one of six head coaches in the newly formed Professional Women’s Hockey League; she is set to coach the Montreal franchise when play gets underway. She was behind the bench as a guest coach when the Penguins took on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.
“Ever since I started talking to Pittsburgh, it’s been an amazing experience, and they’ve really welcomed me with open arms,” she said about the piece of history, according to NHL.com. “This week has been awesome in terms of being at the main camp, of being able to learn what I’ve been able to learn.”
Campbell is a full-time assistant coach for the American Hockey League’s Coachella Valley Firebirds, the Kraken’s minor league affiliate. The team advanced to the Calder Cup finals under her leadership last season.
Campbell was behind the bench when the Kraken played the Calgary Flames on Monday, after assisting the big league club at training camp.
“It’s just putting my head down, doing the work, and where it takes me, it takes me,” Campbell said about the incredible milestone, per NHL.com. “I’m obviously honored to be on this path and continuing to just do the good work that it takes to hopefully reach that goal.”
Ideally, the trailblazing of Kori Cheverie and Jessica Campbell will open up more meaningful spots in NHL hockey for women.