Jessica Campbell Joins Kraken in Historic move, but this is still for buisiness

Vince Carbonneau
July 5, 2024  (9:51)

Jessica Campbell coaching
Photo credit: ESPN

Jessica Campbell Joins Kraken as First Female NHL Coach

The hiring of Jessica Campbell has been celebrated across the sporting world as she becomes the first woman to hold a full-time major NHL coaching job. It's a long overdue milestone that will hopefully open doors for more women in sports. Campbell's achievement was absolutely earned.
"While I am honored to be the first, I don't want to be the only,» Campbell said on Wednesday. "And I don't feel like I'm the only in this organization."
The Kraken were certainly aware and ready to celebrate the history they were making with this hire. However, there's more to this move than making history.
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Campbell was hired because she gives the Kraken the best chance to win right now.
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General Manager Ron Francis recognized Campbell's potential even before hiring her for Coachella Valley two years ago.
"I've had the opportunity to watch her the last couple years, probably something she doesn't like, but I sat in some power play meetings she was presenting just to get a feel for how it was going," Francis said. "And she's got a real good knowledge of the game, a real good skill set in the development part as well."
Campbell's coaching prowess was evident long before she joined the Kraken. Her knowledge and skills make her an excellent fit for any team at the highest level of the game.
The timing of her hire is also crucial.
For any naysayer, which is silly in its own right, you have to look at the state of the Kraken. This team will increasingly rely on its young talent in the years to come. We saw glimpses of this late in the 2023-24 season with Shane Wright scoring five goals in the last 16 games. Ryan Winterton and Logan Morrison were mainstays at the end, too, before returning with Wright to Coachella Valley for the Calder Cup final.
Campbell is credited with helping develop these talents during their time with the Firebirds, particularly in offensive and special teams situations like the power play, as Francis mentioned.
Head coach Dan Bylsma's experience in Coachella will also benefit the future of the Kraken, and Campbell's ability to develop young stars into formidable players is critical to the team's future success.
"To work with them to improve their game, to be better players, (that) was the reason I got to work with Jess," Bylsma said. "Over the last two years, just the work with Tye Kartye, Shane Wright, and Ryker Evans has clearly been evidence that she's able to develop those players. Develop them as people and most importantly as hockey players. Jess is going to be working with the forwards and bringing to our staff here and I'm super excited about that."
In short, the history is wonderful and truly fantastic. But Campbell is here because she will help this team win. The history, while significant, is an added bonus to hiring the best person for the job.
Campbell has worked her entire hockey life for this moment, and she intends to make the most of it.
"Just to believe anything is possible, I've maybe in a naïve way had the courage to believe this could be possible," Campbell said. "Even if I didn't see it, I believed I could do it and I think with that inner belief, whatever it is in sport, in life you can create whatever you believe in."
Jessica Campbell Joins Kraken in Historic move, but this is still for buisiness

Do you believe Jessica Campbell's hiring will lead to more women in NHL coaching roles?

Yes2095.2 %
No14.8 %
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