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"Jessica Campbell Joins Seattle Kraken as First Full-Time Female NHL Coach"


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Vince Carbonneau
July 4, 2024  (7:02)
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Jessica Campbell coaching
Photo credit: ESPN

Jessica Campbell Makes NHL History with Kraken

Jessica Campbell made history on Wednesday when she was announced by the Seattle Kraken as the first full-time female assistant coach in NHL history.
The 32-year-old joined the franchise in 2022 as an assistant coach of the AHL's Coachella Valley Firebirds, Seattle's minor league affiliate. She was the first woman in a full-time assistant coaching role in the AHL and now gets the same opportunity in the NHL.
Campbell expressed her humility in taking on the role.
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"You speak to the word first, to be the first," she said, per the NHL. "But that's never really where my focus is, it's always on the work, it's on the impact, it's on the job. There's a lot to this game and to this job, and so, I've never taken it for granted.
«Though I am honored to be the first, I don't want to be the only, and I honestly don't feel like I'm the only in this organization. That's also a very special feeling to be part of the Seattle Kraken organization and the staff and to stand by all the other remarkable women in this league that are maybe not behind the benches.»
«Jessica and I spent the last two years coaching in Coachella Valley,» added new Kraken head coach Dan Bylsma. «I'm confident of what she can do for our staff and bring to the players. I watched her build strong relationships with prospects such as Tye Kartye, Shane Wright, and Ryker Evans. She has the ability to relate to players about their games and what they bring to a team.»
The Kraken aim to rebound from a disappointing season where they missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Campbell, a former forward, played college hockey with the Cornell Big Red and professionally in Canada and Sweden. After retiring, she worked under Bylsma with the Firebirds, helping guide the team to back-to-back appearances in the Calder Cup, the AHL's championship series.
Campbell's appointment is part of broader changes behind the Seattle benches. Bylsma was hired as head coach in May, replacing Dave Hakstol, after the Kraken ended last season with a 34-35-13 record. Campbell was announced alongside 11-year assistant coaching veteran Bob Woods, who was also hired to the same position.
The Kraken, the NHL's newest team, joined the league for the 2021-22 season. Seattle has reached the playoffs once, upsetting the defending champion Colorado Avalanche in the first round before losing to the Dallas Stars in seven games in the 2022-23 season.
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"Jessica Campbell Joins Seattle Kraken as First Full-Time Female NHL Coach"

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