Last week, the Buffalo Bills made a groundbreaking hire when they made Kathryn Smith the first full-time female coach in NFL history.
Bills head coach Rex Ryan believes Smith is as qualified as anyone to take over as Special Teams Quality Controls coach, and that her gender shouldn’t discredit her.
The hiring got plenty of positive PR.
Where does the NHL stand in this regard? Would teams welcome a woman behind the bench?
Calgary Flames General Manager Brad Treliving thinks so.
“You always use that as your compass — OK. What would you do if it was your daughter?” said Treliving, per the Calgary Herald.
“I’d say, ‘Hell ya.’ If that’s what you want to do . . . you dig in and don’t let anyone or anything (stop you) . . . now, you’re not going to be given anything. But you go and put your mind to it and I would support you 1,000 per cent and you should be given the opportunity IF — not because you’re a woman — your skill set makes you the best person for the job.”
Women’s hockey has improved dramatically over the last few years.
Not only has the quality on the ice improved, but more women are playing hockey in general.
According to The Herald, 87,494 girls/women registered to play hockey in Canada in 2015, which is up from 69,557 in 2005-06.
“Knowing the number of women that play and speaking to them — they’re really good,” Treliving said. “They grew up in the game. You’re also seeing the growth of very smart, intelligent, good coaches that are coaching these women. I think it’s great. I applaud the Bills for having that foresight. She has a certain skill set— regardless of gender — and they’re looking at getting better.”