Coyotes sign Dawn Braid as first female NHL coach; will she make a difference?

Coyotes sign Dawn Braid as first female NHL coach; will she make a difference?

The Arizona Coyotes made their mark in NHL history as the first team to hire a woman, Dawn Braid, as a full-time coach. Rumors are already swirling on whether she will make a difference in a sport where women have been non-existent.

Braid is no stranger to hockey as she spent some time as a consultant to a number of teams in the NHL. She is also known for her one-on-one private coaching of New York Islanders captain John Tavares.

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Braid was the Coyotes part-time skating coach before being promoted to full-time status. And with the games getting faster and faster her ability got the team’s notice that she was immediately signed up.

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Braid released a statement, reported by CBS Sports, where she thanked the Coyotes for their trust in her. She wants to work with the team and hopes to live up to the expectations. Braid also is happy as the first woman to barge into a man’s dominated world of hockey.

“It’s something that I’ve wanted to see happen. The fact that they respect what I do enough to name me as a full-time coach, or to name me as the first female coach in the NHL, I take a ton of pride in that. I’ve worked very hard for this opportunity. It’s been going on for years and I just look forward to going even further with it,” Braid said.

Real GM reported that aside from Braid, the Coyotes also added Mike Van Ryn and Steve Potvin. According to Coyotes general manager John Chayka, Van Ryn will serve as the Coyotes’ Development Coach while Potvin named as the team’s Skills Coach.

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This is not the first time that the Coyotes made such bold move within the NHL. Earlier, the team fired longtime general manager Don Maloney to promote 26-year-old Chayka. For Chayka, he sees Braid as a key element in the team’s success in the coming season. He told that he hopes players would get to know her through her skills and not through her gender.

“Dawn is someone who we feel is at the top of her field so we thought it was imperative to hire her,” Chayka said. “She’s got a great personality and the players work hard for her and respect her knowledge. She gets results, and that’s the key thing.”

The Coyotes have taken the unconventional approach to their cause this offseason. Chayka and Braid are not with the team on the bench, but their contribution to the team will surely be felt when they start winning games in the coming season.

Photo Courtesy: Michael Wifall/Flickr