The Arizona Coyotes made history on Wednesday in their announcement of three new hires to the coaching staff.
Along with naming former NHLer Mike Van Ryn as Development Coach and Steve Potvin as Skills Coach, the Coyotes also hired Dawn Braid as the franchise’s full-time Skating Coach.
Braid is now the first woman to be hired to coach full-time in NHL history.
“It’s something that I’ve wanted to see happen,” Braid said. “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 is no stranger to working with in the NHL. She was actually in a part-time role last season with Arizona and has previously consulted with the Toronto Maple Leafs,Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames.
As director of skating development at the Athletes Training Center in Ontario, she also worked with individual players, like New York Islanders captain John Tavares, who’s been a student of hers since his early days in the league and credits Braid with having a big impact on his skating.
“Dawn has wanted to put me in to make myself a more powerful and efficient skater,”said Tavares to NHL.com in 2012. “Dawn always says, ‘If you didn’t train properly and do the certain things you need to do, you’re not going to be strong enough to do the things I want you to do.’”
The Coyotes are now the latest professional sports franchise to hire a woman in a coaching role. Last year the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter as an assistant coaching intern during training camp.