Women behind NHL benches in preseason games

It's been a week of firsts for women in the National Hockey League.

Professional Women's Hockey League coach Kori Cheverie was behind the bench for the Pittsburgh Penguins' preseason game Sunday, and then AHL coach Jessica Campbell did the same for the Seattle Kraken on Monday.

Other women have been behind NHL benches in the past as trainers and in other roles, but not as coaches.

Cheverie is one of six coaches in the new PWHL, leading the Montreal franchise. She was a guest coach for the Pens after working with the team at development and training camps. Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan presented her with a Sidney Crosby sweater autographed by the entire team.

"Ever since I started talking to Pittsburgh, it's been an amazing experience, and they've really welcomed me with open arms," she said, according to NHL.com. "This week has been awesome in terms of being at the main camp, of being able to learn what I've been able to learn."

The next night, Campbell took her spot behind the Kraken bench. She is a full-time assistant for Coachella Valley, the Kraken's American Hockey League affiliate. Hired in 2022, she helped the team to the Calder Cup finals last season.

Campbell has also been helping out in Seattle training camp.

She grew up playing with boys in Saskatchewan before a four-year collegiate career at Cornell. She played professionally and for the Canadian national team.

Now she's marching up the coaching ladder.

"It's just putting my head down, doing the work, and where it takes me, it takes me," Campbell said, according to NHL.com. "I'm obviously honored to be on this path and continuing to just do the good work that it takes to hopefully reach that goal."