TAMPA — Monday, March 8 is International Women's Day. The NHL is doing its part to recognize the day by showcasing an all-female broadcast team for its main studio show. "NHL Now" on NHL Network will be co-hosted by Jamie Hersch, Lauren Gardner, Jackie Redmond, and Kendall Coyne Schofield. It's the fourth straight year that women will headline the program.
Tampa Bay Lightning radio and digital reporter Caley Chelios watched last year's broadcast, and she thinks things like the Women's Day broadcast will be more common in the future.
"I loved watching them. I thought it was great. It was cool," Chelios said via video chat. "It’s so important for young women and girls to see that be normal. And I think that’s the biggest thing, is just wanting to make this normal."
In 2019, Coyne Schofield became the first woman to participate in the NHL All-Star Weekend. Chelios credits her performance in the fastest skater competition with boosting the entire sport of women's hockey.
"I think that put women’s hockey right back on the map," Chelios said.
In 2020, women from the U.S. and Canadian National Teams played a 3-on-3 All-Star Weekend exhibition parallel to their male counterparts: another event that Chelios says is a huge step forward for the sport.
"To be able to have NHL logos on your jersey, that’s the dream," she said. "That’s as close as we’ve come to being represented and respected in that way, as far as women in hockey."
Chelios, a former college lacrosse player and daughter of 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Chris Chelios, hopes the NHL can help boost women's participation in all aspects of all sports.
"Women coaching in different professional sports. Women becoming [general managers]. Cammi Granato becoming the first NHL scout, as a female. Now there’s more. I think yeah, it’d be nice if there are no more 'firsts.'"