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Dawn Braid named Coyotes skating coach

Becomes first female to get full-time coaching role in NHL

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Dawn Braid became the first female to coach full-time in the NHL when she was hired as the skating coach for the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday.

"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 worked with the Coyotes as a part-time skating coach last season and previously worked as a consultant for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames.

"We feel that Dawn can provide a real competitive advantage for our team," Coyotes general manager John Chayka said. "The game is getting faster and it's all about skating. …

"Dawn is someone who we feel is at the top of her field so we thought it was imperative to hire her. She's got a great personality and the players work hard for her and respect her knowledge. The bottom line is she gets results and that's the key thing."

Video: Dawn Braid on becoming first full-time female coach

Braid spent seven years as the director of skating development at Athletes Training Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, instructing clients that included New York Islanders captain John Tavares.

"Dawn has wanted to put me in to make myself a more powerful and efficient skater," Tavares told 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.'"

Braid's hiring continues a trend of full-time female coaches in men's pro sports; she follows Becky Hammon of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs (2014) and Kathryn Smith of the NFL's Buffalo Bills (2016) as the first full-time women's coach in her respective league.

Her hiring also confirmed the belief of Jamie Lee Rattray, a forward with Brampton of the Canadian Women's Hockey League, who told NHL.com in January "100 percent I do think it will happen."

"I think we learn the game at the same level as the guys do now," Rattray said. "I think you see a lot of girls developing at the same level the guys do now. I think you see a lot of girls developing as players and coaches now. A lot of coaches at the highest level of women's hockey are female, so I think we'll see it one day where an NHL team will hire a woman coach."

Arizona also announced it hired former NHL defenseman Mike Van Ryn as development coach and Steve Potvin as skills coach.

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