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Short Shifts

Girl's letter prompts NHL to add women players to decks of cards

Sabrina Scali, 7, pushed League to change queens from cheerleaders

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / Staff Writer

Sabrina Scali, 7, is both a hockey player and an advocate for change.

Scali pushed the NHL to adjust its decks of cards to feature men and women holding hockey sticks after she recently wrote a letter to the League.

Tweet from @NYRangers: Sabrina Scali is a 7-year-old hockey player who bought a package of #NYR playing cards and couldn���t believe that the kings in the deck were shown as hockey players, but the queens were cheerleaders. So wasn't OK with it. So she did something about it. #SheWill

Scali, a New York Rangers fan and hockey player in the Junior Rangers program from Whippany, New Jersey, noticed while playing with a Rangers card deck that the kings and jacks held hockey sticks but the queens were holding pom-poms. She then wrote a letter to the NHL asking if the cards could be changed so the queens were holding sticks too.

"I was annoyed," Scali said in a video posted to the Rangers Twitter account. "So we tried to change that with a note."

The League took notice and fixed the mishap, and the Rangers invited Scali to a game where she and U.S. Olympic gold medalist Amanda Kessel unveiled the new card decks at Madison Square Garden.

Kessel joined other U.S. and Canada players in signing a print of the cards for her, commemorating the occasion. Kessel will remember Scali's impressive persistence, particularly given her age. 

"I know how much I've gone through being a woman in hockey," Kessel said. "I can't even believe that at 7 years old she had the courage to fight for that."

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