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NWHL All-Stars Inspire Daughters of Preds Broadcasters Mason, Gill

Serving as Honorary Coaches in NWHL All-Star Game, Chris Mason and Hal Gill Say Female Players Excellent Role Models for Own Daughters

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

NWHL All-Star Mic'd Up

Mason and Gill mic'd up for NWHL All-Star

Preds Broadcasters Chris Mason and Hal Gill are mic'd up as they coach in the NWHL All-Star Game

  • 04:46 •

Former Predators goaltender turned broadcaster Chris Mason had made previous attempts.

With 317 games played over the course of 13 NHL seasons as a netminder, Mason had reached the highest level of hockey possible, but his daughters, Quinn and Avery, weren't all that impressed.

But then, they stood behind the bench with their dad on Sunday afternoon as he coached Team Szabados at the National Women's Hockey League All-Star Game at Bridgestone Arena.

And guess what?

"I tried to get my daughters to try hockey when they were younger, and they couldn't care less that I played," Mason said following the game, his daughters standing by his side, sporting their "Mason" Preds jerseys. "But when I told them I was coaching the women's All-Star Game, they both said they wanted to play hockey. When they look at these women, they see themselves and there's something that attainable for them."

For Mason, and fellow former Preds player turned broadcaster Hal Gill, who also had his two daughters with him on the other bench with Team Stecklein, that was the most impactful part of the entire weekend.

Seeing the NWHL All-Stars up close, and realizing the passion and drive they have to succeed in sport, is life-changing - especially for young girls who helped to make up the record crowd of 6,120 in attendance for the game.

"They're such good role models for girls and boys, and they're just really paving the way," Mason said of the All-Stars. "When I grew up playing hockey, it was hard enough to get there, but I had a ton of different avenues. Now, there's a bunch of leagues and different ways you can get to your end goal, and these women are paving the way. They're changing the game of hockey for the next generation of girl hockey players."

Gill, who saw his team come back in the second half of Sunday's game to force overtime, was impressed with what he saw on the ice, just like the spectators in the crowd.

Video: Mason and Gill mic'd up for NWHL All-Star

"The skill level is awesome," Gill said of the All-Stars. "It's the speed and the little plays that they make that, as a player, I can respect. The effort that they put in, they work hard, they play the right way, they do the little things well, there's a focus on detail and they're a lot of fun on the bench. I thought it was a great show."

Gill's two daughters, Isabelle and Sophie, as well as his son, Talon, stood alongside him during the game, and the former defenseman was glad to be able to share the experience with his children, especially considering what the experience meant to them.

"Having two girls that are playing sports and involved, I think it's great to see these girls going and chasing their dreams," Gill said. "If anything, they may have been told not to play, or they had to play with the boys, and it didn't matter what it was, they fought through a lot to get to this point. It's great for women's hockey, but it's great for girls in general for the movement to be accepted to do whatever they want to do and love doing it."

What started out as another way for Gill and Mason to spend quality time with his daughters may have just turned into something much bigger, and that's all that matters to him.

"The most special thing about this whole weekend is they got to see strong women, these role models playing a sport that they love on a stage like this," Mason said. "They're just good, quality people, and we couldn't ask for better representation and role models for our kids."

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