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Home Sports NHL Washington Capitals hires Emily Engel-Natzke as first full-time female coach in NHL...

Washington Capitals hires Emily Engel-Natzke as first full-time female coach in NHL history


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The Washington Capitals have promoted Emily Engel-Natzke to NHL video coordinator, the team announced Thursday. She is now the first full-time female coach in league history.

Engel-Natzke’s resume speaks for itself. In 2020, she was the first woman to become a full-time member of a coaching staff in the American Hockey League after being named video coordinator for the Hershey Bears. She spent two seasons in charge of producing pre-scouts and coaching reports, while also handling the Bears’ in-game and postgame video breakdowns.

“We are extremely pleased to name Emily as our new video coordinator,” senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan said in a statement. “Emily’s work ethic, skill set, and passion were displayed in her tenure with the Hershey Bears, and we feel she is ready and deserving of this opportunity. She will be a tremendous asset to our coaching staff.”

In an interview with the Capitals, Engel-Natzke said she was ecstatic about the opportunity with the NHL because this had been a goal for her for a long time. Being one of the few women working in the league, she said she definitely understands the weight her achievement carries, but she hopes that overtime being a female in the NHL stops being a big deal.

“Hopefully in a couple years this is not such a big topic of conversation, but I think in this current moment I do recognize it,” she said. “It’s something I’m happy to carry with me.”

The NHL has been slowly seeing more inclusion of female staff members as of late. In January, Aisha Visram, head athletic trainer for the Ontario Reign, was called up to fill in during a Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins game, making her the first woman to serve behind an NHL bench.





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