Former national women’s star Cassie Campbell makes history as colour commentator

Veteran colour man Harry Neale was snowed in at home in Buffalo, so Hockey Night in Canada decided to give Campbell a shot. The recently retired captain of the Canadian women’s hockey team, who had been hired by the show to do rinkside reporting this season, made her debut in Calgary last Saturday night.

The 32-year-old from Brampton, Ont., intended to pursue a career in broadcasting when she retired from the national team in August.

Brenda Irving was the first woman to be part of the HNIC crew in 2001 and has appeared intermittently on the show since then. She was followed by Martine Gaillard, who was an intermission and post-game reporter before she moved onto Sportsnet in 2005. But no woman has ever done colour in the Hockey Night booth until Saturday.

READ ALSO:  A heel to love

Former U.S. women’s team captain Cammi Granato was a sideline reporter for NBC’s NHL games last season.

Campbell is the only Canadian hockey player, male or female, to captain a national team to two Olympic gold medals, which she did this year in Turin, Italy, and in 2002 in Salt Lake City.

The five-foot-seven, 150-pound forward had 32 goals and 68 assists in 157 career games for the Canadian women’s team.