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Screen Shots: Women Around the NHL, Patrick Roy and History at the Latam Cup

Adam Proteau looks at some of the high-profile hirings of women around the NHL, Patrick Roy recently getting ejected from a QMJHL pre-season game and the first game on NHL ice involving Latin American national teams.
Patrick Roy

Welcome back to Screen Shots, a regular THN.com file in which we take a look at a few hockey topics in smaller bites. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

– The Seattle Kraken announced Thursday it had promoted director of hockey strategy and research Alexandra Mandrycky to assistant GM. This progressive move marks the latest in a slew of hirings of women at the NHL level: on Tuesday, the Calgary Flames hired Canadian national women’s team star Rebecca Johnston to work in prospect evaluation, player development and on-ice instruction, as well as serving in community programs with the Flames Foundation. And today, the Nashville Predators officially hired the first female scout in franchise history – Ronda Engelhardt, a former U.S. National Team player, American collegiate star and the head coach of the Premier Hockey Federation’s Minnesota Whitecaps for the past four seasons.

The hirings are part of a larger wave of women being made part of the NHL game, and the aforementioned teams deserve credit for being more inclusive. But there’s still a long way to go – including a place for the NHL's first female head coach and GM. When that happens – and it will happen – there will be celebrations and inspiration for young women currently working hard at whatever role they’re playing in the hockey world. But as the game takes small steps to make an equal environment for women, we can’t be satisfied with what we’re seeing now. More seats at the table are absolutely necessary for the sport to continue growing.

– It’s good to see NHL goalie icon Patrick Roy still has some fire in his belly as he coaches the Quebec Major Junior League’s Quebec Remparts. Roy was ejected from a preseason game last Saturday after tearing into officials Nicolas Dutil and Olivier Gouin in the first period of a game against Shawinigan. The two officials had worked playoff games between the Remparts and Shawinigan last spring, and clearly, Roy had not forgotten or forgiven them

“I don’t feel I’m getting the same treatment as other coaches around the league,” Roy said after his Saturday ejection. “When I saw the officials on the ice, I had a hard time understanding…In my good years, the stick rack would have been flying back. Today, I’m trying to stay calmer. I’ll have to get over it. Maybe it will have done some good, what happened tonight.”

This writer has interviewed Roy several times, and the Hockey Hall of Famer has always been candid and colorful. You don’t always have to believe in what he’s telling you, and he’s got a healthy ego, but Roy’s presence in the game always makes things more intriguing. We still believe he’ll be back in the NHL someday, but it may take a little while longer before the right fit for him opens up.

- Here’s a stick tap to the first Latin American game that took place on an NHL ice pad – in Sunrise, Fla., at the home of the Florida Panthers. It was an exhibition game between Argentina and Columbia, a game connected to the 2022 Latam Cup, an NHL and NHL Players’ Association-sponsored annual tournament that features 44 teams and 750 payers representing 21 nations, including Argentina, Columbia, Brazil, Israel, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Egypt, Puerto Rico, and Lebanon.

Columbia beat Argentina 7-3, but the winner is secondary in this story. The real story is the fact we now have non-Caucasian players battling in an NHL rink, an experience that will motivate them to grow the game in their homelands. The tournament has seen excellent growth since it began as the Pan-Am Hockey Games, and it is heartening to have minorities and non-traditional hockey countries become more invested in the sport. Good on the NHL and Players’ Association for helping the tournament come together.

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