The NHL’s newest franchise named a bunch of its first hires on Wednesday, and among them is former Team USA star and Hockey Hall of Famer Cammi Granato, who became the NHL’s first ever female pro scout.
The Seattle-based squad — which remains nameless and is set to enter the league in time for the 2021-22 season — has hired over 60 employees so far, with females making more than 50 percent of its vice presidents, according to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan.
"When I was being interviewed, it was very apparent this organization was thinking outside the box," said GM Ron Francis, according to Kaplan.
"When I took the job, I was encouraged to continue that mantra: think outside the box. Cammi's name came up. I know she's a female pro scout for us, but her resume is why she got the job - not because she's female."
And her resume is certainly a decorated one. Granato captained the 1998 US women’s Olympic team to gold at the Nagano Games and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010. She was also enshrined in the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, and the International Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.
"I know the game, and I'm confident in that," Granato said, "I've been around the game since I can walk. It's really cool to be able to do it as a job and I'm looking forward to contributing my opinion, Granato said.
"For me as a player, I recognized hockey IQ when I would give up the puck to a teammate and it didn't go into a sort of black hole. That high-IQ player would make the right decisions with the puck. They know what to do with the puck and without it. They anticipate plays to be made and see peripherally."
Granato, who lives in Vancouver, and will start in her position near the end of October. Her primary responsibilities will be to attend Canucks home games and be responsible scouting players in the Western Conference in preparation of the team's expansion draft slated for the summer of 2021.
Granato told Kaplan that she’s has had job opportunities in hockey come up over the last 10 years or so, but she turned them down for family reasons.
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