DetroitRedWings.com’s Josh Berenter spoke with Kendall Hanley, who took part in the Red Wings’ prospect tournament as a referee working with the ECHL officials:
Similar to the way she approaches officiating, Hanley did her research on the NHL Prospect Tournament. She said she was honored to have the opportunity to be a pioneer as the first-ever female official at the most prestigious preseason tournament in the NHL.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity. Doors are opening in for women in the NHL,” said Hanley, who officiated four games in Traverse City, including the Red Wings vs. St. Louis Blues matchup this past Saturday. “The NHL is doing everything they can to have the best officials at their events, and if those officials are women, then they’re going to bring them in.
“I think in time, they’ll find the right person to continue down this path, and this is an amazing first step. I’m very fortunate to be part of the first four. Other women and girls can get excited about officiating and know they’ll be supported and know there are opportunities to advance.”
The inclusion of women in hockey is part of the NHL’s growing Hockey is for Everyone initiative. The initiative uses the game of hockey and the NHL’s global influence to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities.