The Marlies hire the first woman equipment manager in North American hockey
The 2020-21 professional hockey season has already gone down in the history books for a number of reasons — but thanks to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, at least one of those reasons will be a good thing.
— Steph Klein (@skleiner1) January 8, 2021
The Marlies announced on Friday morning that they had hired former Women’s Team Canada U18 equipment manager Steph Klein, who will become the first female equipment manager in men’s North American pro hockey.
A native of Canada, Klein worked with the University of Waterloo as an equipment manager from 2011-2017, when she made the jump to China to work with the Vanke Rays in women’s hockey. Since then, she’s been working with China’s National women’s team at both the U18 and adult levels, and she already made history earlier this season when she became the first woman to work on the bench of a KHL game for Kunlun Red Star.
Steph Klein debuted as the KHL’s first female equipment manager on Thursday night, for none other than Alexei Kovalev’s Kunlun Red Star.
— KHL (@khl_eng) November 14, 2020
Now, she’ll get a chance to take the expertise that has cemented her so firmly in the hockey community overseas and show off what she’s capable of for one of the most highly-followed minor league franchises.
Speaking of people getting a chance to show off what they’re capable of— the CHL’s Western Hockey League has confirmed that they’ll do everything possible to honor a commitment to playing a season this year.
High level junior hockey, particularly in Canada, has taken a massive blow this year as the ongoing covid-19 pandemic has forced teams to delay or cancel their seasons out of safety concerns.
“The Western Hockey League is committed to providing a season for WHL players,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison, per the league’s official release. “This commitment ensures WHL players will receive the opportunity to compete at the highest level in the system and continue to pursue their hockey goals in the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players.”
This likely closes the door for Bowen Byram to get an exception to play in the AHL this season.
From Across the Pond
Often we forget that sports are supposed to be fun. That’s something Chorley FC is helping to remind everyone this morning. On Saturday, the sixth-tier professional team defeated Derby – a team that is four divisions above them – in their FA Cup knockout match. The post-game celebration was something special. There was nothing other than pure and utter joy coming out of that locker room. Maybe a new win song for the Avs?