Jarvy’s face in the above picture perfectly describes how I feel about a new accomplishment for women, especially in hockey.
Alyssa Gagliardi joining the Carolina Hurricanes coaching staff for the team’s upcoming Prospects Development Camp, in partnership with the NHL Coaches’ Association (NHLCA) Female Coaches’ Development Program is yet another fantastic way the Hurricanes continue to promote hockey here in the state of North Carolina.
Gagliardi was born in Pittsburgh but was raised here in Raleigh before racking up an impressive 89 points at Cornell playing with a Big Red team that won four ECAC championships.
She played a five-year professional career in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and National Women’s Hockey League which ended in 2019. While playing she won the inaugural Isobel Cup with the Boston Pride in 2015-16 and received the NWHL Foundation Award the following season.
Off the ice, Gagliardi has marked many milestones so far in her career. As an assistant coach for the Neumann University men’s hockey team, she was the first female coach in program history and the only woman coaching an NCAA men’s ice hockey team from the bench in 2022-23. And as the Hurricanes’ first-ever Girls’ and Women’s Youth and Amateur Hockey Specialist, she has promoted girls’ hockey throughout the Carolinas.
Given everything dealing with the current state of professional women’s hockey, a win like this is much needed. Sadly, the women’s side has unfairly earned far less publicity than it justly deserves.
For example, there are 60 D1 collegiate men’s hockey teams while there are only 36 women’s teams. At Northeastern University, the 2021-22 season saw an average of 3,646 fans per game for the men’s hockey team while the women’s team played a Hockey East Championship game in front of thousands of empty seats.
Joining the Canes, Gagliardi is yet another big step for the Carolina Hurricanes in not only promoting women’s hockey but hockey here in North Carolina. Starting with the Raleigh Icecaps, the Hurricanes bringing NHL hockey to North Carolina, right on through the 2006 Stanley Cup, to last season’s spectacular outdoor game on the national spotlight, Alyssa Gagliardi is essential for representing women in the sport with the Canes. And, there is the added bonus of her having connections here in Raleigh. As a woman and a female hockey fan, I’m excited to see what she will achieve next. After all, hockey is for everyone, and thank you to the Canes for shining a light on inclusivity in the sport.