Two Winnipeg women will be making history on air on Sunday in a monumental moment for women in hockey.
While 680 CJOB’s own Leah Hextall will be calling the play-by-play on Sportsnet for the game between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Calgary Flames, three-time Olympic gold medallist Jennifer Botterill will be a studio analyst on NBCSN covering the Chicago Blackhawks-St. Louis Blues game.
It’s part of an initiative for International Women’s Day that will feature all-women crews — from colour commentary on air to directing behind the camera — producing NHL broadcasts for the first time ever.
“I know all of us involved, we’ve been communicating quite a bit leading up to it,” Botterill told 680 CJOB.
“There’s, no doubt, a shared excitement, and I think all of us are making sure that we’re preparing as well as we possibly can to provide a really high-quality, excellent show.
“We all feel that it’s just a nice chance to showcase women in business and sport and opportunity.”
Botterill, whose own stellar hockey career has inspired countless girls to pick up the sport, said she sees this broadcasting milestone as a similar way to encourage young women to pursue their goals.
“Not everyone has to play, but I really love that it’s a choice now in North America,” she said.
“I’m hopeful that it becomes a more common choice for women in a number of different situations to connect with broadcasting and sport.
“I think it’s very encouraging. Do we still have work to do? Yes, I believe we do, but I do see the opportunities growing for women and coming into these roles and doing an outstanding job.”