New Seattle franchise hires Granato as NHL’s first female pro scout
In this Nov. 6, 2010, file photo, Cammi Granato stands at center ice after being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Said Seattle GM : “Her résumé is why she got the job – not because she's female."
The NHL’s newest franchise, Seattle – which begins play for the 1921-22 season – is committed to a "a diverse slate of candidates for every role."
That commitment shows if you look at the first group of scouts hired by the franchise. Among them is Cammi Granato, who becomes the league’s first female pro scout.
Seattle has only a little more than 60 employees so far, and yet more than half of its vice presidents are females.
"When I was being interviewed, it was very apparent this organization was thinking outside the box," general manager told espn.com. "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 résumé is why she got the job – not because she's female."
And what a résumé it is. Granato, 48, captained Team USA to a gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics, the first winter Olympics to include women's ice hockey. She has been inducted into the International Hockey Hall of Fame (2008), the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame (2009) and the Hockey Hall of Fame (2010).
She is also the brother of Wisconsin Men’s hockey coach Tony Granato, a former Red Wings assistant coach, and the stepmother of former Red Wings player Landon Ferraro.
Granato lives in Vancouver and will begin working for Seattle in late October by attending Vancouver Canucks home games. She will be responsible for scouting players in the Western Conference in preparation for the expansion draft, to be held in the summer of 2021.
"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."
The Toronto Maple Leafs hired the NHL’s first full-time female amateur scout, Noelle Needham, in 2018. Toronto also hired former Canadian National Team star Hayley Wickenheiser for the team’s hockey operations department. She was named the Maple Leafs’ director of player development in 2018, the highest hockey operations role ever held by a woman.
The Leafs also employ Judy Cohen in their analytics department, Meg Popovic as the team's director of well-being and performance, and Barb Underhill, a former world champion pairs figure skater who serves as a skating consultant.
Kim Muir, a Detroit area power skating instructor, has worked with the players of several NHL organizations, including the Red Wings. More than of those players are in the NHL.
"I just think the more diverse you can make your organization, (the better) – and that's just not a male and female thing," Toronto GM Kyle Dubas said in 2018. "We did not make any of these hires looking for social credit."
Alexandra Mandrycky, Seattle’s director of hockey administration, was the team’s first organizational hire. She had worked in the analytics department with the Minnesota Wild.
"Being a woman in hockey, I understand that I bring a different viewpoint," Mandrycky said. "I did when I was with Minnesota.”
Granato hopes her hiring can start a trend.
"Maybe it'll inspire more women to apply for jobs like this," she said. "And maybe it will inspire more organizations to make the same move."