Tuesday, January 25

Aisha Visram makes history as first female staff member behind bench in NHL

According to the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society,Aisha Visram became the first woman to serve as the bench in an NHL regular season game in any capacity when she served as the Los Angeles Kings‘ athletic. Visram worked behind the Kings bench for their 6-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Crypto.com Arena

Kings coach Todd McLellan had high praise for Visram’s work.

“I can tell you that Aisha is a big part of our organization,” said the coach . “And we don’t talk about these people. We don’t talk about the trainers or the equipment people, but she’s mentoring with (Kings head athletic trainer) Chris Kingsley and the rest of the staff, and accepted a huge role there and does a tremendous job, so unreal reward for her. And everybody’s a big part of it, so include her in it.”

Visram is head trainer for the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate in Ontario, California, and got the call to work for the Kings on Thursday after members of their support staff entered COVID-19 protocol.

“That is incredible. Cool. We need more of that in our game,” McLellan said.

McLellan also added that having Visram on the bench was a reminder that it takes more than players and coaches for a professional hockey team to function and succeed.

Who is Aisha Visram?

Previously, Visram worked for Adironadack of the East Coast Hockey League from 2017-2020, while also serving on the league’s Trainers Advisory Committee. From 2012-17 she was trainer for the Division I St. Lawrence University men’s and women’s hockey teams.

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“When I was growing up the idea of women working in professional hockey was still a little crazy and I’ve been lucky that a lot of really qualified, driven women came before me to pave the way,” Visram said in an Ontario video celebrating the Hockey is for Everyone initiative. “But I’ve never felt, since I’ve come here that it was ever an issue. I think it means that the game is trying to be more inclusive.”

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