AJ Mleczko is a female hockey superhero. Not only is she a Harvard graduate, an Olympic Gold medalist, and a mother of four kids (aged 6 through 12) but she also became the first woman in-booth to call a National Hockey League playoff game.
Despite having all these incredible merits to her name, people are still being ridiculous about her being in the booth. From all gross corners of the internet, there are posts still popping up that read along the lines of, “it’s PC to hire a woman” or there are threads that even make extensive lists about the comments she made during the broadcast that were apparently not good enough for television.
Not only are the comments above fine commentary for Mleczko to make during the game, but the Twitter user above went out of their way to write down 16 quotes that could’ve easily been said by a male commentator.
Unfortunately for the user behind the list, and others that might share similar feelings, they’re going to need to get used to seeing more women popping up in their usual analysis. After the 2018 U.S. Olympic Women’s Team won their gold medal in February, some of the players have started to get their well deserved spots on broadcast teams. These players include U.S. captain Meghan Duggan, who worked as an analyst for NBC Sports Boston during the playoffs, and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, who recently joined the NHL Network as an on-air studio analyst.
But, what does Mleczko really want to be remembered for? She told ESPN:
“I hope for my preparation and my knowledge and not for being a woman,” she said. “I hope I’m not just remembered for being a woman in the booth in a Round 2 NHL playoff game. I hope that people listen to the game and they’re not constantly reminded that a woman is calling this game. It’s hockey people in the booth talking hockey.”
The broadcast team for Game 7 of the Predators-Jets series was announced Wednesday night. On the docket was Pierre McGuire, Eddie Olczyk, and Kenny Albert.
While Mleczko didn’t call this particular game, it’s been reported that NBC’s Sam Flood made it clear she will “definitely be part of NBC’s NHL commentary team next season.” I look forward to hearing more of Mleczko’s insight into the game and I can’t wait to see more women get in the booth.
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