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Chicago Blackhawks Hire First Woman To Head Player Development

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Blackhawks hired the first woman in club history to be its new Player Development Coach.

Palos Heights native Kendall Coyne Schofield will also be the team's Youth Hockey Growth Specialist.

Also added to the Blackhawks, Erik Condra as the new Player Development Coach and Juan Gonzalez as the Rockford IceHog's Strength & Conditioning Coach within the team's Hockey Operations Department.

According to the Blackhawks, Coyne Schofield and Condra "will assist the Rockford Coaching staff in the skills development of current players, while also evaluating, assessing and scouting potential prospects."

Coyne Schofield has been a community liaison with the Blackhawks. She'll formalize that work in the new hybrid role as Youth Hockey Growth Specialist. It's focused on, according to the team, "grassroots youth hockey programs and clinics, implementation of girls' hockey programming.

She'll also work with her namesake all-girls program "Golden Coynes."

"Adding talented people with diverse and multi-faceted backgrounds like Kendall, Erik and Juan enhances our operations as we assess the changing landscape of hockey at all levels and continue to build and maintain a system of elite hockey," said Chicago Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman. "Each of these individuals brings unique experience to their position, and we are excited to welcome them to the Blackhawks family."

Coyne Schofield graduated from Sandburg High School in Orland Park. She was also a forward for the United States Women's National Ice Hockey Team. Coyne Schofield is a six-time World Champion at the International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship. Twice she represented the United States. in the Olympic Winter Games, earning a Gold Medal in PyeongChang 2018 (2G, 1A) and Silver Medal in Sochi 2014 (2G, 4A).

At Northeaster University, she led the NCAA in goals, goals per game, points per game, shorthanded goals and hat tricks during the 2015-16 season.

In his role, Gonzalez, a Chicago native, will oversee the strength and conditioning program of the Rockford IceHogs, the Blackhawks AHL affiliate. He recently served as a strength and conditioning advisor for the USA Hockey National Development Program.

Drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the seventh round in the 2006 NHL Draft, Condra appeared in 372 regular-season NHL contests with the Senators (2010-15), Tampa Bay Lightning (2015-17) and Dallas Stars (2018-19), recording 99 points (40G, 59A).

Coyne Schofield is the first woman to hold that job in the organization's 94-year history. The U.S. women's national team player will also serve as the team's youth hockey growth specialist.

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