NHL female officials are being considered after both the NBA and NFL were the first professional sports leagues to introduce them. The story broke late Saturday Evening on "The Score.com" via a report by Damien Cox during the broadcast of "Hockey Night in Canada".
"They're in the NFL and the NBA. They had a camp during the summer, they had an applicant there," Cox said.
Cox added that NHL Senior Vice President and Director of Officiating Stephen Walkom welcomes both male and female applicants.
The NFL hired its first full-time female official, Sarah Thomas, in April.
We haven't seen any female general managers in major professional sports in North America, but surely it's only a matter of time, right? Let's not forget that females make up the majority in demographics for NFL fans. Most of the other major sports range with at least 35% of fans being made up by females. With such a large volume of intelligible women following pro sports, it only makes sense that we see more and more involvement.
Even though the NHL has moved a little slower in comparison to the NFL and NBA for female involvement in their leagues (officiating, executives, etc.), the NHL is still the only mens professional league in North America to have had a female suit up and play. As many remember, back in 1992, goaltender Manon Rheaume was signed as a free agent by Tampa Bay Lightning, and appeared in exhibition games. She had a storied career that ended with a silver medal in Nagano representing Team Canada's women's team.
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Women in hockey
NHL female officials being considered
TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 23: Goalie Manon Rheaume #33 of the Tampa Bay Lightning sits on the bench during an NHL preseason game against the St. Louis Blues on September 23, 1992 at the Expo Hall in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Manon Rheaume, in goal, watches as the puck goes into the corner during the professional debut against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1992 at the Tampa Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida. Rheaume is the first woman to play in one of the four major pro sports. She allowed two goals during the first period. (AP Photo/Peter Cosgrove)
Canada's Jayna Hefford (16) and Gillian Apps (10) celebrate after Canada beat USA 2-0 to win the women's gold medal ice hockey game at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
2 Feb 2001: Cammi Granato #21 of the USA holds her hockey stick during the game against Canada at the 2001 Womens Challenge at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. Team USA beat Team Canada 3-2Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr /Allsport
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 07: Angela James #8 of the Canada Legends skates against the USA Legends at the Legends Classic Hockey Game at the Air Canada Centre on November 7, 2010 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
06/22/10 - RICHMOND HILL, ONTARIO - Angela James will be the first Canadian, and one of the first two women, elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. She's seen in her Richmond Hill home with her 3 kids and partner, Angela McDonald. (Photo by Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Laura Schuler of Canada congratulates teammate Geraldine Heaney after she scored goal 08 February during the women's preliminary round at the Nagano Olympics 08 February. Canada won 13-0. AFP PHOTO/OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 08: Geraldine Heaney, who will enter the Hockey Hall of Fame on November11, is honored prior to the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils at the Air Canada Centre on November 8, 2013 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The United States' Katie King, left, high fives teammate Jenny Potter's daughter Madison as they celebrate after they beat Finland 4-0 to win the bronze medal in a 2006 Winter Olympics women's ice hockey game Monday, Feb. 20, 2006, in Turin, Italy. King scored 3 goals in the game. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Canada's forward Meghan Agosta celebrates with forward Marie-Philip Poulin (29) after Poulin scored against the USA in the first period of the women's gold medal ice hockey game at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Canada defender Tessa Bonhomme bites her gold medal after Canada beat USA 2-0 to win the women's gold medal ice hockey game at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 25: Canada's Olympic flag bearer and four-time Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser returned to home soil at Toronto Pearson Airport Tuesday afternoon and waved to cheering fans. (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Canada's Caroline Ouellette, left, and goalie Kim St. Pierre celebrate with her gold medal on the ice with champagne after they beat Sweden 4-1 in the Winter Olympics women's ice hockey gold medal game Monday, Feb. 20, 2006, in Turin, Italy. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Team Canada's Caroline Ouellette celebrates her goal against Sweden in the first period of the womens ice hockey gold medal match match at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy Monday Feb. 20, 2006. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Canada's Danielle Goyette (15) smiles after scoring against Sweden during a 2006 Winter Olympics women's ice hockey match Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006, in Turin, Italy. Goyette scored two goals in Canada's 8-1 win. (AP Photo/ Christophe Ena)
Ice hockey competitor Jenny Potter poses for a portrait during the USOC Media Summit in Chicago, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Skip Stewart)
USA's forward Jenny Potter (12), left, celebrates with teammate forward Hilary Knight (21) after scoring against Russia in women's preliminary round hockey play at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Jennifer Botterill, right, and Jayna Hefford of the Canadian women's hockey team take questions from the media during a news conference at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday, Feb. 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 20: Krissy Wendell #7 of the United States controls the puck during the women's ice hockey bronze medal match against Finland during Day 10 of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games on February 20, 2006 at the Palasport Olimpico in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Team USA players Alex Carpenter, left, Meghan Duggan, center, and Brianna Decker celebrate with the World Cup trophy after the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship final between U.S. and Canada at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, southern Sweden, on Saturday April 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Claudio Bresciani / TT) SWEDEN OUT
Toronto, Canada - March 21 - Toronto's Natalie Spooner smiles and looks around during the national anthem.
Toronto Furies beat the Montreal Stars 2-1 in a shootout in the semi-final game of the Clarkson Cup in Markham. The Clarkson Cup is the Canadian Women's Hockey League's Championship.
March 21, 2014 (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Minnesota forward Hannah Brandt (22) watches from the bench during the first period of an NCAA women's Frozen Four semifinal college hockey game against Wisconsin Friday, March 20, 2015, in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 3-1. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)
U.S. Anne Schleper center, her team's 4th goal with teammates Hannah Brandt, left, and Danielle Cameranesi, right, during the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship final between U.S. and Canada at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, southern Sweden, on Saturday April 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Claudio Bresciani / TT) SWEDEN OUT
United States forward Kendall Coyne, left, rounds the net against Canada goalie Shannon Szabados during the gold medal game of the World Women's Ice Hockey Championships, Saturday, April 14, 2012, in Burlington, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
US Hilary Knight (L) and US Kendall Coyne celebrate after teammate US Alex Carpenter (not seen) scores during the Women's Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game between Canada and USA at the Bolshoy Ice Dome during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 20, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
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Hayley Wickenheiser made history of her own after being the first women first to record in men's professional hockey after spending some time overseas playing in Sweden. These are the type of captivating stories that inspire young females to get involved in sports at an early age. It's great for our professional sports and mens leagues, bringing more fans and involvement to better diversify our leagues.
Not only that though, as more females we have getting involved in sports, the better quality product that can be offered to draw fans, and ultimately open up the door for females to earn a living playing sports just as equally as men do. Women's hockey is an excellent example. The powerhouses of the sport are Canada and United States, and we've seen a spike in popularity over the years during international competition. When the two countries match-up, it makes for an exciting chippy game of hockey, and the talent level is on full display.
However you may feel about the increased involvement of females in men's professional sports, one thing is indisputable. It can only be good for everyone involved, a virtual win-win situation. Our major sports leagues are not going to hire unqualified women just to add diversity (as some people have suggested in the past). These females are smart and capable, and that's why leagues like the NFL and NBA have hired them. Some may fear whether or not a female could keep up with the fast paced skating of the NHL, but if you've ever watched these ladies play, the answers is, yes easily. It shouldn't be long now before we see NHL female officials.