Cassie Campbell Makes History as HNIC Analyst

Hockey Night in Canada

Cassie CampbellFormer Canadian Olympian Cassie Campbell made history Saturday night as a colour analyst alongside legendary broadcaster Bob Cole at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

With veteran colour commentator Harry Neale snowed in at his home in Buffalo, N.Y., Hockey Night in Canada executive producer Joel Darling gave Campbell the chance to call the game between the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs.

"We made the decision at 11 a.m. [Saturday morning] and she was very positive about the opportunity," Darling told Sports Online.

"It isn't easy for anyone to come into a situation like this, but she did a great job."

When Darling informed Campbell of the news, the former Olympian joked that "it was like [National team coach] Melody Davidson telling me to play goal for the Canadian women's team."

The 32-year-old Brampton, Ont., native is the third woman to be part ofCBC's Hockey Night in Canadateam, but the first to do colour during a broadcast.

Brenda Irving was the first woman to take part in 2001, and Martine Gaillard followed as an intermission and post-game reporter.

Campbell, who retired from the Canadian women's hockey team in August, was hired to do rinkside reporting this season and made her debut last Saturday in Calgary.

Former U.S. women's team captain Cammi Granato was a sideline reporter for NBC's NHL games last season.

During the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, Campbell became the only Canadian hockey player, male or female, to captain a national team to two Olympic gold medals.

She was also a member of the gold medal team at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

The five-foot-seven, 150-pound blue-liner scored 32 goals and 68 assists in 157 career games for the national team.