Arizona Coyotes’ Lyndsey Fry becomes 3rd woman in NHL to fill radio analyst role

Sunil Kumar

The Arizona Coyotes named Lyndsey Fry as their new radio analyst. She will become the third woman to fill that role for an NHL team.

Fry, who played for Harvard and the 2014 U.S. Olympic women’s hockey team, grew up in Arizona. While the 28-year-old said the radio job was “completely unexpected,” she called it an “incredible opportunity” as she carves a career in hockey.

Fry was hired by the Coyotes in 2018, initially as a special adviser to the president and brand ambassador before specializing in building up the team’s youth programming. Since 2017, the number of girls and women’s teams in Arizona has increased by 200%, and Fry is viewed as an influential figure in that growth. She will continue her role as the team’s director of external engagement and female hockey.

“Lyndsey is exactly the type of voice we want to broadcast our team,” Coyotes president and CEO Xavier Gutierrez said. “It’s great for young girls to hear a female’s voice — but for young boys, it’s just as important to have someone who is knowledgeable, someone who has inspired others to play the game, and someone who is from here. It’s just as important for young boys and young men to listen to her broadcast our games as it is to young girls and young women.”

Gutierrez is the NHL’s first Latino team president, and, since being hired in June, has made diversity “part and parcel of the Coyotes business plan.” Fry is one of eight women in leadership positions in Arizona’s front office, though most fall on the business side.

“I’ve had very, very great conversations with [general manager] Bill Armstrong about the need for us to look at our hockey operations, and to bring women, to bring non-traditional community voices to the table,” Gutierrez said. “This is what we are doing.”

Fry said she has reached out to friends like AJ Mleczko and Kendall Coyne Schofield — fellow players turned television broadcasters — for advice. Coyne Schofield told Fry: “It’s all about getting reps, reps, reps. It’s like anything you do.”

Sherry Ross worked for the New Jersey Devils on the radio from 1992-2017, and Caley Chelios currently works with the Lightning on air. Now, it’s Fry’s turn.

She will broadcast remotely this year, and has called one mock game with her play-by-play partner, Bob Heethuis, who is entering his 16th season. She never imagined getting into broadcasting, but never envisioned a career in hockey, either.

“When I was getting ready to graduate from Harvard, all of my friends were getting jobs in New York, on Wall Street, working for Goldman Sachs, with all these six-figure salaries,” Fry said. “I was a history of science major with literally no idea what I wanted to do. At the time, I looked at working in hockey as a copout. I just got this Harvard education, and I’m going to go do what’s safe and work in hockey?”

But she had nothing else to do. She returned home, ran a camp in Arizona and in Colorado, where she went to high school. “I figured I’d give back to those communities and call it good,” Fry said.

As Fry grew her hockey businesses, she fell in love with the marketing aspect of it. She received her MBA from Arizona State. “And then my mindset shifted,” Fry said. “And I figured, why would I not want to apply my business degree to the thing I know the most about. That’s how I found my way to the NHL.”

One of Fry’s biggest roles is serving as president of the Arizona Kachinas, the only all-girls hockey association in the state. Before Fry joined, they were only able to field four all-girls teams. In her first year, after restructuring and increased resources, there were nine. Continuing that role was important to Fry. In January, she is rollerblading 96 miles in honor of Leighton Accardo, one of her Kachinas players who died in November, at age 9, from cancer. Fry will raise money for Accardo’s scholarship fund, which provides financial assistance to girls interested in playing hockey in Arizona.

“These next five months will be really interesting,” Fry said. “I’ll be essentially working two full-time jobs at the same time. I like that because by the end of all this, there is going to be this awesome fork in the road, and I’ll be able to decide which direction I want to go. Or I continue to do both. We’ll see where it goes.”

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