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‘He is perfect for this’ – In the climb of Florence Schelling to become GM | Instant News

After Florence Schelling retired from hockey in 2018, she became a consultant. He hates it. “That’s really not my type of work,” said Schelling, the long-time goalkeeper of the Swiss national team. “I really don’t like that.” Six months later, he stopped, and in February 2019 went on a ski vacation to the Swiss Alps to clear his mind.

One day on a slope, Schelling crashed into a windbreak. The end of the skis stuck in the snow and he fell forward, his head touched the ground first. He was hospitalized with a spinal cord injury, and was told that recovery would be long.

“That kind of turned my life upside down,” Schelling said. “That makes me think a lot. Before, I was a person who barely had free time. Suddenly I had a lot of time, because all I could do was lie down.”

When Schelling was rehabilitated, he began to think of his path to that point, and what he wanted to achieve. He knew he wanted more. And he realized he wanted to go back to hockey.

Then, at the end of March, Schelling got a call from Marc Luthi, CEO of SC Bern, a professional men’s hockey team in Switzerland. Bern is looking for a new GM, and the search committee identifies Schelling as one of two favorites. At first Schelling was surprised – “I thought it was just a joke,” he said – which quickly turned into intrigue. After a long series of conversations and interviews, SC Bern gave the name Schelling as the new GM. He is only 31 years old.

In announcing the recruitment, Luthi noted that Schelling got the job because “he was young, [will] bring new perspectives and break down existing structures. “Those who know Schelling best say he is uniquely prepared to handle pressure.

“I was thrown out of the water and definitely shocked by the news,” said Finnish goalkeeper Noora Raty, who has been competing with Schelling for almost 15 years. “We have seen some women in the front office. But to become GM, who is really the heart of the team, for a big professional men’s club, that’s the main thing. But then getting to know Florence, I knew he would do a great job. He was perfect for this. “

Luthi also acknowledged that in his new role, Schelling would become a “pioneer, perhaps in the whole world.” And people around hockey have considered the ripple effect.

“It takes a lot of courage to be the first of something,” said Kendall Coyne Schofield of Team USA, a former Schelling teammate at Northeastern University. “It takes a very strong woman to be the first, and that is Florence. But that does not mean the second is less strong. After the barrier is broken, the floodgates open. I think women see the announcement of Florence’s new role and their heads start spinning, thinking: “Can it be me someday? Can I do that? I didn’t know that was an option for me.” “

Schelling grew up outside Zurich with two older brothers. “They always play hockey in the garage with tennis balls,” he said. “I always wanted to play with them. They always said, ‘No, no, no, you can’t do that.’ But then at one point they said, ‘You can play with us, but you will be clean.’ “She’s only 4 years old, but she’s experienced.

There was no league of girls in Switzerland at the time, so Schelling played with boys. “I didn’t even know woman hockey existed,” he said. “I grew up playing with children, year after year. But that’s fine, I’m always good enough to play with them.”

At the age of 14, Schelling made his national team debut for Swiss women. And then in 2008, he enrolled at Northeastern University. “Having Florence is really a turning point for this program,” said Huskies coach Dave Flint. “We struggled a bit when I took over. I was lucky; you could say the best goalkeeper in the world was committed. And being a former goalkeeper myself, I always knew how important it was to build your team around a good goalkeeper. He helped put us back on the map. “

Schelling was finalist Patty Kazmaier in 2012, but what stood out to her teammates was how she handled herself. Schelling, who is fluent in four languages ​​(German, English, French and Swedish) is very thorough. “He likes his sanitary pads clean,” said Coyne Schofield. “He doesn’t like the puck marks on his pad.” Schelling also has a signature helmet; he is one of the few destination lenders who still wears a cage helmet combo, popularized by Dominik Hasek.

“He is one of the most powerful players on the ice,” said Flint. “He just flipped the switch, and when he was on the ice, the only thing he wanted was to win. That’s all.”

Coyne Schofield was a freshman when Schelling was a senior and said he “always looked at Florence, and how truly found the balance of being an athlete-student.” Schelling has many friends in hockey like outside hockey. “The group of friends at Northeastern is always very diverse,” said Coyne Schofield. “I like to meet my Florence friends, because they are always so interesting, and I like hearing about their background. Florence is in a business program and she is very serious about her studies. Nobody wears more blazers and professional clothes on campus than Florence – at a time when most of us didn’t even have one blazer. “

After Schelling graduated, he played at CWHL. But in 2014, US and Canadian team players were centered to prepare for the Olympics. “Obviously, the level of play will decrease,” he said. “And I didn’t know what that meant. So I decided to go home.”

Schelling knew the only way he would be truly challenged was to play men’s hockey. “I hired an agent for the first time in my life, and asked him to get me a job in the men’s team,” Schelling said. “And he did it.”


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Florence Schelling Called the General Manager of the SC Bern Men’s Hockey Team | Instant News

One of the biggest men’s hockey teams in Europe set a new precedent on Wednesday. SC Bern from the top Swiss National League has recruited 31-year-old female national team legend Florence Schelling as general manager and new sports director.

“For us, it’s important to have people who are young, smart, and visionary SC Bern CEO, Marc Luthi. “In our mind, it is irrelevant whether this person is male or female. What’s more important is that the person knows something about hockey. “

Schelling’s resume shows that he does know something about hockey.

A goalscorer, he started his international career in 2004, at the age of 15. He represented Switzerland in four Olympics between 2006 and 2018 and was named after the MVP tournament when he backed Switzerland to a bronze medal at Sochi in 2014. He retired after the 2018 Olympics.

Schelling also appeared in 11 women’s world championships, where she is hold notes for most games, most minutes are played and most wins by goaltender.

Schelling entered Northeastern University and was selected as a finalist in 2012 for the Patty Kazmaier Award for top female players in college hockey. She went on to spend three seasons with Linkoping from the Swedish women’s league while earning a master’s degree in business administration from Linkoping University.

The on-ice Schelling experience also includes male hockey. As a junior, he took care of his goal for the top-level teams U17 and U20 Zurich Lions. She was the only suitable woman in the second tier of Switzerland when she appeared in the exhibition game for GCK Lions and in 2013, she joined EHC Bulach from the Swiss third tier league for two seasons.

Since retiring, Schelling has spent the past two years behind the bench of the Swiss U18 women’s team, rising to head coach last season.

“I was surprised like all of you when I received a call from Marc Luthi,” Schelling said. “We did some discussions about working together and they were very positive. I immediately knew that I wanted to accept the challenge. My main goal is to do a good job and bring SC Bern back to the top. “

SC Bern is the best hockey team outside of NHL. The club has taken the lead Ranking of IIHF’s presence in Europe for 18 consecutive seasons, averaging 16,290 fans per game in 2018-19. The club won its third title in four years that season, with a list that included former NHL players Mark Arcobello, Andrew Ebbett and Zach Boychuk and Swiss native Gaetan Haas, who moved to North America to join the Edmonton Oilers in the 2019-20 Season.

SC Bern is struggling to retain the title this season, missing the playoffs by finishing ninth in the 12-team league standings with a 22-19-4-5 record. As a result, incumbent general manager Alex Chatelain shifted to the position of strategic sports and hockey analytic developer, while Schelling took control.

Among his first assignments will be to hire a new head coach. Hans Kossmann finished the year behind the bench after Kari Jalonen was fired in January.

Schelling’s appointment was a bright spot during a difficult year for female hockey. After the Canadian Women’s Hockey League folded at the end of the 2018-19 season, the game’s top players set up a schedule that included their barnstorming “Dream Gap TourAnd five matches of the Rivalry Series game exhibition between Canada and the United States.

In November, the Four Nations Cup scheduled for Lulea, Sweden was canceled because Swedish players clashed with their national federation over issues including compensation and player support. Then, the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the Women’s World Championship, which is scheduled to take place from March 31 to April 10 in Nova Scotia, Canada.

“It is very difficult to think the United States Hockey and the women’s national team did not compete in an international tournament this year,” said US forward Kendall Coyne Schofield. “The lack of growth that we will see and the lack of opportunities to showcase international products really makes me sad, because we know you need to see it to be like that.

“Very devastating. We practiced very hard for these two tournaments in one calendar year. The fact that we did not play in one of them, it is difficult to swallow. “

With all major sports closed for the foreseeable future, Schelling’s promise provides some important visibility for women’s games.

Women’s hockey just needs to be more present, ” he said in January. “The more of us there, it looks, the more popular the sport is.”


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