Aisha Visram expected her family and friends to become emotional when she told them she would be filling in on the Kings’ athletic training staff Jan. 13.
They had supported her unlikely dream, offering encouragement when her job applications were rejected and taking it in stride when she was too busy to answer their calls and texts during hockey season. When the national anthem played before the Kings’ game against the Pittsburgh Penguins that night, she said, “I felt like they were all there with me sharing in the moment.”
But Visram, who is the head athletic trainer for the Kings’ American Hockey League farm team in Ontario and was called up to The Show when the Kings’ training staff was thinned by COVID-19, didn’t expect the torrent of publicity she received for simply doing her job.
Toronto-born Visram, 36, unknowingly made a splash when she became the first woman to stand behind the Kings’ bench and the second confirmed to have worked behind an NHL bench. The Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society initially said she was the first woman to have worked a regular-season NHL game behind the bench in any capacity but later amended that to say Jodi van Rees was the first, as an assistant athletic trainer for the Montreal Canadiens in 2002.
Good for Visram. Like the players whose health and fitness she monitors, she had to move up through the ranks, starting with St.…