Although the publicity is certainly a huge bonus, her signing wasn't just a publicity stunt. Goalie is the one position where women can compare reasonably well to men, and Szabados is a legitimate player at the SPHL level.
SPHL rosters are mainly filled with former Junior A and small college players. She was a two-time Junior A all-star in the AJHL (and won the league's goaltender of the year award once), and was the starting goalie for the Alberta college league's men's championship team.
Her track record playing against men in juniors and college is on par with the starting goalies in the SPHL. A male Szabados would have gotten signed by SPHL Columbus anyway, based on past performance and teammate recommendations (several of her college teammates play for Columbus.)
Szabados to make professional debut this Saturday. http://*******/1iKms85 @NHL @Buccigross @TSNBobMcKenzie @RonMacLeanCBC @TSN_Sports @CBC
To the doubters, is a female hockey players really going to go from nothing to the NHL? No, they will have to start by showing their thing in the lower pro leagues. This is big for her & female hockey.