Monday, July 30, 2007


Women in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Sure, Why Not?

by Jes

With news slower than the thought process of your average Telus employee, there has been some debate today whether women players should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Let me remind you that this is the year 2007, and we no longer have separate sections on the buses for them coloured people, and we do allow women out of the kitchen to vote in elections.

Don't tell this to Dave Harrison of Prince George, who apparently still pines for the 1930s, and thinks women's hockey has no place in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Women's hockey is just a shade faster than Tai Chi but only half as interesting.

If any event is worthy of an "escape call" early in the first period, it's women's hockey.

As a crowd pleaser it seems to appeal only to other women who have convinced themselves that it's entertaining, feminist promoters of lost causes, anxious sponsors who are about to lose their shirts, milquetoast males who allow their women to choose their clothes (Real Men Don't Eat Quiche), and husbands who nod in agreement if they know what's good for them.

No self-respecting, red-blooded, beer-drinking, Canadian male hockey fan ever takes women's hockey seriously.

I will agree that women's hockey is boring (to me) and it is like comparing the original Iron Chef to the watered-down American version, but the Hockey Hall of Fame is not exclusively for males, in title or in theory.

How could a serious hockey fan ever discount the impact that certain female players have had on the game and on the national consciousness?

Cassie Campbell - Already a member of the Canada Sports Hall of Fame, Campbell was the first woman to ever do colour commentary on HNIC, won 2 gold medals, multiple World Championships, and is one of the best women players in history. She is very high profile and very successful, and definitely has no fans than Bernie Federko ever did. Few hockey women have been as marketable as Campbell, and her mark on the game is quite evident.

Hayley Wickenheiser - Arguably the best female hockey player of all-time, she managed to accomplish the feat of becoming a regular player in the Finnish 2nd division. Compared to her peers, she was head and shoulders above them in talent and ability to compete with men on a physical level.

Now, I am not advocating a dual Hall of Fame where we have 1 woman inducted every year as a 'token' gesture. I believe that the real Hockey Hall of Fame does have room for exceptional woman, such as the two above, and that we shouldn't simply relegate them to their own little Hall of Fame in Medicine Hat (or whatever dinky town they may think of). Simply declaring the Hockey Hall of Fame a male-only zone is not only regressive, but shows a general lack of understanding about our culture and the game we love.

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The day Cassie Wickenheiser gets in and Rick Middleton, Paul Henderson, Glenn Anderson and even Andy Moog still have to wait in the ticket line to get in, is the day hockey is officially dead to me.
It's bad enough that Soviets who were handed their asses by Henderson are in ahead of him, but women? Gawd, that hockey is unwatchable. Alberta Summer Hockey League non-contact division is more interesting.
Why not elect the PA announcer from Maple Leaf Gardens. Or Roger Doucet? They mean more to the average hockey fan than Hayley Campbell.
Well then, I look forward to the day that I can be a hockey fan without being lumped into the same group as you.

"mean more to the average hockey fan"? Who means more to the GAME? Who's done more to increase participation? Who's inspired entire segments of society who would otherwise have been left out of the hockey experience?
If it isn't the "NHL Hockey Hall of Fame" and they let in international figures already, then women should be eligible if they had enough of an impact to warrant it.

I agree it shouldn't be a token women inducted each year, only truly notable figures. If only one or two women are selected in a ten or fifteen year period, then fine--if those are the only truly notable women in the game eligible.

Don't blame an entire gender for the (men's) failure to select the best players.

(And who is Roger Doucet?)
How much has women's hockey caught on, anyway? To me, not enough for Wickenheiser to get into the Hall over guys like Middleton, Moog.
If women's hockey would get more exposure then I'm all in for a lady getting in to the HHOF.
By the way, I don't think Henderson deserves to be in the HHOF. One big game in a Summit Series and a lackluster NHL career don't warrant that, unless he has been involved in other areas since as a builder.
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