It’s been a big week for firsts involving women, and you can be forgiven if the first one that comes to mind involves Australia’s new prime minister. This hockey fan, however, was thrilled to learn that the Hockey Hall of Fame has selected two outstanding female players: Cammi Granato and Angela James.
We at Ladies… say “It’s about damn time!”
Women have always been eligible to be elected, but had to compete with men for one of the four spots open to athletes. And of course, we are all aware of the dearth of women hockey players in the NHL.
But this is the Hockey Hall of Fame, not the NHL Hall of Fame. When I learned that they were creating a subcategory for women hockey players this year, I considered this is a positive step forward.
(For the record, Helene Elliott of the LA Times was inducted as a media honouree in 2005. She was the first female journalist to be honoured by the HHOF.)
Angela James won four gold medals for Canada at the IIHF Women’s World Championships over the course of the 1990’s and was the first African-Canadian to captain a national hockey team. In the inaugural World Championship, she had 11 goals in five games.
Cammi Granato won gold for Team USA in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, silver at 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, and gold and silver (numerous times) at the Worlds. She’s also known for her Golden Dreams for Children Foundation for kids with special needs and is building a career in broadcasting – Cammie did color commentary for NBC’s coverage of women’s hockey at the Vancouver Games.
Will the gesture attract more interest in women’s hockey? Hard to say, but I just love the idea that the girls coming up through the minor system now can see these faces in the Hall in Toronto and grow up thinking that maybe one day they can make the Hall of Fame just like Cammie and Angela (and one day, Hayley, Cassie and Jayna)