clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Expanding horizons

New, comments

The Hockey Hall of Fame suggest some names for consideration, but there are worthy nominees beyond their list.

Olympians Tessa Bonhomme, Jayna Hefford and Becky Kellar wave to the fans during a pre-game ceremony before game action between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers March 13, 2010 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Tessa Bonhomme, Jayna Hefford and Becky Kellar are all former Olympians eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame
Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images

Story of the Week

This may seem like an odd time to start thinking about nominations to the 2018 class of the Hockey Hall of Fame, but there are a few reasons that it’s relevant at this time of year.

First off, the Olympics are right around the corner, and that’s when most of the rest of the world actually pays attention to women’s hockey. Further, although nobody wants to think about it right now, the end of the Olympics often heralds retirement announcements, starting the clock on Hall of Fame eligibility. And lastly, March 15 is the deadline for public submissions of nominations.

If someone was looking for information on women’s hockey players that are both eligible and accomplished that they might wish to nominate for induction, they would probably start at the Hockey Hall of Fame’s website. Hidden away on their mobile site is a list of men’s and women’s players who are eligible for induction. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s supposed to be demonstrative of the appropriate calibre of player.

The first problem with the lists is, for those that never played in the NHL (or had only a short career there), the only stats presented are based on World Championship play. You can argue that it’s hard to gauge relative strengths of each league, but it means the lists only reflect a fraction of the stats in these players’ careers. They don’t even include Olympic stats. For women, the list includes players who have scored 50 or more points, have won tournament MVP at least once, or received a Directorate Award at least twice. That’s less than two percent of players who have ever attended Worlds.

Put another way, the Hall of Fame list includes players who have scored at least 50 points in a tournament that lasts six games or less per team and is held once a year. A player needs to have a very long career at the national team level (which means being one of top 23 players in her country) or maintain an average well over a point a game to meet that bar. In fact, only two of the five women who have been inducted into the Hall so far (Cammi Granato, 2010 and Danielle Goyette, 2017) meet it.

Being named tournament MVP or receiving two or more directorate awards is similarly difficult, not to mention that it keeps the number of goalies on the list to just one: Kim St-Pierre (as of yet, no women’s hockey goalie has been inducted into the Hall). And of course, the criteria leaves out any of the eligible players from teams outside of North America.

The next problem is that the list isn’t accurate. Jenny Potter is listed as eligible and she was playing for the Minnesota Whitecaps last year. If you want to argue that the Whitecaps are insufficiently professional, there’s the problem that she was on the Boston Blades in 2014-15 and she was also on last year’s list. At most this should be her first time on the list. Zuzana Tomčíková of Slovakia isn’t on the list (she was MVP at Worlds in 2011), and she’s eligible for the first time this year.

Why bother about the public list? We can just leave the nominations to the official selection committee! The problem with that is, yet again, they’re all men. And while the Hall of Fame has an extensive list of areas of hockey in which at least some members of the selection committee must have some knowledge... “women’s hockey” is not on the list. Plus there’s the issue that since the Hall added two player slots per class for women in 2010, only five women have been inducted out of 16 potential members. That’s less than a third of the available slots. Heck, we could fill the other 11 slots with the women on the public list and have slots left over, even including Potter.

So, it’s up to members of the public to agitate for women to be nominated. The public submission process requires research and a fair amount of effort. Alternatively, each member of the selection committee gets to nominate someone and a fair few of them have twitter accounts. (What? I’m just pointing out some facts.)

Who should be nominated? I’m not going to argue that anyone on the public list doesn’t deserve a look, but let’s try and expand the list a little. Players already on the public list will be in italics

Triple Gold Club

The IIHF doesn’t recognize the Triple Gold Club for women; apparently the Clarkson Cup doesn’t count yet. Still, for those of us who think it should, there are a few women on the list:

Kim St-Pierre (G, Canada, ret 2013)

Sarah Vaillancourt (F, Canada, ret 2014)

Catherine Ward (D, Canada, ret 2014)

Tessa Bonhomme (D, Canada, ret 2015)

(A number of players on the 2007-08 Brampton Thunder would make this list, but the Clarkson Cup was not awarded to the CWHL champion that year so I’ll leave that controversy for someone else.)

Olympic scoring leaders

Players who have scored 20 or more points at the Olympic games per Elite Prospects.

Cherie Piper (Canada, ret 2013)

Jayna Hefford (Canada, ret 2014)

Natalie Darwitz (USA, ret 2010)

Katie King-Crowley (USA, ret 2006)

Gillian Apps (Canada, ret 2014)

CWHL scoring leaders

The new version of the NWHL hasn’t been around long enough for anyone who’s played in it to be Hall of Fame eligible yet, so we’ll focus on the C. Here are players who are top five in career regular season scoring among eligible players in goals, assists or points.

Jayna Hefford (130 G / 104 A / 234 P in 128 games, CWHL winner)

Jennifer Botterill (62 G / 92 A / 154 pts in 76 games)

Lori Dupuis (63 G / 86 A / 149 P in 153 games, CWHL winner)

Sommer West (60 G / 89 A / 149 P in 126 games)

Sabrina Harbec ( 40 G / 90 A / 139 pts in 85 games, Clarkson Cup winner)

Gillian Apps (68 G /66 A / 134 P in 126 games, CWHL Winner)

Jana Head (Harrigan) (62 G / 70 A / 132 P in 140 games)

IIHF Hall of Fame

In an effort to include some players from outside North America, I had a look at the IIHF Hall of Fame. Players not already in the Hockey Hall of Fame are:

Maria Rooth (F, Sweden, ret 2010)

Karyn Bye-Dietz (F, USA, ret 2002)

Riikka Nieminen-Välilä (F, Finland ret 2003... returned 2013, playing at Pyeongchang,not actually eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame right now, has 56 career points at Worlds goodness this woman is badass)

Goalies

Unfortunately, Elite Prospects isn’t good at career stats for goalies. So I’m going to turn to Giants In the Crease, and their list of the top 25 women’s hockey goalies of all time. The top five HHOF-eligible goalies from the list are:

Kim St-Pierre (Canada, ret 2013)

Manon Rhéaume (Canada, ret 2009)

Kim Martin Hasson (Sweden, ret 2015)

Zuzana Tomčíková (Slovakia, ret 2015)

Erin Whitten (USA, ret 1999)

There are, of course, players on none of these lists who are eligible and have careers worthy of mention. Cassie Campbell-Pascall, the only player, male or female, to have captained two Olympic gold medal-winning hockey teams. Hong Guo, nicknamed “the Great Wall of China”, the Chinese national team goalie for two Olympics and at least five World Championships. The players who broke barriers before there was such a thing as a women’s hockey World Championships.

These are just a sample of the excellent women throughout women’s hockey history who ought to be in the discussion as the time for 2018 nominations draws near. Let’s hope two of them actually get the call.

Olympics

History

Vicky Sunohara’s Olympic journey – The Varsity
Blues head coach talks coaching and Olympics

20 Years Later: An oral history of the 1998 U.S. women's hockey team | NBC Olympics
"...we’ll be 20 years down the line and thinking, I can’t believe that happened to us."

Previews

Back to Excited Hockey Podcast: Episode 14 - Olympics! - Pension Plan Puppets
Baseball Annie and Nafio join us to preview the Olympics

Team Switzerland Women’s Roster & Preview for Winter Olympics
The Swiss women will again be underdogs at the Winter Games, but that is a position they are both familiar and comfortable with.

2018 Olympic Preview: Team Sweden - The Ice Garden
Will the Leif Boork era end with a whimper or a bang?

2018 Olympic Preview: Team Korea - The Ice Garden
For better or for worse, the united Korean team will be playing under a microscope at PyeongChang

(PyeongChang Prospects) Native daughter ready to wow hometown fans in Olympic women's hockey
When golfer Jack Nicklaus won the Masters in 1965, the great Bobby Jones said, "He plays a game with which I am not familiar." On the South Korean women's ice hockey team, players say forward Park Jong-ah plays a game with which they are not familiar, such is the level of her skills.

Warm-ups

Sweden edges unified Korea - Olympic - International Ice Hockey Federation IIHF
The first exhibition games in Korea have been played on Sunday. The unified Korean women’s national team lost 3-1 to Sweden, Canada blanked Switzerland 10-0.

Politics

(Olympics) Uncertainty hangs over joint Korean hockey team as Olympic roster takes shape
The Olympic roster for the joint Korean women's hockey team appears to be taking shape, as a shroud of mystery came over the 35-deep squad on Tuesday.

Women’s Hockey Update: February 1st, 2018 | CONWAY'S RUSSIAN HOCKEY BLOG
We will get to Olga Sosina (above) and the national team's Olympic preparations, but the big news of the week came today from the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, which recently heard the appeals of 39 Russian athletes convicted by the Oswald Commission of doping offences at the 2014 Games.

International Hockey

Dutch Delight
The Netherlands u18 women’s national team took first place in the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division I Group B Qualification after winning all four games in Mexico City.

Girls breaking barriers on ice get boost from Olympic champion | Hindustan Times
Little known in the country, the women’s ice hockey team of India, based in Leh, has managed to catch international attention by fighting odds and daring to persevere with a sport that has become their life’s passion

CWHL

Les Canadiennes vs. Vanke Rays recap: Maschmeyer, Ouellette come up big in win - Eyes On The Prize
Montreal sweeps the three game series with a 2-0 win.

CWHL Recap: Markham Thunder snap Toronto Furies win streak 6-2 - Pension Plan Puppets
Markham sneaks into a tie for the final playoff spot.

http://calgarysun.com/sports/hockey/inferno-score-three-of-four-points-in-first-games-in-china
The Calgary Inferno split their first two games on an overseas hockey trip to China.Playing against the host Vanke Rays, a team chasing the Inferno in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League standings, the visitors opened with a 6-2 win Saturday followed by a 3-2 shootout loss Sunday.

Les Canadiennes sweep Boston, remain in first place - Eyes On The Prize
It was a milestone weekend for several Montreal players

CWHL Recap: Markham Thunder roll over Toronto Furies 5-2 - Pension Plan Puppets
Toronto officially eliminated from the playoffs with the loss.

Caroline Ouellette becomes CWHL’s all-time leading goal scorer - Eyes On The Prize
She scored the record breaker in Boston.

Inferno: Alphabet Soup - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Alphabetic Anagrams Analysis Of The Matchups Against Vanke & Toronto

Professional hockey player pays it forward to generous and helpful First Nation - Windspeaker - AMMSA
“They took me out on their boat and they helped me with my wetlands collection.” —Fielding Montgomery, PhD candidate and left winger with the Markham Thunder

Des médailles... au trésor | Le Journal de Montréal
Caroline Ouellette, 4 fois championne olympique, adore son rôle de mère, elle qui joue encore au hockey à 38 ans.

NWHL

NWHL Weekend Wrap
The NWHL's Riveters see an unbeaten streak end, while the Beauts extend their winning streak. Meanwhile, the Whale beat the Pride to end a losing streak.

NWHL Heads to Minnesota for 2018 All Star Festivities
For the first time in history, the NWHL is heading to Minnesota - if only for a weekend. Amanda Leveille and Brittany Ott will lead their respective teams.

Maddie Elia makes the most of an opportunity of a lifetime | lockportjournal.com
Every time Maddie Elia hears her name called over the P.A. system at the HarborCenter and skates to the blue line during pre-game introductions, she can't help but smile

Metropolitan Riveters: Tatiana Rafter's Riveting Season

Tatiana Rafter: "I always feel like I have a lot of trust in the people I’m playing with and everyone has really bought into what we are trying to do. It makes it easy.”

TIG Video: Harrison Browne’s speech and Q&A from the Devils Pride Night - The Ice Garden
"If you’re ready, be yourself. It’s the only way to live your life. Don’t live for anybody else." - Harrison Browne

Bay Area author to create graphic novel inspired by female hockey players
Titled “Kicking Ice,” the book is being illustrated by a former DC Comic artist Lee Moder.

NCAA

Polls: USCHO | USA Today | The Ice Garden

2018 Beanpot preview - The Ice Garden
The most exciting tournament in Boston is less than a week away.

NCAA Women’s Hockey Bracketology: February 1st, 2018 - BC Interruption
Just three weeks until the conference tournaments!

WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Top-10 foes snap Yale’s win streak
Facing off against some of the best competition the NCAA has to offer, the Yale women’s hockey team’s four-game winning streak screeched to a halt this weekend against two top-10 opponents.

Clarkson's Gabel, Boston College's Watts take home women's HCA honors for January | USCHO.com

Terriers Advance to Beanpot Final with 3-2 Win over Harvard - GoTerriers.com | The Official Site of Boston University Athletics
Senior Victoria Bach tallied two goals and freshman Jesse Compher scored the eventual game-winner to lift the Boston University women's ice hockey team to a 3-2 victory over Harvard in the opening round of the 40th annual Women's Beanpot on Tuesday night at Conte Forum.

U Sports

TOP 10 TUESDAY — U SPORTS
Manitoba is back on top

Jessica Vance, Lawrence Moore named Canada West stars of the week
University of Saskatchewan athletes Jessica Vance and Lawrence Moore both earned nods as Canada West stars of the week following strong performances in their games last weekend.

Sudbury shot stopper making her mark at OUA level - Sudbury.com
Stephanie Pascal earns OUA athlete of the week honours

UPDATE: Panthers to host national women's hockey tournament in 2019, 2020 | Hockey | Sports | The Guardian
Emma Weatherbie already knows where her university hockey career will end.

AIWHL (Australia)

2017-18 AWIHL season: Round 7 | Ice Hockey News Australia
Round 7 of the 2017-18 Australian Women's Ice Hockey League season has finished with both the Brisbane Goannas and Adelaide Rush picking up a win in their double header at Iceworld Boondall.