Hayley Wickenheiser is officially going to be a member of the CWHL this upcoming season. The news was broke by the CWHL earlier today. The four-time Olympic gold medallist has indicated her intention is to play for the Calgary Inferno next season.
What can be said about her that hasn't been already?
Probably the best female hockey player to ever play the game, Wickenheiser has earned an Olympic medal five times with Team Canada, as well as countless World and Four Nations Championships, she embodies all that hockey is in this country.
"Getting a player like Wick(enheiser) is huge; for us it's like Bobby Hull joining the WHA, or Wayne Gretzky being traded to LA. It's a game changer," said Chantal Champagne, general manager of the Calgary Inferno. "Players like that are one of a kind and it's huge, not just for us but for the entire league. It proves that the CWHL is the league to play in.
She will play for the Calgary Inferno. The team already has numerous national team members such as Bailey Bram and Rebecca Johnston. Brianne Jenner also announced her plans last week to play for the Inferno next season.
The Inferno finished 2nd in the league last year, and with this addition, the team is expected to seriously challenge for their first Clarkson Cup.
"Today's announcement is a testament to the success of our league," stated CWHL Commissioner Brenda Andress. "For Hayley to choose the CWHL as the next step in her hockey career reflects the high calibre competition that defines us. This is an exciting opportunity for the league to showcase one of the greatest players this sport has seen and we know our fans will be thrilled to see Wick competing throughout the season."
Hayley's community spirit and promotion of the sport is echoed by the other members of Calgary's squad. Off the ice, the team is active in the community, hosts charity games, and attends community events. The players are leaders and role models to younger generations.
"Hayley’s decorated accomplishments speak for themselves," commented Inferno head coach Scott Reid. "Being able to add her to our line-up would give us depth and strength, which would help us to contend for the Clarkson Cup this season. As a hockey club, we are thrilled to be able to bring her on board at the draft."