Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
The Hockey Hall of Fame located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has yet to admit a woman into its hallowed halls since it was established in 1943. Is this because no women have been worthy candidates or is there are gender bias happening? There are many are entrenched firmly on both sides of that fence.
Each year the Hall of Fame committee, which is made up of eighteen men, meet to choose a maximum of five new inductees, of which four can be players and one falls in the builders or officials category. A builder can be a coach, manager, owner, commentator or some other person who is deemed to have contributed to the game of hockey. As of this year, there are 240 players, 97 builders and 15 officials enshrined in the hall – none of whom are women.
The International Ice Hockey Federation’s Hall of Fame has inducted Cammi Granato, Angela James and Geraldine Heaney and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame has inducted Granato.
While it is not easy to compare a National Hockey League player’s statistics with that of a female’s, it is equally difficult to compare them with an international player yet international players have been inducted. Twelve women have had their name engraved on the Stanley Cup, the trophy presented to the champions of the NHL. The first woman to have her name engraved on the trophy was Marguerite Norris who had her name added in both 1954 and 1955 as President of the Detroit Red Wings.
Women play hockey. Women play in organized hockey. Women compete at the Olympics and other international events in hockey. It is self evident that there have been women competing, organizing and inspiring that have made contributions significant enough to warrant entry into the Hockey Hall of Fame. It is an insult to the women that have played hockey and have organized the game so that it has been made available to women to have it seem as though their efforts have not been worthy enough to stand side-by-side and be honoured with their male counterparts.