The offseason is running wild with the PWHPA getting closer to securing a league, the PHF signing players to a ton of multi-year deals and the social media antics of some players making headlines of their own.
A major topic of discussion this week has also been the 2023 Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF) inductees announcement. Unfortunately for those of us in the women’s hockey world, it was quite a disappointing outcome again. Don’t get me wrong, Caroline Oullette was elected and she’s more than deserving. Oullette has four Olympic gold medals, six IIHF World Championship gold medals, six silver IIHF World Championship medals and four Clarkson Cup championships — and that’s just the condensed version.
I don’t want to diminish the value of accomplished women getting the recognition they deserve. However, with two available HHOF spots for women every year and a massive backlog of said-accomplished women deserving of recognition, the choice to continue to only induct one woman a year is equal parts baffling and frustrating. Especially when, let’s be honest, some of the male players on the list had careers that were mediocre at best.
The ever-lovely Hannah Bevis wrote about the ways to fix this issue for TIG *six years ago* and the fact that every word of this is still valid today just flat out sucks. She put it in words better than I could, so I will direct you there first. I could give you a bulleted list of women who would be my top picks or compile a Twitter thread of the most deserving but truthfully, I’d like to just say that the future down this road scares me.
For too long women’s hockey history has been erased either from leagues folding, stats not being kept and more. With the landscape of this sport growing exponentially by the year, if we continue to allow just one woman into the HHOF every year, I can only imagine how many deserving players will slip through the cracks or get overshadowed by…Pierre Turgeon? All for some arbitrary rules created by old men limiting how many nominees there are? It just doesn’t sit right with me or any of us at The Ice Garden and beyond. We weren’t the only ones talking about it this week.