For the first time in their 55-year history, the Hockey Hall of Fame has inducted a woman–no, TWO women–into their clubhouse: Cammi Granato and Angela James.
Cammi Granato was the face of women’s hockey in the U.S. for over a decade. She was a part of the U.S. National Women’s Team from 1990 to 2006, and won numerous Gold and Silver medals at World Championships, Olympics and other international tournaments. (More about Cammi Granato)
Referred to as the “Wayne Gretzky of Women’s Hockey,” Angela James scored 34 points in 20 international contests, winning 7 gold medals in the process.
Both women have accomplished hockey careers. Granato is a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, and James a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. The pair are also in the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame. Induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame is a fitting, well-deserved honor.
A few guys were inducted too:
Dino Ciccarelli – Dino scored 1232 points during his 19-year NHL career. And why did it take 11 years for him to get in the Hall?
Jimmy Devallano (builder category) – Longtime NHL executive most famously known as the General Manager that built the powerhouse Detroit Red Wings team of the 1990s and 2000s.
Daryl “Doc” Seaman (builder category) – One of the owners of the Calgary Flames, He passed away in 2009.
The fact that two women were inducted into the HHOF shows how much women’s hockey has grown–especially since becoming a medal sport in the Winter Olympics in 1998.
And as a Chicago native, it is extra special for me to see Granato–who is from the suburbs of Chicago–make it into the Hall.
What is disappointing is that two builders were a part of the 2010 HHOF class. One builder and four players would have been more appropriate. Just look at what players were overlooked this year:
Adam Oates (6th year of eligibility)- Oates is the highest scorer to not be in the Hall of Fame (341 goals, 1079 assists, 1420 points–that’s over a point-per-game during his 19-year NHL career.
Doug Gilmour (7th year of eligibility)- Though Gilmour was lauded for his defensive play–he won the Selke Trophy in 1993–he scored 1414 points in 1474 games over 20 years.
Joe Nieuwendyk (1st year of eligibility) – 19 seasons in the NHL, and over 1100 points. Brian Costello at The Hockey News had me convinced that Nieuwendyk was a shoo-in for the Hall. Well, there’s always next year.
With all due respect to Devallano and Seaman, I think only one builder should be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame each year. Sure, builder’s “build” the sport in both apparent and intangible ways. But it is the players themselves who are the lifeblood of the sport.