Although the Hockey Hall of Fame has designated two seats for women hockey players to take office since 2010, both seats have only been used once.
It happened to the first class in 2010 when Cammy Granato and Angela James became the first women inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Over the next 12 years, only seven women were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The absence of women is not due to the absence of legendary players. In fact, the list of women awarded and deserving of the Hall of Fame is long. The nine women in the Hall include Granato, James, Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette, Geraldine Heaney, Kim St. Pierre, Jaina Hefford, Angela Ruggiero and Riikka Sallinen, called this year. should see themselves inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Caroline Wellett – With four Olympic gold medals and six World Championship gold medals, Ouellette should be in the Hall of Fame by now. Ouellette played for Canada from 1999 to 2018 and seemed like a strong candidate for that year. A two-time CWHL MVP with the Montreal Stars, Ouellette also competed in America for several years, starring at the University of Minnesota Duluth before turning pro. In 79 Olympic and World Cup games, Ouellette has scored just under 100 points, making her one of the best strikers in the history of the national team. In addition to her gold medals, Ouellet has won six more World Championship silver medals and is a four-time Clarkson Cup champion. This is a good enough resume to be accepted.
Vicki Sunohara – Along with James and Granato, Sunohara was considered one of the first superstars in women’s hockey. Among other incredible accomplishments, her resume is adorned with two Olympic gold medals and seven World Championship gold medals. Her early influence as a leading member of Canada’s first-ever World Championships and Olympic squads is undeniable. Sunohara currently coaches the University of Toronto, where she is USports Coach of the Year.
Hilda Ranscombe – Inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015, Ranscombe captained the famed Preston Rivulettes. During the 1930s, Ranscombe dominated women’s hockey, winning ten Ontario provincial championships and six national titles as the Rivulets’ top scorer. In fact, her team only lost twice in 350 games in their decade of dominance, which came to an end due to World War II. Ranscombe was considered one of the best players in the world, regardless of gender, and is among the many men inducted into the Hall of Fame of her era. Ranscombe passed away in 1998 at the age of 84.
Fran Ryder – The historical gender disparity in hockey is embodied perhaps nowhere more vividly than in Fran Ryder’s expulsion from the Hockey Hall of Fame. Inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2015, Ryder herself was a star hockey player with the Brampton Canadettes in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1982, Ryder hosted the relaunched Canadian Women’s National Championship, and in 1987 hosted the World Hockey Tournament, a precursor to the first Women’s World Championship in 1990, which she also hosted. Recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Hockey in Canada, Ryder continues to lead the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association. Without her influence, women around the world would not have the opportunities they have in hockey today.
Meggan Duggan Olympian, seven-time world champion, Patty Kazmayer Memorial Award winner, captain of the US national team, three-time NCAA champion and Clarkson Cup winner, Duggan’s absence from the Hall of Fame is confusing. Her impact on the sport while playing in the NCAA, CWHL, NWHL and internationally for the United States is hard to match. Duggan currently serves as Director of Player Development for the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. Her influence as a legendary US forward and role model for future generations of female hockey players is immeasurable.
Julie Chu – A four-time Olympic medalist and five-time world champion, Chu was a regular on Team USA for ten years. She won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award for top NCAA player while starring at Harvard and was a four-time All-American. Chu also won a pair of Clarkson Cup titles with the Montreal Stars. She currently coaches the Stingers at Concordia University, leading her team to a national championship in 2022. By becoming the first Asian American ever to play for the US Women’s Team, Chu broke through barriers to become a spokesperson for future players.
Cassie Campbell – Inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2007, Campbell broke the gender barrier for Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame as the first female hockey player. She won a pair of Olympic gold medals and was a six-time world champion while playing for her country. Campbell was awarded the Order of Hockey of Canada in 2012 and the Order of Canada in 2016. Since the end of her career, Campbell has worked as a hockey broadcaster, working with Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet and TSN. She is one of the most recognizable and influential women in the history of sports and deserves to be in the gym one day.
Karin Bai – Inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2011, Bai is one of the top scorers in the history of the U.S. Women’s International Games. She began her hockey career playing under a pseudonym to hide her gender so that she would be allowed to play. A two-time USA Hockey Player of the Year award winner, Bai is an Olympic gold medalist and a six-time World Championship silver medalist. Before television and the media covered women’s hockey, Goodbye was the dominant force.
Jennifer Botterill – As the first player to win the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award twice as the top NCAA player, Botterill won three Olympic golds and five World Championship gold medals during her career in Canada. 2003–2004 World Championship MVP, Botterill also played for Toronto and Mississauga in the NWHL and CWHL, winning the NWHL title in 2004–2005. Internationally, she is one of Canada’s all-time leading scorers.
Though it’s in the past, and beyond the nine players in question, dozens, including Jenny Potter and Maria Ruth, could easily find their way into the Hall as the organization works to right the historical injustice. The future is even safer for a group of loyal Hall of Famers. Hilary Knight, Marie-Philip Poulain, Jenny Hiirikoski, Brianna Decker and Noura Rathy, who should be inductees for the first year of the Hockey Hall of Fame.