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Riikka Sallinen’s Hall of Fame Career to be Honored

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The plan is for the first non-North American woman to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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This week, Riikka Sallinen was announced as a member of the Class of 2022, becoming only the ninth woman ever inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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Sallinen is already a member of the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame, where she was inducted in 2007, and the IIHF Hall of Fame, inducted in 2010. The Finnish forward has two bronze Olympic medals in two decades (1998 and 2018) and six world championships. Championship bronze medals and silver from 1990 to 2019. When she won the 2018 Olympic bronze, 44-year-old Sallinen became the oldest player in Olympic hockey history to win a medal. She set the record after surpassing another Finnish product, Teemu Selanne.

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At the international level, Sallinen dominated for almost three decades, becoming the star of the World Cup three times. At Nagano, Sallinen’s 12 points in six games were the best of any player in the 1998 Olympics, a tournament that featured fellow Hockey Hall of Famers Haley Wickenheiser, Cammy Granato, Danielle Goyette and Geraldine Heaney. In her final seasons before retiring, Sallinen scored five points in six games at the 2018 Olympics. At the 2019 World Cup, she was one of the top three players on her team.

Sallinen’s longevity of success is an impressive feature of her career. Midway through her career, as injuries escalated, Sallinen took a ten-year hiatus from the game, starting in 2003, before she returned to the sport in 2013. Had Sallinen not taken this break from playing at the height of her career, the number of medals and awards on her resume would likely have doubled.

In total, only three Finnish hockey players have ever been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Apart from Riikka Sallinen, Teemu Selanne and Jari Kurri are the only other players from Finland.

Although the Hockey Hall of Fame has allocated two positions to women in each induction class since 2010, Sallinen is the only woman to be inducted in 2022. for women were only used once in 2019 when Jaina Hefford and Haley Wickenheirrer were inducted.

Other women who were eligible but did not enter the Hall of Fame this year included Caroline Ouellette, Jennifer Botterill, Vicki Sunohara, Karin Bai, Cassie Campbell and Julie Chu.



Source: thehockeynews.com

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