Crashing hockey's boys club
I've got no qualms regarding this year's Hockey Hall of Fame inductees
I've no serious regrets regarding the Hall passing, for this year at least, on
Unlike a great many in my profession, I don't subscribe to the oft-stated theory that the Hall is ridiculously easy to get into although I do buy into the argument that the selection committee is too small and too heavily weighted to interests beholden to the National Hockey League and its friends and extended family. A strong argument for that is that
Chynoweth is a deserving candidate given his long service to the game, but one can't help but wonder whether the board is honoring him
What I do have a problem with (aside from the inclusion of the 1972 Canadian Summit Series team while excluding the 1980 U.S. Men's Olympic Team) is the board's seeming refusal to acknowledge that women exist and that they play hockey.
A look at the selection committee reveals there are no women among the 18 members (17 at the moment) and, to the best of my knowledge and memory, there never have been. It's hard to hear the argument for a qualified female candidate if the closest female to the committee is the one who is asked to get them their coffee.
Surely if my esteemed
Certainly if there's space made for a legendary contributor like
Or how about the women who served on the council that eventually opened the door to women's hockey as an Olympic sport? Aren't they just as influential in their world as board members
And if a woman or two or three or four did have a seat at that the table, wouldn't they have at least a chance to make a compelling argument for
Is it her fault that was as far as women could go in her time and that she was the best of a very good group?
Or how about American-born
The world of women's hockey has a long list of "pioneers" of the sport, women as influential in their time and in their game as any of the builders who first launched and later grew the NHL and the International Ice Hockey Federation.
Reports differ as to when exactly women's hockey came onto the sports scene in a meaningful way, but there's no question it's been there for well over 100 years. Women's hockey is entrenched at all levels of play in the United States and Canada and other pockets of the hockey-playing world are making strides in that regard. U.S. women's college hockey is a fixture on campuses across the country and it is the single largest hockey avenue available to women playing the game in Canada.
Is there no room for
Surely the long and commendable contributions of
Girls and women's hockey is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and given what women have done for the game at every level except the NHL, isn't it about time they had a seat at the table and a plaque or two or more in Toronto? It is, after all, called the
"It's great because now we're finally being recognized not only in our own country but worldwide," Heaney said.
So what's the holdup in Toronto? Eighteen men, all of them white, nearly all of them tied to the NHL, have held the reins of power in the Hockey Hall of Fame for far too long. It would be a far, far better thing that they open the process up to women willingly rather than to have to explain themselves to the courts, to women's groups and, most importantly, to their wives and daughters as to why they waited for someone else to force their secretive hand.
As if he couldn't quite bring himself to acknowledge it, Commissioner
The cap has been rising every year since the lockout ended and is now expected to be in the $56- $57 million range. However, the Commissioner only acknowledged "mid-fifties." You can be assured he does know virtually to the penny what the cap will be, but it's a sensitive subject because as the cap rises, so does the floor and a great many mid-market and small-market teams are said to be incensed over a floor number that's likely to come in at or above $40 million. That's a spectacular rise over the last few years. Before the cap, some teams were struggling with a $30 million payroll.
Revenues have risen, but not for all teams, and the gap between the haves and have-nots is every bit as real as it was before the lockout that was, among other things, supposed to end it.
Sources tell SI.com that the NHL Players Association is not likely to opt out of an agreement that has served them better than anyone expected after the lockout. There's a school of thought that says many owners would love to have the same choice and would gladly end the current CBA, but they don't have that option.
The PA is said to be especially concerned about perceived failing franchises. Its numbers indicate that the Phoenix Coyotes are losing near $30 million and with no recourse in sight. The PA intends to urge the Commissioner to do something to stop Phoenix's financial drain on league-wide resources.