One day Hayley Wickenheiser will make the Hockey Hall of Fame. But by the time she becomes eligible she hopes the committee deciding her enshrinement will be much more familiar with the women's game than the current Hockey Hall of Fame committee.
The Hockey Hall of Fame has changed it's bylaws to encourage the inclusion of top women's hockey players, starting in 2010. However, as it stands now, the same NHL-biased committee that decides the men's inductions will also handle the women's.
Wickenheiser sees a problem with that. She is advocating that the women's inductions should be decided by it's own selection committee, one that is much more familiar with the women's game.
"If you asked they'd admit they probably don't know anything about women's hockey, just looking at that committee and that's fine," she said. "You can look at statistics and past accomplishments and it depends what the criteria is.
"But for sure you've got to have some people who have been involved with the game for a length of time on there to give some input. Otherwise, they're kind of making blind decisions."
HHOF selection committee member Pat Quinn was on Bob McCown's Prime Time Sports radio show this week and he did not think this would be an issue, citing that all members of the committee have been exposed to women's hockey since at least 1998, the first year the women's game was included in the Olympics.
Which likely means many of the committee members will be making Hall of Fame decisions based on watching as few as three women's games - the gold medal showdown in the three Olympics since then.
Let's all admit it - few of us have watched much women's hockey beyond the Canada/USA clashes. Does that make us experts worthy of deciding their Hall of Fame inclusion? No, not at at all.
Wickenheiser is right. We need a Hall of Fame sub-committee of journalists and coaches who know the women's game 365 days of the year, not just for the 2 or 3 high profile games each year.
Wickenheiser did not offer up any suggestions as to which experts should be put in charge of selecting the female Hall of Famers. She did weigh in on who she felt should be the first two women inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame - Angela James and Geraldine Heaney.
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