The Hockey Hall of Fame is set to induct it's class of 2017. The outstanding class features Dave Andreychuk, Paul Kariya, Mark Recchi, Teemu Selanne, Jeremy Jacobs, and former University of Alberta head coach Clare Drake.
Over the next few days we will look at each of the honourees, starting with the female pioneer Danielle Goyette. Goyette becomes just the fifth woman to be enshrined as an honoured member — joining Angela Ruggiero (2015), Geraldine Heaney (2013), Cammi Granato (2010), and Angela James (2010).
In 15 seasons with Canada's national team, Goyette became one of the most accomplished players ever, despite not playing at any serious level until the age of 25. The St-Nazaire, Que. native played 171 career games for Canada, scoring 113 goals and tallying 105 assists. She scored 15 goals in her three Olympic games, winning a pair of gold medals to go with one silver, and was Canada's flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. She was also part of eight gold medal-winning teams at the World Championships.
Hayley Wickenheiser penned a great article on NHL.com about Goyette which really highlighted the realities of women's hockey compared to unreal world of the National Hockey League.
"They will talk about how she worked as a janitor at night at the Olympic Oval and trained by day. Or the part-time job at Home Depot working in the plumbing section at night after long days of training. Steel-toed boots and concrete floors for 6 to 8 hours a day just to play the game she loved. Yup, she did all of that, and more. I can't tell you how many times myself and other teammates had her over to fix our plumbing, or lay flooring or do general contractor work."
Over at The Athletic (sorry, it's behind a paywall), Cassie Campbell Pascal talks more about Goyette the hockey player in a fantastic article by another Hall of Famer, Eric Duhatschek.
“The one thing about Danielle that people don’t know is, she was the smartest player – ever – to play the game,” said Campbell-Pascall. “She made it look so easy out there that sometimes we questioned her effort – because she was just always in the right position at the right time. She played with Nancy Drolet. They were a tandem for many years; and she made Nancy better. She made Wick better. Then I got to play with her – and she made me better. Vicky and I and her finished as a line together – the Old Dogs, they called us, because we were 110 years old – and she made everyone better, everyone she ever played with.”
I will continue adding to this Goyette piece as more feature articles are published in the coming days.