NHL News

Hockey Hall’s exhibit showcases women’s history

TORONTO — The women’s hockey world gathered Tuesday for the unveiling of a new exhibit at the Hockey Hall of Fame celebrating the sport’s history.

Hall of Famers Angela James and Jayna Hefford put the finishing touches on the exhibit, placing trophies named after them into a display case at the shrine to hockey in downtown Toronto.

James and Hefford hoped the Hall of Fame’s new exhibit would inspire young girls to start playing hockey.

“We have so much history in our game that people don’t know about and we’re still making history,” Hefford said. “As people learn more about the sport and get excited about the history of the sport, that’s how you bring more people in and people get engaged and want to be a part of it.”

James agreed.

“The Hockey Hall of Fame is so inclusive and to be able to capture every league, every association, all of women’s hockey from the 1930s right up to the current times and celebrate that is pretty phenomenal,” James said. “We’re all enrolling in women’s hockey to elevate our game and this is pretty special, I think.”

James, one of the first two women inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010, is now the general manager of the Premier Hockey Federation’s Toronto Six. Hefford is an operations consultant with the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.

The exhibit includes nearly 100 artifacts from over 130 years of women’s hockey history. Some highlights include the Clarkson Cup, Abby Hoffman Trophy, Jayna Hefford CWHL MVP Trophy and Angela James Bowl for CWHL top scorer.

A spokeswoman for the Hockey Hall of Fame said that it had planned to add the exhibit in early 2020 but those plans were derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Once public health restrictions were eased the exhibit’s debut was timed to coincide with this week’s women’s world hockey championship in nearby Brampton, Ontario.

Players representing Canada, Germany, Sweden, and Czechia were in attendance as the tournament begins Wednesday.

“I came to Hockey Hall of Fame with my all-boys team when I was 10 and it was always about the NHL players in the Stanley Cup,” said Sarah Fillier, a forward with Canada’s women’s team who grew up in Georgetown, Ontario. “So I can’t imagine being a young girl now playing hockey, coming here and seeing the history of the women’s game and being really inspired.”

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