HASH(0xbf4160)

NHL 100: Women have played key roles in hockey over the last century

NHL 100: A weekly look at 100 years of hockey

Women have played hockey and pioneered innovations in the sport since the game took shape in the late 1800s. While the National Hockey League has remained a male-dominated enterprise, women have occasionally broken through with achievements to change the game.

MARGUERITE NORRIS

Marguerite Norris was the first female executive in the NHL and the first woman to get her name on the Stanley Cup.

Norris was just 25, but had her late father’s business acumen when she became president of the Detroit Red Wings in 1952. In her three seasons at the helm (1952-1955) the Wings finished first three times and won two Stanley Cups.

It wasn’t easy. Wings GM Jack Adams insisted on calling her “dearie” and Toronto’s Conn Smythe tried to kick her out of board of governor meetings to keep them an all-male preserve.

 

DOLORES CLAMAN

The Vancouver-born composer and prodigious advertising jingle-writer sat down at her piano in Ontario in 1968, at the behest of “Hockey Night in Canada,” and delivered what has become famous as “The Hockey Theme.”

The instrumental ditty â€” with its percussive martial drumbeat, grand soaring horns, and crashing cymbals â€” evoked the titanic clash of warriors on ice and became the unofficial anthem of Canada’s game for over a generation until the CBC lost the rights in 2008.

 

MANON RHEAUME

It has been 25 years since Rheaume smashed through the barrier to become the first woman in North America’s big four pro sports to suit up and play.

The Quebec-born Rheaume was 20 when she skated out to a standing ovation for the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sept. 23, 1992, in a pre-season game against the St. Louis Blues. Rheaume was steady, but unspectacular, allowed two goals on nine shots and was replaced after the first period before going on to have a career in the minor leagues.

 

KATE SMITH

Kate Smith was already a legendary radio and TV mezzo-soprano singing star, since the days of the Depression, when she became a good-luck charm for the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Flyers, trying to jazz up the pre-game anthems in 1968 played Smith’s signature “God Bless America.” When they played it, the Flyers usually won, and Smith herself contributed to the legend appearing four times in person to sing before puck drop.

On May 19, 1974, she sang in person the night the Flyers won their first Stanley Cup.

 

HELEN HUTCHINSON

Helen Hutchinson, an award-winning television news journalist, broke ground in the sports world in the mid-1970s when she signed on to the “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcast team.

Hutchinson, who learned the game at her father’s knee, conducted player interviews but only stayed for a year. She found balancing her TV news job, hockey, and family was too much.

Her work paved the way for female broadcasters to come, such as Cassie Campbell.

 

DAWN BRAID

Women have occasionally been employed as contract workers in the NHL coaching ranks since the 1970s to help players improve their skating.

But Dawn Braid blazed a new trail in August 2016 when she landed a full-time coaching job with the Arizona Coyotes, the first such position held by a woman in the NHL. Braid grew up as a figure skater and for decades has worked with NHL teams and players, including John Tavares of the New York Islanders.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Outbreak at Okanagan hospital

Gastrointestinal illness reported at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

Dedicated volunteers look for clues

Police appreciate work of those who provide extra eyes for missing women investigations.

Dueck answers Hall’s call

Vernon’s Josh Dueck elected to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame

Big Band supports children with disabilities in Lake Country

Proceeds from the Okanagan Big Band performance in Vernon supports local kids

Armstrong RCMP seek suspicious driver

Want to speak with man who spoke to two young girls while in his car as they walked home from school

Christmas spirit rounded up at Ranch

O’Keefe Ranch celebrates the season with Victorian Christmas

Horgan says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

B.C. is developing its rules on recreational marijuana

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Vernon Off Road Motorcycle Club looks back at 2017 season

Half Throttle, Great Trails, highlight 2017 season

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Worship night celebrates with Christmas concert

Hear The Music is back with a Christmas concert Dec. 17 at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre

Armstrong purse project puts women first

When money is tight, even the essentials can become luxury items

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

RCMP look to reunite owner with stolen tools

Kelowna police seek to identify the owner of tablet and tools seized by RCMP

Most Read