The International Ice Hockey Federation announced on Thursday the six players and one builder who will enter the IIHF Hall of Fame in May 2008. For the first time, women’s hockey will be part of the induction ceremony, as three players – Canadians Geraldine Heaney and Angela James and American Cammi Granato – will be in Quebec City for induction.
A look at the three Canadians who will be inducted:
From her debut with the Beatrice Aeros at the age of 13 to an Olympic gold medal in 2002 at the age of 34,
few have had the career that Geraldine Heaney can lay claim to. The first woman to win seven consecutive IIHF
World Women’s Championship gold medals, Heaney also won a silver medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano,
Japan to join her 2002 gold from Salt Lake City, Utah. During her 125-game career as an anchor on the
Canadian blueline, Heaney racked up 93 points (27 goals, 66 assists), far and away the leading scorer among
Canadian defensemen, and the fifth-highest total of all time.
One of the pioneers of women’s hockey, both in Canada and on the international stage, Angela James is a name
synonymous with the female game. A four IIHF World Women’s Championship gold medalist, her 11 goals and 13
points in 1990 are still single-tournament Canadian records. James was just as successful on the national
stage as she was in international hockey, winning more than a dozen medals and eight Most Valuable Player
awards at Canadian national women’s championships during her decorated career, and eight scoring titles and
six MVP awards in the Central Ontario Women’s Hockey League, where she was a numerous-time league and
Mario Lemieux was a world-class player in every one of his international appearances. It started at the 1983 IIHF World Junior Championship where he had 10 points in seven games. As a 19-year-old, he scored another 10 points in as many games at the 1985 IIHF World Championship, leading Canada to their first win over the Soviet Union in 24 years. At the 1987 Canada Cup, he amassed an unbeatable 18 points in nine games and was during that period considered as the best offensive force in all of hockey. The one-two punch with Wayne Gretzky at that tournament reached mythical proportions. As a 37-year-old, Lemieux won the Olympic gold medal in 2002, leading Canada to its first Olympic hockey gold in 50 years. He had six points in five games as team captain of Canada. He closed his international career by winning the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, captaining by example with five points in six games.