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Morning Flurries: the Hall of Fame takes a step in the right direction

It’s a small step but a step in the right direction for inclusion of women in the Hockey Hall of Fame

Ice Hockey - Olympic Gold Medal Match Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Earlier this week, the Hockey Hall of Fame inducted Jayna Hefford as a part of their class of 2018.

The inclusion of Hefford was long overdue. With four Olympic gold medals and seven World Championships, she is one of the most decorated players - man or woman - in international hockey history.

The fact that it took so long for her to get in, though, was an indictment on how far behind the Hall of Fame is when it comes to inducting worthy members from the world of Women’s hockey.

Yesterday, the group took at step in the right direction when they announced that Olympic gold medalist, and current member of Hockey Night in Canada, Cassie Campbell-Pascall was added to the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee.

As the first woman to serve on the committee, Campbell-Pascall will give women’s hockey a voice in the room that was previously missing.

There is still a long way to go before the HOF catches up with the number of women that are deserving to be inducted, but yesterday’s announcement was a step in the right direction.

Two years ago, I wrote about how far behind the HOF Selection Committee is in this area. Here is a list of just a few women that represent the backlog waiting to get into the Hall. [Blogger’s Tribune]

During her induction speech, Hefford spoke about her desire to work with the hockey world to help the growth of women’s hockey and what it will take for the sport to get the recognition it deserves:

“You’re trying to attract hockey fans, girls, boys, men, women, college folks. It doesn’t matter. It’s about people who love the game,” Hefford said. “Because we believe in the product and we believe in the athletes. That’s our goal. And we’re expanding our fan base. We want lots of young female hockey players there, but we believe we’re a great example for young boys, and for women and men, people who love the game.”

Beyond specifically growing the women’s game, Hefford spoke out about helping to create opportunity and breaking down barriers for women in every facet of the sport - something that we should all be doing.

“I hope you’ll join me in advocating for the power of opportunity for everyone. Because it’s only when our voices are united, we become too loud to ignore.” [TSN]

In NHL news, last night was a big one for a future Hall of Famer. In a 5-4 victory over the Predators, San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton scored his 400th goal as an NHLer. Thornton is the 97th player in NHL history to his the milestone.

Having notched his 1000th career assist last season, Jumbo Joe becomes only the 11th player in NHL history to hit the 400 + 1000 mark.

From one player nearing the end of his career to another just starting his; last night, a former University of Notre Dame captain - and teammate of Avalanche prospect Cam Morrison - made his debut for in net for the Los Angeles Kings.

As a result of injuries to Jonathan Quick and Jack Campbell, the Kings were forced to start Peter Budaj in net last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It went about as well as can be expected. After giving up four quick goals - two of which came before the Kings even had a shot on net - Budaj was pulled in favor of 24-year-old rookie Cal Petersen.

Petersen gave up an early goal as he was thrown into the net right before a four-minute powerplay for the Maple Leafs, but he was solid the rest of the way, finishing with 14 saves on 15 shots. He was able to keep the game respectable while playing behind a team that looked absolutely dreadful. Hopefully this is just the first of many appearances in an NHL net for Petersen.

In less feel-good news, yesterday an independent arbitrator - the same one that inexplicably lowered Austin Watson’s suspension for domestic abuse - lowered Tom Wilson’s suspension from 20 games down to 14.

Wilson had already sat out 16 games of the suspension, and while he can’t go back in time and play those two games, he will be re-reimbursed for them. Wilson will gain $378,048.78 in lost salary thanks to the arbitrator’s ruling.

Sure, it’s Wilson’s right to appeal to an arbitrator, but at a certain point, people have to look at what he does on the ice and draw a line. He’s a dangerous player who is constantly stepping over the line and getting suspended as a result. The 20 game suspension was a message from the league that his antics won’t be tolerated. The arbitrator has now put the “eh, maybe it’s not so bad” thought out in the world.

How many games before Wilson is suspended again? I’ll put the over/under at 19.5.

He was in the lineup for the Capitals last night and this happened: