Hockey: Hayley Wickenheiser joins Calgary Dinos for run-up to Sochi 2014

You could say Hayley Wickenheiser is getting to do something at age 32 that wasn't so readily available to her 18-year-old self — play university hockey while working on a degree.

The three-time Olympic gold medallist joining the Calgary Dinos, well, that's kind of a big deal. It speaks well for the calibre of CIS women's hockey, particularly in Canada West, that someone who's achieved as much as Wickenheiser sees it as a desirable option as she works toward playing in one more Olympics and a post-playing career (she's talked about med school, if memory serves). That wouldn't have been the case not so long ago.
"Wickenheiser will be unveiled as the Dinos' newest recruit Thursday amid much fanfare. At the U of C, she will play for head coach Danielle Goyette, once Wickenheiser’s teammate with the Canadian national and Olympic teams.

"While Wickenheiser will continue to play for the national team, her principal responsibilities will be with the Dinos." — Allan Maki, Globe & Mail
One can only imagine the thrill for some of the Dinos, who have been following Wickenheiser's career since they were old enough to follow hockey. It also adds to a brewing rivalry with the defending national champion Alberta Pandas, who just had a key player, defender Shannon Ramsay, transfer to Calgary (she'll have to sit out this season).

(Now let's not spoil it by pointing out Wickenheiser is two years older than Mike Danton. Remember all the opposition last winter to Danton playing for Saint Mary's was strictly due to his age.)
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  1. I got to interview Danton last year at the U Cup, and should get a shot to talk with Wickenheiser at some point when she comes to town.

    Maybe CIS women's hockey needs something similar to men's where players can lose eligibility (men based on pro experience, and maybe the women should be based on seasons playing with the national team above a certain age - say 24 or 25?). Just throwing it out there.

    Sparks an interesting debate yet again!

  2. I won't be holding my breath waiting for the drive-by media to roast national treasure Wickenheiser for anything, let alone her age.

    I've said before, I have NO problem with varsity athletes at any age. While the majority of students, and student-athletes are of the "traditional" age, there are students of all ages at universities so why can't student athletes reflect that?

  3. In football, they choose to bannish football bums (especially with the new June rule). Why not in hockey, male or female?

  4. Deux fans..are you implying the best female hockey player in the world (at one time, anyway) is a BUM?

  5. I don't think Deux was doing that ... I took it to be sarcasm referring to how people stereotype football players.

    Gillian Ferrari, who is 30, is playing for McGill. It's a plus for CIS women's hockey that national team-calibre players are willing to play in the league. Issues about which teams benefit then come into play.