The Surrey Falcons wish to extend our Congratulations to Hayley Wickenheiser on her recent induction into the IIHF Hall of Fame!
We have all enjoyed watching Hayley compete and represent Canada during her amazing 23 year career. Thank you for all that you have done for Female Hockey! The Surrey Falcons organization is extremely proud to be associated with you and the Wickfest World Hockey Festival. We look forward to many more years of working together to grow female hockey in BC!
The details for the 2019 IIHF Induction Class can be found here: https://www.iihf.com/en/events/2019/wm/news/9226/class-of-2019-named
b. Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, Canada, 12 August 1978
Long before Hayley Wickenheiser played her final game for Team Canada (at the 2016 Women’s World Championship) it was clear she would one day be honoured by the IIHF for her career. She was that good for that long.
And what made her good wasn’t just the numbers. The numbers were there, of course, but they were the result of a personality that never said enough, never said compromise, never said better is not possible.
The numbers show that she is the all-time leader in scoring at both the Olympics (51 points in 26 games) and Women’s Worlds (86 points in 61 games), and that she has won more medals than any other woman (13 – 7 gold, 6 silver). The numbers show she won a record four Olympic gold medals and was twice named MVP (in 2002 and 2006) and that no athlete has appeared at more Winter Olympics than her five.
In total, she holds or is tied for eight Olympics records and four Women’s Worlds records, records achieved during a remarkable 22-year IIHF career.
The first indication that the young Wickenheiser was going to amount to something came ridiculously early in her life. At age 12, she played for Alberta in the Under-18 hockey tournament of the Canada Winter Games. She was no passenger – she scored the tournament-winning goal and was named MVP of the finals.
Wickenheiser made her debut with Team Canada at the 1994 Women’s Worlds at the tender age of 15. Three years later, at the next official IIHF event, she was named to the tournament all-star team and was clearly a force to be reckoned with.
What was it about her? In a word – everything. She trained and developed strong legs, giving her a stride no woman could match. She worked endlessly on her shot and could fire the puck like no woman in the game. She trained year round and was strong enough to play with men, which she did, in Finland, becoming the first women to score in a men’s professional league.
She had a determination so ferocious it was intimidating. She had a will that was overpowering, and she could single-handedly lift her team to victory, through words and actions.
Off ice, her moral and ethical character were so respected that she was asked to recite the athletes’ Olympic oath in 2010, and in 2014 she was Canada’s flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony. That same year, she was named to the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission, the most important function an athlete can perform in sport away from the field of play.
In the summer of 2018, Wickenheiser made NHL history of sorts when the Toronto Maple Leafs hired her as their assistant director of player development, a move praised in all quarters because, in simple words, when you hire Hayley Wickenheiser, you hire a lifelong winner.