Why does the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame have so few hockey entries?
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12-07-2012, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Lloydminster, AB
I have never heard of this before either. My guess is that it was created for those athletes in sports that didn't have a major hall of fame in Canada. So since the Hockey Hall of Fame existed and in theory is not specific to the NHL, anyone hall of fame worthy would have been inducted there.
Also, I have a suspicion that even if this wasn't the case, Canada's Olympic teams rarely had the same players each tournament. Until Father David Bauer created the Canadian National Team in 1963, the teams were simply a senior team that was sent as Canada's representatives. The National Team only competed in 2 Olympics (1964 and 1968) until Canada withdrew from international competition in 1970. Canada's first Olympics after was 1980 in Lake Placid. It wasn't until 1998, when the NHL started to go, that you saw a significant portion of the roster stay the same between each Olympics. Yes there were always one or two players in the 80s/90s who played at one in the past. But hardly could you compare one roster to another and see similar names.
So if I were creating the Olympic Hall of Fame, competing in a single games in a team sport would be difficult to convince the other voters you should be included. Sure some athletes could be enshrined on the basis of one Olympics, as they could have a handful of medals (track and field and swimming come to mind). But hockey on the other hand only gives out a single medal, so that would be difficult to say the 1932 team was hall worthy, but the 1948 team was not. (I threw the years out at random, so don't read into that as me saying one was and one wasn't.)
Likely, the only single team in recent memory that could even slightly be considered is the 2002 team, since they won Canada's first gold in 50 years and could be considered a sentimental choice. Even then, since Canada was sending NHLers they were expected to win, just like the 1998 team was and the 2006 that followed. The 2010 team doesn't come close as they were expected to win gold and they only did what was expected of them and had no sentimentality involved.
Edit: In looking at it, it does look like it is still an active Hall of Fame. The last inductees were in 2011. The webpage is here:
Looking at the criteria for enshrinement, it looks like hockey players might have difficulty:
Athlete nominees must have achieved significant success in international competition over a five-year period, and be retired from international competition for a minimum of five years.
Most NHL players don't have significant international competition within a five-year period. Ryan Smyth is about the only player I can think of that has this. Few NHLers play at the Worlds every year and an Olympics, I doubt anything lower than the senior level in any sport qualify as this. So playing at the World Juniors is great but doesn't qualify. Plus, I'm sure very few players hit an Olympics, a Worlds and a World Juniors in the 5 year period.
As far as teams go:
Team nominees must have achieved significant success in international competition and must be retired, as a team, from international competition for a minimum of five years. This condition does not apply to individual team members who may have continued competing individually or as members of other teams. Teams, for the purpose of these guidelines, are defined as three or more athletes competing together. The induction of teams applies only to the team collectively and not to its members individually.
One might argue that since Canada no longer sends club teams to international events, that "Team Canada" never retires. Thus, since 1963, the roster is tweaked, the same way you can't say the Los Angeles Kings 2011-12 team retired. It is the same team with slightly different players (in fact my Kings example is more spot on since the 2012-13 version, if there is one, will feature the exact same roster as the Cup winner).
Last edited by Shootmaster_44: 12-07-2012 at
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