With Canada Post having released a series of NHL stamps for 2013, women’s hockey fans are left to wonder when will the hockey heroines be subject to the stamp treatment? As the sport has grown by a quantum leap since the 1998 Nagano Winter Games, there are many women from the game who are more than worthy of their own opportunity to be immortalized.
From the outset, Canada Post could certainly recognize the women that are part of the Hockey Hall of Fame and IIHF Hall of Fame. Angela James, Geraldine Heaney and Danielle Goyette (only in the IIHF Hall) were part of the sport's rebirth and established themselves as world class superstars.
After the successful 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, a great opportunity to feature various medal winning athletes on stamps (such as gold medal goal scoring hero Marie-Philip Poulin) was squandered. Considering it was the first Olympics on Canadian soil in this century, such a project would have been a highly fitting tribute.
Another anniversary that will present the chance to feature women’s hockey heroes on stamps would present itself in 2017. Celebrating the sesquicentennial (150th Anniversary) of Canada, the chance to recognize some of Canada’s greatest citizens on stamps is an ideal concept. Said concept could include the likes of Hayley Wickenheiser, another hockey heroine who has transcended generations.
Back in 2000, Canada Post had a series of six postage stamps featuring the greatest hockey players of the past century including Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr. The popularity of the series prompted Canada Post to create five more series, ending in 2005. For 2018, a series of six stamps recognizing some of the greatest women to have competed in ice hockey at the Winter Games would be a fitting tribute.
Of note, 2018 also plays host to the tenth anniversary of the Clarkson Cup. Quite possibly Adrienne Clarkson’s greatest contribution to Canadiana, it is one of the most prestigious sporting trophies in women’s sport. While it is recognized as the Stanley Cup of women’s hockey, a stamp honoring its decade long existence would bring a remarkable awareness to it.
Far too neglected, women’s hockey has made a significant impact in Canada’s sporting and cultural landscape. One of the fastest growing sports of the last 25 years, the greatest legacy of women’s hockey may have been the doors it opened for girls to participate in sport.
While the NHL continues to be part of the larger sporting conversation among hockey fans, the upcoming anniversaries provide Canada Post with an opportunity to level the playing field. Although calling it a moral obligation would be strong, there is a responsibility to recognize Canadiana and its changing influence.
NOTE: These stamp designs are not recommended or endorsed by Canada Post Corporation
Photo credits: Natalie Spooner (Hockey Canada Images), Montreal Stars (Brandon Taylor), Livestrong Jerseys press conference (Nike/AP Photo), Charline Labonte (Obtained from Flickr: http:www.flickr.com/photos/251173782@N00) and Meaghan Mikkelson (Dave Holland)