Hayley Wickenheiser OC (born August 12, 1978) is a women's ice hockey player from Canada. She was the first woman to play full-time professional hockey in a position other than goalie. Wickenheiser is a member of the Canada women's national ice hockey team. She has represented Canada at the Winter Olympics four times, capturing three gold and one silver medal and twice being named tournament MVP, and one time at the Summer Olympics in softball. She is widely considered the greatest female ice hockey player in the world.Wickenheiser is currently playing for the University of Calgary women's hockey team.
Wickenheiser started playing minor hockey on outdoor rinks in her hometown of Shaunavon, Saskatchewan when she was five years old. She played exclusively on boys teams until she was 13. Wickenheiser continued playing minor hockey in Calgary, Alberta after moving there with her family. In 1991, she represented Alberta at the 18-and-under Canada Winter Games. Alberta captured the gold medal in the tournament, with Wickenheiser scoring the game-winning goal and being named the Most Valuable Player of the final game.
|Women's ice hockey|
|Gold||2002 Salt Lake City||Tournament|
|IIHF World Women's Championships|
|Gold||1994 United States||Tournament|
|Gold||2012 United States||Tournament|
|Women's 4 Nations Cup|
At the age of 15 (1994), Wickenheiser was named to Canada's National Women's Team for the first time and has remained a member since. Her first international tournament was the 1994 World Championship, held in Lake Placid, New York. She played three games, and picked up her first international point – an assist, and Canada won gold. Her second World Championship in 1997 also produced a gold medal and she earned a spot on the tournament All-Star team, the first of four such honours (1997, 1999, 2000, 2005). In 1999, Wickenheiser helped Canada to another gold medal and was named tournament MVP. Wickenheiser has seven World Championship gold medals (1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2012) and three silver medals (2005, 2008, 2009). She was named to Team Canada in 2001, but was unable to compete due to an injury, and was also on Canada's roster for the 2003 World Championship which was canceled.
Wickenheiser was a member of Team Canada at the 1998 Winter Olympics, when women's hockey was introduced as a medal sport. She also played 21 games for Team Canada during their pre-Olympic tour. Canada won a silver medal at the event and Wickenheiser was named to the tournament all-star team. Her performance at the 1998 Olympics impressed Men's Team Canada General Manager Bobby Clarke so much, that he invited her to participate in the Philadelphia Flyers rookie camps in 1998 and 1999. 2002 was another chance at Olympic gold, and Wickenheiser was named to Canada's roster for the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City, Utah. On Team Canada's pre-Olympic tour, Wickenheiser played 26 games and racked up 36 points. In a bit of redemption for 1998, Canada won the gold medal by defeating Team USA in the final game. Wickenheiser was named Tournament MVP and she was the top scorer on the Women's side. At the 2006 Winter Olympics, Canada was defending its gold medal status. When the final match was set, Canada was facing off against Sweden, a surprise finalist. They won gold again, and Wickenheiser once more was named tournament MVP, Top Forward, and to a berth on the all-star team. She also led the tournament in scoring.
Wickenheiser captained Canada to a gold medal at the 1998 Christmas Cup (World Women's Under-22 Championship). She has also contributed to at least 10 gold medals for Canada at the 4 Nations Cup tournaments (1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010). At the 2006 Four Nations Cup, she served as team captain. On February 17, 2010, Wickenheiser became the all-time leading Olympic goal scorer as Canada defeated Sweden 13–1. Wickenheiser reached her record total of 16 career Olympic goals by scoring once on Wednesday as Canada followed up their 18–0 win over Slovakia and 10–1 defeat of Switzerland. With a third consecutive Olympic gold medal in Women's hockey won by defeating the United States of America 2–0, Hayley now has 4 Olympic medals: 3 gold, 1 silver.Hayley Wickenheiser playing for Kirkkonummen Salamat in 2003
In 2003, Wickenheiser became the first woman to score a goal playing in a men's professional league. Over the course of the season, Wickenheiser played 23 games, scoring 2 goals and adding 10 assists. Wickenheiser joined a European league to play professional hockey, as the game is more open and less physical than North American leagues. This attempt to play professional hockey was not an entirely smooth process, as Wickenheiser was initially slated to play in Italy, until the Italian Winter Sports Federation ruled that women were ineligible to play in a men's league. She also turned down an offer from Phil Esposito to play for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. Finland's Hockey Federation unanimously supported letting women play in a men's league, allowing her to debut with HC Salamat in the Suomi-sarja, the third highest hockey league in Finland, on January 10, 2003. Wickenheiser played briefly with Salamat in 2004. They had won promotion to Mestis, Finland's second tier of professional hockey, and this was not as good a fit for her. She left the team after ten games.
In 2007, Wickenheiser had a week-long tryout contract with Swedish club IFK Arboga IK in the Swedish male third league. After two practice games, where Wickenheiser scored two goals in the first game, she was not offered a contract. In 2008, Wickenheiser signed a one year contract with Eskilstuna Linden, also in the Swedish men's third league.
Wickenheiser was named one of the "Top 100 Most Influential People in Hockey" by The Hockey News (ranked #59 on the 2011 List), one of the "25 Toughest Athletes" by Sports Illustrated and one of the "Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Canada" by The Globe and Mail.
In 1996, Wickenheiser was named MVP of the Esso National Women's Championship, helping Alberta to a fourth place finish. In 1997 and 1998, Wickenheiser won Nationals with the Edmonton Chimos and Calgary Oval X-Treme respectively. She was named tournament MVP both years. Between 1999 and 2001, Wickenheiser continued to play for her club teams at the Esso Women's National Championships, winning a gold medal and two silvers. She played 2004–05 with the Calgary Oval X-Treme, in the inaugural season of the Western Women's Hockey League. The X-Treme were league champions. Wickenheiser was the regular season leading scorer and named to the league's all-star team. She also played for Alberta at the Esso National Championships, where they won gold. She led the tournament in scoring and was named MVP.Hayley Wickenheiser celebrates her first CIS goal with her University of Calgary teammates
Wickenheiser joined the 2010–11 University of Calgary Dinos women's ice hockey season that competes in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport(CIS). The Dinos are playing their second season of CIS hockey, and Wickenheiser is expected to provide leadership to a young team. While with the Dinos, Wickenheiser will be playing for her former teammate, Danielle Goyette, who is the team's head coach. Wickenheiser will be working to complete a degree in kinesiology at Calgary. The Dinos were Wickenheiser's choice because the team practices every day, and she was able to stay in Calgary with her family. Under CIS rules, Wickenheiser is in her first year of eligibility because she has never played university hockey. She would have up to five years of eligibility. In her CIS debut against the University of Regina, Wickenheiser scored two goals and added an assist in a 4–3 victory. A crowd of over 500 people attended her CIS debut in Regina. Wickenheiser was named the Canada West female athlete of the week on November 2, 2010 after scoring three goals and adding an assist in two games against the University of Alberta. Despite only playing in 15 of the Dino's 24 regular season games, Wickenheiser finished tied for the conference lead in scoring with 40 points (17 goals and 23 assists), and finishing with a plus-minus of +22. She scored four short handed goals, and had five game winners. At the end of the year, Wickenheiser was named the Canada West Most Valuable Player, and captured a spot on the conference's First All-Star Team. On March 9, 2011, Wickenheiser was named the Canadian Interuniversity Sport player of the year in women's hockey. She the became the first ever Dino to win the Brodrick Trophy as CIS MVP.
Wickenheiser is an accomplished softball player. On June 24, 2000, she was named to the Canadian softball team for the 2000 Summer Olympics. This was the culmination of a long ball career. In 1994, she participated at Canadian Midget Nationals, where she was named All-Canadian Shortstop and Top Batter. In 1995, Wickenheiser was a member of Team Canada at the World Junior Fastball Championships, held in Normal, Illinois. Canada finished fifth at this event. In 1997, Wickenheiser participated at Midget Nationals with the Silver Springs 76ers. Her team finished second and Wickenheiser was again named All Star Shortstop and Top Batter. In 1999 she also participated at Senior Nationals, where her team finished fourth. In 2000 Hayley attended and competed for Simon Fraser University, and helped lead the team to a 38 and 13 record, en route to a 3rd place finish at the NAIA National Championships. Later that summer she competed in the Summer Olympic games in Sydney, Australia, where she led Canada with the team's highest batting average. Canada was competitive, but finished the tournament with a 1–6 record, losing three games by one run. Since that Olympics, Wickenheiser has not been as active in softball.
Her parents are Tom, a phys-ed teacher, and Marilyn. She has a brother named Ross and a sister named Jane. Wickenheiser lives in Calgary with her son, Noah. Doug Wickenheiser, the first overall pick in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft, was her cousin. He died of cancer in 1999.
Wickenheiser has been studying for a degree in kinesiology and has expressed a desire to attend medical school after she is finished playing hockey. On July 15, 2011 her hometown of Shaunavon named the new 14 million dollar recreational complex after her, Crescent Point Wickenheiser Centre. On June 30, 2011, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2011 by Governor General David Johnston.
Hayley is the author of Gold Medal Diary – Inside the World's Greatest Sports Event, outlining her training with Team Canada and the events leading up to, during, and following the 2010 Olympic Games.
EA Sports officially announced that Wickenheiser will be among two of the first female hockey "Legends" in their upcoming game NHL 13. Along with Angela Ruggiero, she will have a playable character in the game which can be added to any team of the user's choice.[
|2008–09||Linden HC||Division 1||21||1||2||3||10||–||–||–||–||–|
- Most Valuable Player, Pool A, 2007 Esso Canadian Women's Nationals
- 2007 Bobbie Rosenfeld Award
- 2007 Canadian Press Female Athlete of the Year (She was the first women's hockey player to receive the honour)
- 2011 Canada West Player of the Year
- Gave the athlete's Olympic Oath at the 2010 Olympic Games.
- Media All-Star team, 2011 IIHF Women's World Championship