Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Clarkson Cup Created for Women's Professional Hockey

Often viewed as one of the "Most Annoying Canadians", the outgoing Governor General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson, had focused a portion of her good-bye (or good riddance) speech in Toronto to addressing a need for a heralded Cup trophy for women's hockey equivalent to the Stanley Cup.
She wanted to follow the footsteps of Lord Stanley of Preston, who donated the Stanley Cup while he was sitting as Governor General in 1893, but never saw it awarded during his term.
This is a really good idea in theory, but I do have a few reservations about it. First off, I don't know much about Mme. Clarkson, but this story shines with an over-inflated self-importance. Does Mme Clarkson really thinks she should name the trophy after herself?

The female professional hockey future is currently tied into two new leagues that is starting to gain ground. With this new construct of a Cup dedicated to women's hockey supremacy, it could bolster new support (in Canada at least) for a true equivalent to a female NHL.

But another thing about this story that sticks out to me is the way that Mme. Clarkson insists that this will be like the Stanley Cup. Trophies like the Stanley Cup are actually praised because of a massively long history and the "blood, sweat, and tears" that go into earning it. If a Clarkson Cup is going to mean something, it will take at least a generation or two before it gets any worthy mention in the likes of a Stanley Cup.
Clarkson said she was not bothered that there was not yet a format in place for teams to compete for her trophy.

"Lord Stanley didn't know who would play for his either," she told The Globe.

"When Lord Stanley did it there was no league, it just said excellence in hockey. So that's what it will be.

"It's my personal gift. I just want to get the Cup out there. I just hope that women who want to play the best hockey in Canada can vie for it."
But what kind of Hockey knowledge does Mme Clarkson have? Lord Stanley never saw an actual game, but he was in England most of the time. There is no real excuse for this Gov. Gen.
Clarkson consulted with many Canadian sports personalities, including Wickenheiser, Jean BĂ©liveau and Nancy Greene Raine
Well, that is a good start!

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