Yesterday, the Toronto Star reported that the Hall has changed its voting procedure to make it easier for women to be inducted:
Previously, females nominated faced huge odds in overcoming a male bias in voting – the panel was all male and favoured NHL players. The voters had been limited to inducting four players a year.
Now, the board of directors have told voters that it may induct four males and two females each year.
"The new voting procedures address the basic principle and general view among the Board of Directors and Selection Committee that men and women ought not to compete directly against each other for limited places of Honoured Membership," said Bill Hay, chairman of the hall of fame. "It creates fair conditions for all candidates while reinforcing that the existing basis for selection and requisite standards of excellence be applied equally to both genders."
Eric Duhatschek from the Globe and Mail weighs in today:
Apparently, the most misinterpreted part of the Hall's announcement Tuesday is the provision that a maximum of two women players can be inducted every year.
That doesn't guarantee – as some believe – there will be two women inducted every year; it only means that the committee can induct two every year. It's the same discussion on the men's side. Four are eligible annually, but four don't always get in. Some years – last year was a good example – only two male players, Glenn Anderson and Igor Larionov, were inducted.
This year, it may be more, given how many prominent retired players are in their first year of eligibility (a list that includes, among others, Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille and Brian Leetch).
Ultimately, the decision to reword the by-law was made in the interest of fairness – so that Cassie Campbell's candidacy will be weighed against Cammi Granato's and not against Yzerman's or Hull's. In effect, it makes it an apples-to-apples consideration.
Thoughts? To me, given the current state of development of the women's game, it's about time that a change like this one was made.