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I hope Hall of Fame jackets fit Cammi Granato, Angela James

Hall_400 Angela James, known as the Wayne Gretzky of women’s hockey, and Cammi Granato, a pioneer in the sport in the United States, will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame Monday night in Toronto, and it’s a historic occasion.

They will be the first female players to become Honoured Members in a ceremony that will be televised nationally across Canada and in the U.S. on the NHL Network. It’s a wonderful occasion, and I wish all the best to them and to former player Dino Ciccarelli and the two inductees in the builder’s category, Detroit Red Wings executive Jimmy Devellano and the late Daryl Seaman, who was instrumental in bringing the Flames to Calgary.

But I have a special bit of advice for James and Granato:

Make sure your Hall of Fame blazer fits.

Here’s the back story:

In 2005, I was fortunate enough to win the Elmer Ferguson award, which is awarded to print journalists for their contributions in covering the sport. Media honorees aren’t considered full-fledged members of the Hall but they do get a plaque in the media section of the Hall as well as a blazer with a patch designating them a media honoree.

I was stunned and delighted and overwhelmed when Hall of Fame executives, who had never worked with a female winner before, told me they wanted to be sure everything would be right with the blazer I would receive at the afternoon induction ceremony and would wear when I was introduced on TV that night.

When I arrived in Toronto they took me to a tailor shop and gave me a choice of two blazers: a men’s 52 short and a men’s 52 long.

Neither came close to fitting properly and the Hall executives were apologetic, promising they’d substitute a better-fitting blazer very soon.

That never happened, but I don’t think I’d trade mine in now. It provided another great memory on an unforgettable day.

I’m told that Granato will have a correctly sized blazer. I hope the same is true for James. It would be only fitting to get the fit right on this historic day.

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Hockey Hall of Fame inductees Angela James, left, and Cammi Granato. Credit: Frank Gunn / Associated Press

 
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