Females make up 58 percent of all Canadians who started playing hockey during the past decade, according to Toronto's female players in 2008-09 passed the 59,500 mark; in 1992, that number was little more than 10,000.)
Olympic gold medals, high-profile stars, a disappearing stigma, athletic scholarships and a surge of adult women taking up the game are driving the growth, according to Globe and Mail reporter Josh Wingrove. And on Monday, Angela James (dubbed the Wayne Gretzky of women's hockey) and Illinois-born Cammi Granato (who now lives in Vancouver and is the all-time leading scorer in women's international hockey) became the first two females inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
"I didn't really understand how big this is, but now I'm seeing the magnitude of it and understanding we are the first to go in and thinking what it means for women's hockey," Granato told reporters after receiving her Hall of Fame ring. "It's a huge step, it really is."