Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Her Majesty's former representative surely can't be amused!

Women's hockey doesn't normally capture a lot of the ink or air time of the nation's hockey fanatics. Still in its infancy, the sport is going through some of the growing pains of any new adventure.

The national women's league of a few years ago went through a rather severe downturn as franchises folded and teams dispersed. Women's hockey persevered, international matches were played and two new leagues rose from the ashes of the previous efforts.

These days women's hockey has two leagues of note the Western Women's Hockey league and the Canadian Women's League a largely Ontario and Quebec based league which seems to focus mainly on Toronto.

Once their season's are complete the two leagues will send two representatives each to a four team tournament in Charlottetown, where with any luck Madame Adrienne Clarkson will present the winner with something that bears her name.

Two years ago along came the now Former Governor General a benefactor eager to acknowledge the sport and to provide the players with a suitable symbol of their achievement.

Madame Clarkson, commissioned the creation of the Clarkson Cup, a trophy to be comparable to the Stanley Cup, emblematic of the champions of the women's game.

A fine gesture, especially since she was paying the price out of her own pocket. You would think it would be a simple thing from there, artists create trophy, Madame Clarkson purchases it, gives thanks to the artists for a great Canadian creation and Canada's women hockey players would forever be in their debt, finally able to hoist a suitable symbol of their achievements.

Well in a perfect and Canadian television vignette moment, that is how it all would have turned out, but as they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.......

In this highly entertaining article from the Globe and Mail, Roy MacGregor weaves a remarkable tale of how such a simple gesture of respect seemed to get so far off track. Lawyers, litigation and hard feelings now dominate the seemingly simple goal of acknowledging a remarkable Canadian story of hockey.

Considering how it all has played out, Mrs. Clarkson probably just wishes she grabbed one of the many ceremonial bowls, dishes or goblets that the Governor Generals residence in Ottawa is famous for. How hard could it have been to slip something into a box as the movers packed up the regal homestead.

A nice little crystal bowl perhaps, her name etched into the side, no lawyers fees, no beyond reason marketing rights, just a simple symbol of women's hockey supremacy without all the peripheral baggage.

You have to wonder if its not too late for her to phone up the current resident of Rideau Hall and say "Bonjour Michaelle, I think I left my sugar bowl in the cupboard, can I come and pick it up", problem solved eh!

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