Danielle Goyette won a gold medal nine times for Canada in her distinguished international hockey career, twice at the Olympics and seven times at the IIHF Women's World Championship.
But her biggest honor came Monday, when she was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. It is safe to say it was news she was not expecting.
"Honestly, I even considered not answering the phone because I saw a Toronto number and I was in the middle of doing something," said Goyette, 51. "So I was hesitant to take the call, and even when I saw it was Mr. Lanny McDonald calling, I still didn't think of this right away."
It's a good thing Goyette answered that call Monday afternoon from McDonald, the Hockey Hall of Fame chairman, who delivers the news to those elected.
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Goyette played her first world championship for Canada in 1992 at age 26 and her final one in 2007 at 41. Over that time, Goyette saw women's hockey grow, and she was a big reason why with how she helped inspire a generation of young girls to play.
"When I started to play hockey, first of all women's hockey wasn't that popular," Goyette said. "When I grew up people would ask me why I was playing hockey because it was a man's sport. But when you love something that much, it doesn't matter what people say, you just do what you love.
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"I started playing in the late 1980s and growing the game, year by year it was getting bigger and bigger. But since the 1998 Olympics, the first Olympics [with women's hockey] in Nagano, we've seen the sport growing so fast. I would say it's the sport that's growing the fastest right now. It's not just because of me, but it's because of all the players I played with and the teams I played with. When you have success, now the young kids have role models as a hockey player. Now they're starting to play the game at such a young age, which is a chance that I didn't have. It's pretty amazing to see the evolution of the game.
"To be part of the pioneers, opening the door to young girls, I could not be more proud of that."