Opening door for women

SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 5:01 AM ET

TORONTO -- The Hockey Hall of Fame is revamping its bylaws in a move that signals it is ready to admit its first female player.

Starting in 2010, the Hall will consider male and female candidates separately. The new bylaw will allow a maximum of four men and two women to be inducted each year.

Currently there is a maximum of four player inductees and women are judged and considered against men.

"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," Hall chairman Bill Hay said in a statement. "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."

The Hall has also clarified wording to allow candidates in the builder category to be anyone who has served the game in a significant capacity. A maximum of two builders can be part of each induction class.

LEAFS SIGN HANSON

TORONTO -- A member of hockey's famous Hanson family is joining the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Christian Hanson, the son of Dave from Slap Shot movie fame, has signed a two-year, entry-level deal with the team. He recently completed his college career at Notre Dame and was an undrafted free agent.

The 23-year-old is a 6-foot-4 centre who weighs 228 pounds.

"We are excited to have Christian signed to a contract, and look forward to seeing him play for our organization," Leafs GM Brian Burke said in a statement. "He is a very intelligent hockey player who has good size and a solid scoring touch around the net."

Hanson had a career-high 31 points (16-15) in 37 games for the Fighting Irish this season. The native of Venetia, Pa., spent four years at the school.


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