Detroit Red Wings: Remembering the impact of Marguerite Norris

It’s appropriate on International Women’s Day to remember former Detroit Red Wings president Marguerite Norris, the first woman to have her name put on the Stanley Cup.

On International Women’s Day, people honor and remember all of the strong, bold, and beautiful women in their lives. The NHL has never known a woman more strong, bold, or beautiful than former Detroit Red Wings president Marguerite Norris.

Norris is best known for being the first team president in NHL history. She became the president of the Red Wings after her father James E. Norris, who is the namesake of the Norris Trophy, awarded each season to the NHL’s top defenseman, passed away in 1952.

Though Norris only served as the Red Wings President until 1955, she was a pioneer for women. Marguerite became the first woman to have her named etched on the Stanley Cup when her team won back-to-back titles in 1954 and 1955. After 1955, Norris stepped down as the team president, allowing her brother Bruce Norris to step in. She remained as an executive until 1957.

Norris served as an inspiration to women, showing them they can become whatever they want. Keep in mind Marguerite served as the Red Wings president at a time when women were still seen as little more than housewives. She did it while she was in her 20s. That takes incredible strength and conviction. And boy, did she do her job well.

Even after Norris stepped down, she remained the only woman to have her name put on the Stanley Cup until 1989, when Calgary Flames co-owner Sonia Scurfield became the first woman in 34 years to have her name listed on the Stanley Cup. Since Scurfield, 14 other women have had their names engraved in NHL history.

The Norris family is famous in hockey history. Her father, her brother (James D. Norris), and Bruce are each enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. However, Marguerite is not in the Hockey Hall of Fame. It’s time to change that.

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Marguerite deserves to be enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. A woman has yet to be enshrined in Toronto as a “builder”. Why not have Norris, who would be a very appropriate selection as the first woman executive to be honored? Her career in the NHL, while short, impacted the league forever.

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