Angela Ruggiero was thousands of miles away from California, sitting in a New York airport, waiting to fly to Toronto.
Her mind was already soaring.
She was told that for the first time, the Kings have decided to sponsor a girls hockey league. The NHL team’s community outreach program discovered it could fill 40 roster spots with competitors aged 8-to-12 years old, and send them to upcoming holiday tournaments to face other girls teams supported by the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks.
“Really, that’s pretty cool,” she said with a laugh.
Somewhere in the hockey family tree, Ruggiero was there when the seed was planted. She can now see it’s fruition.
The 35-year-old from Panorama City and Simi Valley, a cum laude Harvard graduate, four-time All-American, four-time member of the U.S. Olympic women’s hockey squad (1998-2002-2006-2010) that won gold, two silvers and a bronze, and committed member of the International Olympic Committee dedicated to growing the sport worldwide has one more thing to pinch herself about –becoming the next inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday night.
And the first California born and raised, male or female.
More on Ruggiero:
== The list of inductees for the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Ruggiero is the fourth woman player inducted into the Hall, with Cami Granato (a one-time Kings radio analyst), Angela James and Geraldine Heaney.
== Ruggiero’s official webstite
== A Ruggiero bio in the Encyclopedia of World Biography.
== A feature on NHL.com by Jon Lane on how Ruggiero enters the Hall compared to the great Bobby Orr.
== More reaction to Ruggiero’s induction on NHL.com
== A Q&A with Ruggiero from the LA Daily News in 2010 prior to her fourth and final trip to the Olympics, in Vancouver
== A 1996 Daily News feature on Ruggiero when, at 16, she became the youngest member of the U.S. women’s national team
== A 1998 Daily News feature on Ruggiero when, at 18, she became the youngest member of the Winter Olympic US. women’s hockey team
== A 2002 Daily News feature on Ruggiero when she played for the U.S. Olympic team in Salt Lake City, Utah
== A feature on Ruggiero’s induction from Yahoo.com and from the Toronto Sun.
== Ruggiero’s autobiography, “Breaking the Ice,” written in 2005