Four-time Canadian Olympic gold-medallist Caroline Ouellette (Montreal/Montreal, CWHL) has officially retired as a player from Canada’s National Women’s Team.
The 39-year-old made her debut with the national program in 1998, and won gold at each of her four Olympic Winter Games appearances (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014). Ouellette tallied 26 points on the world’s biggest sporting stage – including nine goals and 17 assists in 20 games played. Ouellette retires as the third-highest scorer for Canada’s National Women’s Team with 242 points (87 goals, 155 assists) in 220 games, surpassed only by fellow hockey powerhouses Hayley Wickenheiser and Jayna Hefford.
“On behalf of everyone at Hockey Canada, we want to thank Caroline for her dedication and commitment to Canada’s National Women’s Team throughout her highly decorated career,” said Tom Renney, Hockey Canada’s chief executive officer. “Everything she has accomplished for Canada has been an inspiration and example for the next generation of young women who will proudly wear the red-and-white. As a four-time Olympian, she leaves behind an incredible legacy and we wish her all the best in the future.”
Ouellette also represented Canada at 12 IIHF Women’s World Championships, winning six gold (1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2012) and six silver (2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015). In 11 appearances with Canada at the 4 Nations Cup, Ouellette won eight gold (1999, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010) and four silver (2003, 2008, 2011, 2012).
She represented her home province of Quebec at the Esso Women’s Nationals, winning a gold medal in 1999 before taking silver and earning Most Valuable Player honours in 2001.
“As her teammate for nine years, I saw first-hand the impact she had on all of us, leading by example both on and off the ice,” said Gina Kingsbury, Hockey Canada’s director of women’s national teams. “She helped lead the way in growing our program into the success that it is today, and women’s hockey in Canada is better thanks to her passion, dedication and leadership. While she retires, her impact continues, through her ties to the game and the legacy she leaves behind.”
Ouellette has played with the Canadiennes de Montréal (formerly Stars) of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) since the league’s inaugural 2007-08 season and is a four-time Clarkson Cup champion (2009, 2011, 2012, 2017). She is a two-time CWHL MVP (2008-09, 2010-11), won the Angela James Bowl as the leading scorer in the league in 2010-11, and made three CWHL All-Star Game appearances (2015-2017). In 2013, Ouellette was the recipient of the Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award, as the female player who demonstrates dedication and leadership in the game.
“What a privilege it was to play for Canada, I cherished every moment and loved every minute of it,” said Ouellette. “I shared my passion for hockey with great teammates, coaches and staff members that will remain lifelong friends. My journey with Team Canada taught me the importance of outstanding teamwork, the desire to always want to be better, and the ability to perform under pressure.”
Ouellette remains active in the game, entering her third season as assistant coach of the Concordia University Stingers’ women’s hockey team. She has also been part of the National Women’s Team program on the coaching side, most recently at the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
“I’m excited with what is ahead for me in my new passions, one as a mom and the other as a coach. I am thrilled and thankful to come back with Hockey Canada as part of the coaching staff for the 2018-19 season. Thank you to everyone who supported me. A special thanks to my family who always believed in me and my dreams.”