My World Junior Diary – Day 07 – Hall of Fame Part Two

If you want to view the full gallery of pictures I took on my second trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame, click here to view it on my photography page.

I said I was going to go back to the Hockey Hall of Fame and I did, mostly because it seemed like everywhere was shut in Toronto on New Years Day.

So I got up and had breakfast, wrote the blog for the day before and left the hotel around 11am to take the 20 minute walk down Yonge Street.

It was the best day for weather since I got here, no snow, no clouds just cold air and sun, perfect conditions. So I walked past a mixture of what I thought were zombies (people who went hard on New Years Eve), the elderly (they did not go hard on New Years Eve) and the homeless. That’s one thing I have noticed in Toronto, there are a lot of homeless around.

So I kept going, making my way across the busy intersection at Dundas Street (I hate that crossing) and all the way down to the Hall of Fame.

I went down the escalator and turned to go into the Starbucks right next to the HHOF…closed.

So instead of getting my coffee I just took my camera out of my bag and went towards the entry, looking back at the line of pucks on the wall and taking time to look at the goalie masks of former ledgendary goalies and active goaltenders, like Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals. But of course the mask of Jacques Plante, the first goaltender to wear a mask full time, and he only did so after being struck in the face by a shot by Andy Bathgate.

7-1-of-1

I paid my entrance and walked in side, and I spent close to four hours in the Hall of Fame. Now, it’s not a huge place by any stretch of the imagination but the amount of hockey history they have on display is truly breathtaking. Straight away you’re greeted by cases of historic jerseys, game winning pucks, sticks used to score memorable goals, and of course because it’s Toronto and it’s the centennial season of the Maple Leafs, the middle of the first part of the Hall of Fame is dedicated to some of the Leafs greats like Ted Kennedy where they display an actual contract he signed, a jersey worn by Frank Mahovlich during his rookie season, and the World War 2 medals won by former Leafs owner and GM Conn Smythe during his service between 1941 and the end of the war.

There is an entire two cases dedicated to Gordie Howe, who to me is one of the best players to play the game in a career spanning from the 1940s right up until 1980. Howe’s career was so long that his career began the year before legendary defenceman Bobby Orr was even born, and ended after Bobby Orr called it time on his Hall of Fame career.

59-1-of-1

You get to see the puck used to give Howe the goal scoring record with his 545th goal, surpassing Maurice Richard, then the puck used as Howe became the first player to reach 700 goals, a milestone that only 7 players including Howe have ever reached.

Moving down from where the late Gordie Howe is remembered you have other cases dedicated to the likes of Mario Lemieux, Brian Leetch, Mark Messier and Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak who was possibly the first superstar goaltender.

Then you have a case dedicated to Bobby Orr, including the skates he wore when scoring his famous Stanley Cup clinching goal in the 1970 playoffs, scoring 40 seconds into overtime whilst also getting tripped. Orr scored the Stanley Cup clinching goal again in 1972. The skates used have since been bronzed and highlight the historic career of Orr, a career that was cut way too short through injuries.

33-1-of-1

When you leave the first part of the exhibit you can view some of the historic jerseys and memorabilia of international ice hockey, included the goal, the stick, the puck and the gloves worn by Sidney Crosby to score in overtime of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics to give Canada the gold medal. Moving to the right of this you have the list of every member of the IIHF Hall of Fame and more items including a helmet worn by Pavel Datsyuk, the gloves worn by Jesse Puljujarvi in the 2016 World Juniors, socks worn by Patrik Laine and the jersey worn by Auston Matthews in the 2016 World Championships.

Moving into the next big room you have a jersey from every single country with an international ice hockey, ranging from the obvious like Canada, Finland, Sweden all the way to India, Australia and more.

One of the biggest parts of the ground floor section of the Hall of Fame is the goal, stick, puck and helmet worn by Wayne Gretzky when he scored career goal 802, surpassing Gordie Howe and giving the great one the all-time lead in goals scored.

20-1-of-1

From there the ground floor celebrates leagues outside the NHL, showcasing a jersey from every single AHL affiliate team, jerseys worn in the OHL by the likes of Connor McDavid, the Memorial Cup, college hockey memorabilia and also womens hockey memorabilia.

After spending a good chunk of time wandering the downstairs section, including stopping to watch part of a documentary made to commemorate the 2016 Stanley Cup winning Pittsburgh Penguins, I moved upstairs to the main attraction, the Grand Hall.

In this room you have all of the individual trophies players can win, including the Calder Memorial Trophy for the Rookie of the Year last won by Artemi Panarin, the Conn Smythe trophy for the playoff MVP last won by Sidney Crosby, the Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard trophy given to the leagues leading scorer last won by Alex Ovechkin. Then you have the team trophies like the Prince of Wales trophy given to the team who advances to the Stanley Cup Finals from the Eastern Conference and also  the Clarance S. Campbell Bowl given to the team that advances to the Stanley Cup Finals from the Western Conference.

Then there is the main attraction, the one players put their bodies on the line for to have their name forever engraved on it. The Stanley Cup.

This was the second time this trip I had seen this historic trophy and it’s still just as jawdropping as the first, the sheer size of the trophy is magnificent, getting up close you can read the names of historic legends like Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard and Yvan Cournoyer, the only players to win the Stanley Cup on 10 or more occasions.

It was funny seeing everyone take their turn up close with the Cup, even us mere mortals who’ll never play in the NHL or anything higher than beer league still respect the traditions of the cup, you touch the cup when you win the cup.

So after exhausting my camera battery I decided to walk through again, this time without my camera so I could really soak in the history of the place, and also to try my hand at the interactive games because I’m a child at heart and I wanted to see what it feels like to beat an interactive Carey Price (turns out it’s not that hard). But I eventually got back to my hotel after stopping by the gift shop to sort through the pictures I took and relax.

I sat in my hotel room editing and sorting pictures whilst watching the Toronto Maple Leafs take the Detroit Red Wings in the Centennial Classic at BMO Field (not too far from my Hotel). The game ended before I’d even finished sorting through my pictures. In fact I finished at the end of the first period of the next game so I decided to go grab a steak dinner and watch the rest of the game in the bar before returning upstairs to sleep.

Quarter finals of the World Juniors tomorrow.

If you want to view the full gallery of pictures I took on my second trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame, click here to view it on my photography page.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s