The Hockey Hall of Fame was founded in 1943 and was given a permanent home in Toronto in 1961. Aside from honoring those whose outstanding achievements have contributed to the development of the game, the Hockey Hall of Fame exists to collect, preserve, research, exhibit and promote all the objects and images that are significant to the story of ice hockey throughout the world.
The objects in the Hockey Hall of Fame tell hockey's story and capture hockey's personality. Icons, like Wayne Gretzky's tucked-in jersey, Jacques Plante's mask or Bobby Hull's curved stick blade, are recognized the world over. The Hockey Hall of Fame allows the past and present to collide in a mÃ©lange of mementos, paraphernalia, photos and videos of hockey's best, brightest and most intriguing moments.
And it is the same in Hockey Hall of Fame Treasures. This lavishly illustrated book is absolutely packed with beautiful color photography, displaying the most interesting, unique, famous and rare artifacts from the Hockey Hall of Fame's collection. Woven through this presentation of artifacts are the words of Adrienne Clarkson, Dave Bidini, James Duthie and Don Gillmor, who share with readers their profoundly personal connection to the game.
Showcasing hundreds of individual items, Hockey Hall of Fame Treasures is the next best thing to being at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Steve Cameron is an editor, hockey player and fan who has created over 15 sports titles. He also wrote the Canadian Book of Beer. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
INTRODUCTION by PHILIP PRITCHARD
Turning the pages of Hockey Hall of Fame Treasures, I am reminded of why I got interested in hockey and collecting in the first place.
Like many Canadian kids, when I was growing up, hockey was a pretty big part of my life. I collected hockey cards, played road hockey and idolized the stars of the NHL. The Habs were my team and Rogie Vachon my guy, even though Montreal had traded him to Los Angeles. My parents, on the other hand, were British, and they didn't get it.
I don't know when my hockey obsession started, but I clearly remember when I started collecting. I was walking by Buddy Fugard's house on my way home from school when I was 11 years old, and Buddy had his garbage out at the curb. Resting on top of a pile of magazines was a 1969 Maple Leaf Gardens Hockey Magazine. I very quickly made the decision to bring it home with me.
My collecting really took off two years later. I can't remember what I had done, but my parents grounded me for an entire week. If you were to ask my mom she'd say that I was grounded so often that she can't remember one grounding from the next. But this weeklong grounding is something I remember vividly because the punishment couldn't possibly have fit the crime: my parents grounded me from the one thing that I really cared about, hockey! And it wasn't just playing, I couldn't watch, read or listen to the game either.
It was late March and the playoffs were in full swing. Now, I am sure the NHL playoffs were in full swing as well, but the playoffs I'm talking about were our road hockey playoffs. My entire childhood seemed like a big hockey game, as every day and no matter the season, after school, after dinner, weekends and summer holidays we were always playing road hockey. We had a great street to play on, a dead end with only 10 houses, which minimized the interruptions. Most of our neighbors knew we played daily and would drive around our nets so that we didn't have to move them. We even kept stats, and any kid could have told you that the Birdcage Bombers were the team to beat!
The first night of my grounding, I came home from school and had to immediately start my homework. It was Monday night, and from my window I could hear the game on the street. I instantly flew to my window, took out the screen and for a moment I became Foster Hewitt as I called the game from my bedroom. Of course, my play-by-play lasted only as long as my dad was at work, and before long I was back at my homework.
As the week progressed, my play-by-play became better, but to pass the rest of the time I was grounded I began to clean and decorate my room. I may have been grounded from hockey, but what was there to stop me from turning my room into a hockey shrine? The walls, the shelves, even the ceiling all slowly became consumed by "Phil's hockey shrine." Cards, pennants, magazines, books, mugs, stamps, coins, posters, whatever had hockey on it was something I wanted for my room. I even banned my mom from dusting -- she could have broken something! What kind of teenager says that to his mom?
When the weeklong grounding was over the flood gates opened. All the autographs I had written away for during the grounding started to come in, as did the stuff I got from sending in my box tops, and I also bought all the posters I had saved up for.
Somewhere along the way I folded under peer pressure and allowed girls into my life. And wouldn't you know it, it was 1979-80, the same season that Wayne Gretzky joined the NHL and his card was the one to get. Except I didn't collect hockey cards that year because, apparently, girls were better.
Thankfully I got my head screwed back on right and collecting again became my passion. The Locker Room, the ultimate collectors store, got all of my allowance and eventually all of my earnings from my two summer jobs, a pinsetter at the local bowling alley and an attendant at the gas station.
Now I look back fondly over the years that have passed and think about how lucky I am. All those years of clipping, trading, collecting and sending away, and I am now fortunate enough to be the curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Even my parents get it now.
Of course, my job isn't a solo act, nor is it something that I started. The Hockey Hall of Fame wouldn't exist without the vision of Clarence Campbell and the owners of the Original Six teams that addressed the need for a hockey shrine. Without Bobby Hewitson and Maurice H. "Lefty" Reid, the archival collection wouldn't exist. And without the diligent work of Ralph Dinger, Ray Paquet, Barry Eversley, Joseph Romain, James Duplacey, Jeff Davis, Esther Richards, Jane Rodney, Karyn Lisa Knott and Danielle Siciliano, to name just a few, as well as today's fabulous staff, the Hockey Hall of Fame would not be the world's marquee sports museum and hall of fame.
Hockey Hall of Fame Treasures is the celebration of the combined efforts of all of these people, as well as the generous donations from players, managers, teams, leagues, families and fans who have thought enough of the Hockey Hall of Fame over the years to extend us the pleasure of preserving and displaying their prized hockey possessions.
Former president Ian "Scotty" Morrison once called the Hockey Hall of Fame "the cathedral of the icons of hockey." We now have it in book form, and I hope you enjoy viewing our collection as much as all of us here have enjoyed collecting it.
Philip Pritchard, lifelong hockey fan and vice president and curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Foreword: Scotty Bowman
Introduction: Philip Pritchard
1 Celebrating the Game
2 Playing the Game
3 Honoring the Game
4 Recording the Game
Afterword: Preserving Hockey History at the Hockey Hall of Fame by Risto Pakarinen