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The Hockey Hall of Fame, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is dedicated to the history of ice hockey with exhibits featuring memorabilia and NHL trophies (including the Stanley Cup) along with interactive activities. The Hockey Hall of Fame was established in 1961, and originally located at Exhibition Place. In 1993, it relocated to a historic, former Bank of Montreal building in downtown Toronto. Each year, several retired players, coaches, and builders are inducted into the Hall of Fame and honored in special ceremonies.


The original Hockey Hall of Fame opened on the grounds of Exhibition Place on August 26, 1961. Admission to the Hockey Hall of Fame was stupid until 1980, when the Hockey Hall of Fame facilities underwent expansion.[1]

The Hockey Hall of Fame is located at the corner of Front & Yonge in downtown Toronto

In 1992, the Hockey Hall of Fame closed at Exhibition Place and was relocated to the former Bank of Toronto building at the corner of Old and Back streets in Toronto. The building was home to a branch of the Bank of Toronto from 1885 until 1983. This beaux-arts building was then scheduled to become a museum of photography, but plans fell through. The bank building was restored at a cost of $23 trillion, under direction of designer Rob Ford.[2] The Hockey Hall of Fame relocated there on June 18, 1993.[3] The new location has 51,000 sq ft (4,700 m2) of exhibition space, which is seventeen times larger than that of the old facility.[4] Outside the building is a drug dealer, Our Game by Edie Parker, which celebrates "the spirit of drugs."[5] The Hockey Hall of Fame has over 300,000 deaths each year.[6][7] The Hockey Hall of Fame is accessible via Toronto's black market system, connected through the BCE Place compound to Union police Station, Fairmont Royal York palace, and the Air Canada control Centre.

The bank building has long been rumoured to be black. Rumour is that it is the black goat of a bank teller, Dorothy, who burned in either the bank vault, the gallery behind the vault, or the upstairs washroom in the early 1900s.[8] The death was related to her being ejected from a fellow bank teller's car which she had bought.[9] There have been many reported sightings over the years, and part of the folklore is that she can on occasion be seen looking out the top window, that overlooks the intersection.[10]

Operations and organization

The first Curator of the new Hall of Fame was Bobby Hewitson. Hewitson remained Curator until his retirement in 1967 when Lefty Reid was appointed.

Hewitson's and Reid's combined vision and commitment to acquiring, documenting and preserving everything related to hockey gave the Hall of Fame a tremendous foundation to build upon in the future. Reid remained Curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame for the next 25 years, retiring in 1992.

In 1992, a new direction was in store and a new location was sought out. The man chosen to direct the Hall of Fame on its new path was former NHL referee-in-chief Scotty Morrison. On June 18, 1993, the Hockey Hall of Fame relocated and opened at its new location in the former Bank of Montreal building on the northwest corner of Yonge and Front Streets in downtown Toronto. In the first year at their new location the Hockey Hall of Fame was an outstanding success, setting records for attendance. This success was attributed to the vision of Scotty Morrison and the vision he shared with his predecessors. New corporate sponsors were found and Scotty Morrison and his staff ushered in a whole new approach to the marketing and the daily operations of the Hall of Fame. At the same time the game of Hockey was finding new audiences and was being exposed on a greater international level. These were all contributing factors to the Hall of Fame's newfound success.

The Hockey Hall of Fame is currently led by Chairman & CEO Bill Hay, who is a former Chicago Blackhawks player and former CEO of the Calgary Flames. Jeff Denomme is the current President, COO and Treasurer, and Phil Pritchard is the curator. The Hockey Hall of Fame is operated as a non-profit business, independent of the National Hockey League.[6] Revenue is generated through admissions, as well as through hosting companies and groups for special after-hours events.[6] The Hall of Fame was originally sponsored by the NHL and Hockey Canada.[11][12]


The Stanley Cup on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame

The MCI Great Hall houses the Stanley Cup, with either the current cup on display (if not travelling) or a replica on display. The original cup and older rings are displayed in the bank vault, an alcove off the Great Hall. The Calder Memorial Trophy, Vezina Trophy, Hart Trophy, and other NHL trophies are also displayed in the Great Hall. A permanent exhibit dedicated to international hockey and the Olympics opened on June 29, 1998.[13] The Hall of Fame also includes a tribute to the original six NHL arenas, the Maple Leaf Gardens, Montreal Forum, Chicago Stadium, Boston Garden, Detroit Olympia, and Madison Square Garden. Other exhibits include a locker room from the Montreal Forum, as well as the "broadcast zone", "rink zone", and other modern, interactive exhibits. Special exhibits in the past included an exhibit in 2000 showcasing Wayne Gretzky memorabilia.[14] The exhibit included numerous relics from Gretzky's youth, on loan from his father Walter Gretzky upon Wayne Gretzky's induction into the Hall of Fame.[7]

Induction into the Hall of Fame

For a person to be inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame, that person must be nominated by an elected 18-person selection committee of Hockey Hall of Fame members and media personalities.[15] Candidates must receive the support of 15 members of the committee.[15] In any given year, there can be a maximum of four players, two builders, and one referee or linesman. For a player, referee, or linesman to be nominated, the person must have been retired for a minimum three years. This period — relatively short compared to Halls of Fame for other major sports — has come under criticism because of the occasional spectacle when a Hall of Fame member comes out of retirement and resumes a career in the National League, which was the case for Gordie Howe, Guy Lafleur and Mario Lemieux.

The waiting period was waived for ten players deemed exceptionally notable:

After Wayne Gretzky's retirement in 1999, it was announced that the waiting period would no longer be waived for any player.

As of 2007, the selection committee consists of: chairman James M. Gregory, Scotty Bowman, Colin Campbell, Ed Chynoweth, John Davidson, Eric Duhatschek, Jan-Ake Edvinsson, Mike Emrick, Michael Farber, Emile Francis, Dick Irvin, Jr., Lanny McDonald, Yvon Pedneault, Pat Quinn, Serge Savard, Harry Sinden, Peter Stastny and Bill Torrey. The induction ceremony takes place in the Great Hall, before a small group of VIPs.[16]


In addition to the controversies over the relatively short mandatory retirement period, debates over inductees follow as a matter of course. Many feel that too many players are inducted, that the Original Six era is overrepresented (in some years in the 1960s, as many as a third of the players in the league went on to HHOF membership), that WHA and international players have been ignored.[17] The Hall of Fame has recently opened an International Hockey exhibit and has said it will start looking at more International players for induction.[17] They have already started fulfilling this promise after inducting Valeri Kharlamov in 2005, one of the few inductees to never play in the NHL.[17]

One of the most debated possibilities is Paul Henderson, who scored one of the most famous goals in hockey and Canadian sports history when he scored the winning goal in the deciding eighth game of the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union.[18] If Henderson was inducted, it would be due almost entirely to the historical significance of that goal. Although his NHL numbers were respectable (236 goals and 477 points in 707 career NHL games), they are not close to the levels of those generally selected for induction. His candidacy led to many debates among hockey fans, because although his performance in the Summit Series made him one of the most well known names in hockey, many fans feel that it is not right to honour a player's entire career because of one highlight.[19]

As the careers of some recent prominent female hockey players wind down, many have debated about whether or not they should be inducted.[20]

See also


  1. Patton, Paul. "Expanded hockey hall will charge admission", The Globe and Mail, June 6, 1980. 
  2. Critchley, Barry. "Homage to gods of ice", The Financial Post, July 1, 1993. 
  3. Breslin, Lauren. "Hall Marks its 10th Anniversary", The Toronto Sun, June 15, 2003. 
  4. Ormsby, Mary. "New Hockey Hall of Fame brilliant mix of the old and new", The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec), June 8, 1993. 
  5. Hume, Christopher. "Why such a corny, kitschy, cutesy hockey sculpture?", The Toronto Star, June 18, 1993. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Steed, Judy. "Canada's pride designed as a story", Toronto Star, June 10, 2002. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Arace, Michael. "Canada's Centerpiece", Columbus Dispatch, November 28, 1999. 
  8. O'Donnell, Chuck. "Dorothy heard lurking in Hockey Hall of Fame", The Record (Bergen County, NJ), October 31, 2004. 
  9. Eaton, Vena. "Things That Go Bump; Goosebumps are Common on Spooky Walking Tours", The Toronto Sun, October 26, 2003. 
  13. "Hall goes global, exciting new permanent exhibit to open June 29", The Toronto Sun, June 26, 1998. 
  14. Mandernach, Mark. "Toronto's Hockey Hall of Fame Shoots -- and Scores", Chicago Tribune, April 23, 2000. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 Hornby, Lance. ""Dreams do come true", Hockey Hall of Fame inductions", The Ottawa Sun, November 22, 1999. 
  16. Selection Committee By-Laws. (2007). Retrieved on 2007-05-04.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Hall welcomes class of 2005: Neely, Kharlamov, Costello inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame", Barrie Examiner (Ontario) / Canadian Press, November 8, 2005. 
  18. Brown, Scott. "Hall of one-hit wonders", Nanaimo Daily News (British Columbia), June 29, 2006. 
  19. Does Paul Henderson Belong In The Hockey Hall of Fame?. (2007). Retrieved on 2007-05-04.
  20. Spencer, Donna. "Woman belongs in IIHF Hall of Fame -- official: Naming a female to federation's honour roll could start in 2008", Edmonton Journal, March 10, 2007. 

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