Shrines and Shivers

I still get goosebumps when I go to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.  I honestly can’t explain why, but there’s something about being in the presence of greatness that gets me going.  With that said, here are some of the photos that I took from the HHOF – now if only the AHL can find a way to allow the Aeros to spend more than 24 hours in Toronto at some point next season, so I can actually take my time at the HHOF.  The last two seasons, I’ve spent a combined 90 minutes or so in a building which I could easily spend six hours, but I digress…

The photos are…from top to bottom, left to right:

Several of the international jerseys on display, Bobby Orr’s display case featuring his “golden skates”, Wayne Gretzky’s display case featuring an all-star sweater and more, Brett Hull’s display case with his 14-game goal streak plaque (more details below), Brian Leetch’s display case, a 1931-32 Boston sweater, the display case honoring the Vezina trophy, Gordie Howe’s display case, Me sitting in the Montreal Canadiens’ dressing room in front of Patrick Roy’s equipment, the Avco and Turner Cups, the Wild / Aeros display case, Lord Stanley’s Cup and finally, the original Stanley Cup.

Here are some trivia tidbits I found pretty interesting:

– Andy Van Hellemond was the first on-ice official to wear a helmet.

– Brett Hull scored at least one goal in 14 straight AHL games during the 1986-1987 season.  He had 50 goals and 92 points that season.  One of the photos I embedded is the plaque of pucks from each of the different buildings in which he scored – how about the Nova Scotia Oilers and Binghamton Whalers pucks?!?

– Did you know Brian Leetch was born in Corpus Christi, TX?

– I didn’t realize that Gordie Howe came out of a two-year retirement to play with the Aeros at the ripe, old age of 45.  No big deal for “Mr. Hockey”, as he posted 100 points and won the WHA MVP in his first season out of retirement.

– I love this quote from Jean Beliveau on Maurice “Rocket” Richard’s leadership: “Even when he was captain, he didn’t say much.  He would just look at you with those eyes”.  Richard finished with 544 goals and 8 Stanley Cup Championships.

– On 50-goal seasons: “Rocket” Richard hit 50 goals in the 1944-45 season.   Bobby Hull was the first player to score more than 50 in a season.  Guy Lafleur scored 50 or more six times, Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky did it nine times.  Gretzky first scored 50 in a season at the youthful age of 19.

If you haven’t been to the HHOF, I highly recommend a trip to Toronto to check it out.  The trophy room (located upstairs) is like a “sacred cathedral”.  All the major yearly awards are on display, available for you to marvel at the engravings of all the legendary winners.  It’s surreal – even breathtaking.

– Aero Joe

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