Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 103, a trip to Mecca

Another gorgeous sunrise in Kitchener. A day off, hmmmnnn, what to do?

Well this is looking awfully familiar

From: Kitchener, ON, Canada To: Toronto, ON, Canada

My buddy Rob, (who organized the Special Olympics bowling night in Woodstock), game and picked me up and took me to Toronto.

If you are not into hockey, perhaps you might want to skip this blog. Here we are at Mecca, aka:

The entrance is through a mall with this impressive ceiling 
A teaser at the entrance.

A statue of Ken Dryden in his familiar stance.

The first display I headed to was to one of my childhood idols, Bobby Orr. When I was 12 I sent a letter to him in Boston, and he sent me an autographed black and white photo that I still have.

Next I went to the Gretzky exhibit.

Old time hockey! Eddie Shore!

The legend himself
The Rocket

Tretiak, the outstanding Russian goalie.

Hangin in the replica Montreal Canadiens dressing room. I had to sit close to another boyhood idol, the roadrunner, Yvan Cournoyer.

Honestly, I cannot remember what this trophy is about, except it is really old school

There was a timeline on the wall for the history and advancement of hockey broadcasting.

the net Wayne scored his 802nd goal against Vancouver, breaking Gordie Howe's record for most goals

The New York Americans were a NHL team from the early era.

Mr. Hockey I saw him play in Vancouver when he was 52 years old. He was with the Hartford Whalers, and he was playing with his sons Mark, and Marty.

Another legend, Bernie Parent
The golden goal, when Canada beat U.S A. in overtime to win the gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Sidney Crosby's gloves and stick are included.

Paul Henderson's Jersey from the 1972 Canada Russia series.

I still remember being in school and having classes stopped so we could all watch the final game of the series

Olympic jerserys from the past

I touched the lucky loonie! Learn more here.

I think the European jerseys are the most colorful
Amateur world championship jerseys, including the Trail Smoke Eaters, who won in 1961, I did not see one from the world champion Penticton Vees, who won it all in 1955

A statue of Lester Patrick, one of the ledgends of the game. My mother met him in Victoria, where he retired, at a Victoria Cougars Western Hockey League game (one league down from the NHL at the time). She got his autograph, and I still have and cherish that memento

The hall where all the trophies are kept

the Norris trophy for top Defenceman

The original cup

Some of the original bands on the cup

A step back in time, listening to a radio broadcast from the man himself, Foster Hewitt

The Jennings trophy for top goaltending duo. Luongo and Schneider from the Canucks won it last year.

The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy awarded to the player who
best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.
The Selke trophy for best defensive forward

Maurice Richard trophy for top goal scorer

Art Ross trophy for leading scorer.

Jack Adams Trophy for top coach.

The Lady Byng trophy for most sportsmanlike player

King Clancy memorial trophy for leadership qualities on and off the ice

This years inductees into the Hall of fame.

Vezina trophy for top goalie

Ted Lindsay trophy for top player voted for by his peers
Clarence Campbell bowl for top team in the Western Conference

Hart Memorial trophy for league MVP

Conn Smythe for playoff MVP

Prince of Wales trophy for the team that wins the Eastern Conference

Calder for top rookie

The stain glass roof was amazing

the best trophy in sports, the Stanley Cup

Afterwards, Rob and I went to Wayne Gretzky's restaurant for lunch. Here is his uniform and torch from the Olympic Torch relay and Olympic opening ceremonies in 2010

This restaurant almost had as much memorabilia as the hall of fame

All star jerseys

His years in L.A.

The mighty Oilers of the 80's

His brief stint in the World Hockey Assosciation where he played when he was only 17

A great pic of Wayne and Mr. Hockey

Wow, that was hockey overload, I had to head back to the hotel for a nap after that day! Thanks Rob for taking me on my pilgrimage to Mecca

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