Monday, 31 March 2014 20:00

Red Kelly

Leonard Patrick "Red" Kelly, CM (born 9 July 1927 in Port Dover, Ontario), is a retired Canadian hockey player in the NHL. He played on more Stanley Cup winning teams (eight) than any player who never played for the Montreal Canadiens. He was also a Liberal Member of Parliament for the Toronto-area riding of York West from 1962 to 1965.

Kelly grew up listening to Foster Hewitt's broadcasts of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and was particularly inspired by the style of their hard-charging defenceman, Red Horner. Kelly also attended Doan's Hollow Public School in Port Dover. However, while playing junior hockey for the St. Michael's Majors, he was encouraged to refine his style by his coach, former Leaf great Joe Primeau.

NHL career

Although the Majors were usually a talent pipeline for the Maple Leafs, the NHL club passed on Kelly after a scout predicted he wouldn't last 20 games in the NHL, and the nineteen year-old joined the Detroit Red Wings in 1947. In 1954 he was runner-up for the Hart Trophy and won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenceman, the first time the trophy was awarded and also won the Lady Byng Trophy in 1951, 1953, and 1954 as the NHL's most gentlemanly player.

An exceptional player at both ends of the ice, Kelly was known not only for his great checking skills as a defenceman, but also for his exceptional puck-handling and passing skills as well. Kelly used all these elements to help the Red Wings move the puck down the ice very quickly. When injuries hampered the team, he sometimes played as a forward (a position he adapted to easily when needed). In over twelve years as a Red Wing the team won eight regular-season championships, the Stanley Cup four times and Kelly was chosen as a First Team All-Star defenceman six times.

Late in the 1959 season, Kelly broke his ankle. However, the Red Wings kept the injury a secret, and Kelly played through the pain as the Red Wings missed the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. However, midway through the next season, a reporter asked Kelly why he'd been off his game for much of 1959. Kelly replied, "Don't know. Might have been the ankle." When Red Wings general manager Jack Adams got wind of the story, he was furious, and immediately brokered a four-player deal in which Kelly was sent to the New York Rangers. However, Kelly scuttled the deal when he announced he would retire rather than go to New York. Maple Leafs head coach Punch Imlach stepped in and tried to talk Kelly into playing for him. Though he disliked Maple Leaf Gardens and as a young player was disappointed by the scathing assessment of that Toronto scout, Kelly agreed to be traded to the Leafs.

Once Kelly arrived in Toronto, Imlach asked him to become a full-time centre, figuring that Kelly could easily match up against the Montreal Canadiens' Jean Béliveau. The switch paid off. Already a great playmaker, Kelly turned Frank Mahovlich into one of the most lethal goal scorers in NHL history. He won his fourth Lady Byng Award in 1961. In his eight seasons with the Leafs, they won the Stanley Cup four times - the same number of times he'd won in Detroit. 1967: Kelly, right, with Frank Mahovlich and Toronto's last Stanley Cup.

In 1,316 regular season games, he scored 281 goals and 542 assists for 823 points. At the time of his retirement, he was 7th all time in career points, 5th in assists, 13th in goals, and second only to Gordie Howe in games played. In 164 playoff games, he scored 33 goals and 59 assists for 92 points.

Coaching career

After the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in 1967, Kelly announced his retirement as a player, and negotiated with the expansion Los Angeles Kings to be their inaugural coach on the strength of Imlach's assertion that Toronto would not stand in the way of Kelly's coaching career. However, Imlach insisted that Los Angeles draft Kelly in the expansion draft, and after the Kings failed to do so, refused to release Kelly's rights until Los Angeles traded a minor-league defenceman to the Leafs.

Despite being the only rookie coach, and being in charge of the favorites to finish last, Kelly went on to guide the Kings to second place in the West Division and made the playoffs two years in a row.

In 1969–70, Kelly moved on to coach the Pittsburgh Penguins for three seasons, making the playoffs in his first and last seasons with the team. Kelly returned to the Maple Leafs as coach in 1973. He stayed in the position from 1973–74 to 1976–77. The team earned a playoff berth in all 4 seasons with Kelly as head coach but got eliminated in the quarterfinals each time.

His final regular season coaching record was 261–311–128.

Published in 2001 Inductees
Monday, 31 March 2014 20:00

Red Storey

Roy Alvin "Red" Storey, CM (March 5, 1918 – March 15, 2006) was a Canadian football player and National Hockey League referee.

Born in Barrie, Ontario, Storey was working in a rail yard when he received an offer to play football with the Toronto Argonauts. He was on the team for six seasons from 1936 to 1941, winning the Grey Cup in 1937 and 1938. In the 1938 Grey Cup, Storey scored three touchdowns in twelve minutes (all in the fourth quarter) of the 1938 game to give the Argos the victory. After his performance, he received offers from the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears of the National Football League, but he declined. He was forced to retire after suffering a knee injury. At the same time he was playing football, Storey was also playing competitive lacrosse. In the Ontario Lacrosse Association, he played for Orillia and was an all-star with the Hamilton Tigers in 1941. Storey was also a prominent senior men's baseball player and received an offer from the Philadelphia Athletics of the American League.

As a defenceman, he played hockey in New Jersey for the Rivervale Skeeters in 1941. Storey then moved to Montreal and joined the Montreal Royals late in the 1941–42 season. He played lacrosse for Lachine in 1942 and 1943. He later joined the Montreal Canadiens lacrosse team, and was playing there in 1946.

By the mid-1940s, Storey—in addition to his regular job—was officiating football, lacrosse, and hockey games. He officiated for 12 years in the precursor to the Canadian Football League.

Storey became an NHL referee in 1950 and worked in the league until 1959. On April 4, 1959, he was officiating a playoff game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Black Hawks, which Montreal won—along with the series—scoring the winning goal with 88 seconds left in the sixth game. Chicago fans nearly rioted, and Black Hawks coach Rudy Pilous accused Storey of choking by not calling penalties against the Canadiens late in the game. Storey was scheduled to referee the final game in the series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins, but when an Ottawa newspaper reported that NHL president Clarence Campbell said that Storey had "frozen" on two calls that should have been penalties against the Canadiens, Storey immediately resigned. He never returned to the NHL. His career included 480 regular season games and seven consecutive Stanley Cup finals from 1952 through 1958.

He was popular with NHL players because he talked with them. Gump Worsley said of Storey in his autobiography They Call Me Gump: "When Red Storey was refereeing in the NHL, I used to ask him where he was going to get a beer after the game. He usually told me, too."

Following his retirement from the NHL, Storey remained active in oldtimers' games, worked as a TV commentator, and was a popular raconteur.

Storey was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (1967) and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame (1986) and was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1991. He was 88 when he died in Montreal after a lengthy illness. His son, Bob Storey, was also a two-time Grey Cup winner (1967, 1970).

Published in 2001 Inductees
Monday, 01 February 2016 00:00

Ron Ellis

Ron Ellis was born on January 8th, 1945, and grew up in Lindsay, Ontario. He began his hockey career while playing with the Toronto Marlboros. In 1964, Ellis won the Memorial Cup alongside other icons such as Mike Walton, Nick Harbaruk, and Pete Stemkowski, among others. Ellis began his 15-year career with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1964-65, winning the Stanley Cup in 1967. He also is part of elite company as one of only 104 players to play their whole NHL career with one team. Ron also played a part in the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series, an epic moment in Canadian history. An icon for the Toronto Maple Leafs and for Canadian Hockey, Ron is recognized for his consistency on the ice, his unparalleled loyalty, and his generosity off the ice.

Ron Ellis

Published in Inductees
Wednesday, 21 February 2018 14:56

Scott Stevens

Scott StevensA dominant figure on the blueline for any team with which he played, Scott Stevens will be remembered with great enthusiasm as a leader, solid teammate, imposing bodychecker and of course a champion.

In 1635 regular season games, he collected 196 goals and 712 assists for 908 points. Probably most impressive for a defensive specialist, Stevens did not have a negative plus/minus in any of his 22 NHL seasons.

As a defenceman, Stevens played 22 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Washington Capitals, St. Louis Blues, and the New Jersey Devils, serving as captain of the Devils from 1992 to 2004. Although offensively capable, Stevens was largely known for his defensive play and his heavy body checking on opponents.

During Stevens time with the Devils, he took on an increased role as the inspirational leader of the team. Stevens' thundering hits on opponents were key psychological elements in the Devils success. The Devils won the Stanley Cup in 1995, 2000 and and again in 2003.

Outside his NHL career, Stevens also represented Canada on the international stage at the World Championships in 1983, 1985, 1987 and 1989, the Canada Cup in 1991 and the World Cup of Hockey in 1996. In 1998, he was selected as part of Team Canada competing in the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Stevens was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007, in his first year of eligibility.

Published in 2018 Inductees
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 20:00

Syl Apps

Charles Joseph Sylvanus "Syl" Apps, CM (January 18, 1915 – December 24, 1998) of Paris, Ontario, was a Canadian pole vaulter and professional hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1936 to 1948 and a Conservative Member of Provincial Parliament in Ontario.

Athletic career

Apps was a strong athlete, 6 feet tall, weighing 185 pounds, and won the gold medal at the 1934 British Empire Games in the pole vault competition. Two years later he represented Canada at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, where he placed sixth in the pole vault event. After watching him play football at McMaster University, Conn Smythe signed Apps to play hockey with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Apps played centre position with the Toronto Maple Leafs for his entire professional hockey career. His jersey number was 10. He was the winner of the first Calder Trophy in 1937, and the 1942 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. Apps served as the Maple Leafs captain during the first National Hockey League All-Star Game October 13, 1947, at Maple Leaf Gardens. He also played for an all-star team competing in Montreal on October 29, 1939, to raise money for Babe Siebert's family. Apps retired from the NHL at the age of 33 and took a marketing job with the Simpson's department store. At the same time, he also served as the Ontario Athletic Commissioner.


While still playing hockey, Apps ran for parliament in the 1940 federal election. He was a candidate in the riding of Brant for the National Government Party but lost to incumbent George Ernest Wood of the Liberals by 138 votes.

Apps was a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1963 to 1975. He represented the riding of Kingston from 1963 to 1967 and Kingston and the Islands from 1967 to 1975. He served as the Minister of Correctional Services from 1971 to 1974.

Apps died in 1998 and was buried in Cambridge, Ontario.

Published in 1997 Inductees
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 20:00

Ted Lindsay

Born in Renfrew, Ontario, in 1925, Ted Lindsay became one of the greatest players in the history of the National Hockey League. Known as "Terrible Ted" for his tenacious play, he was the left winger on the Detroit Red Wings famous "Production Line" with Sid Abel and the legendary Gordie Howe, in the fifties.

As a Red Wing, Lindsay was an instrumental part of the team which won 7 straight NHL league titles. Ted Lindsay won 4 Stanley Cups, played 1068 games and recorded 851 career points. He was a 1st team All-Star 8 times. He was the Art Ross trophy winner, emblematic of the league"s leading scorer, with 78 points in the 1949-50 season.

Together with Doug Harvey, the great Montreal defenceman, Ted laid the foundation for what is now the National Hockey League Player"s Association. He paid a price for his beliefs and was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks who were a perennial last place team.

He played in Chicago for three years before retiring in 1960. In 1964 at 39 years of age Mr. Lindsay was convinced to come out of retirement by the new coach and general manager of the Red Wings, Sid Abel. The Red Wings finished 1st in the regular season that year.

Mr. Lindsay was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966. He declined to attend as it was an all-male event and Ted felt that he owed a lot to his family. The next year the event included both sexes. He went on to become the General Manager of Detroit, 1977 – "81, and also coach of the Red Wings 1979 –"80. Mr. Lindsay was one of the game"s 1st colour commentators on U.S. television. Mr. Lindsay"s dream of a players" union was realized in 1967 with the permanent founding of the NHLPA.

Published in 2009 Inductees
Monday, 31 March 2014 20:00

Teeder Kennedy

Theodore Samuel "Teeder" Kennedy (December 12, 1925 – August 14, 2009) was a professional ice hockey centre who played his entire career with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1942 to 1957 and was captain of the team for eight seasons. He was one of the major stars of the NHL's first dynasty as the Leafs won the Stanley Cup five times within a seven year period. He was known for his work ethic, leadership, playmaking, forechecking and faceoff skills and for scoring important goals. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966.

Kennedy brought to the Leafs leadership, determination and the knack for scoring goals when they were most needed. He played a scrambling style of hockey, was difficult to separate from the puck, was known for his agility, playmaking and considered the best faceoff man in hockey. In 1990 Sport Illustrated published a poll of NHL experts on "The Best Ever on the Draw" and ranked Ted Kennedy as #1 on a list of the top 10 of All-Time on faceoff skills. Kennedy played two NHL games with the Leafs late in the 1942-43 season.

He played full-time with the Leafs for the first time with the 1943–44 season. Kennedy was to make an impact almost immediately upon joining the team. Debuting against the New York Rangers in Madison Square Gardens, he was put on the Leafs' third line on rightwing, instead of his customary centre position, and told by coach Hap Day to only "stay with your check and keep him from scoring." Kennedy scored three goals himself that game in a 5–5 tie. He finished the regular season as the team's second best goal-scorer with 26 and was fourth in points. In the playoffs, although winning the first game 3–1 in Montreal, the Leafs were then swept by the Canadiens in the next four. The Toronto Daily Star said of Kennedy's rookie season, "For our money the best rookie of the year though playing with one of the weakest lines in N.H.L. history." Kennedy was ineligible for the rookie-of-the-year award because of the two games he played with the Leafs at the end of the 1942-43 season. The first Stanley Cup and the great upset

In only his second NHL season, Kennedy finished 1944–45 leading the team in goals and points. The Maple Leafs finished in third and would face the Montreal Canadiens in the opening round. The Montreal Canadiens of 1944–45 had achieved a record-breaking season. Dick Irvin, coach of Monteal, declared them as the greatest team to have ever played in the NHL. The Montreal club had the top three point leaders in the league, placed 5 of the 6 positions on the All-Star team, Maurice Richard had scored his famous 50 goals in 50 games and Montreal had finished 28 points ahead of the Toronto. As of 2009, the Canadien's winning percentage of 1944–45 is the 5th highest in NHL history.

The series would be the first team to win four games of a best-of-seven. The first game was in Montreal and no goals had been scored for the first two periods. In the third period, with just twenty-two seconds remaining, Ted Kennedy banked a backhand shot off the goalpost which then rebounded off goaltender Bill Durnan's pads and into the net to win the game 1–0. In the second game, also in Montreal, Kennedy struck again only four minutes into the first period to put the Toronto team ahead by 1–0. Toronto went on to win the game 3–2 and were able to leave Montreal with a 2–0 series lead. Montreal won the next game in Toronto 4–1. However, despite the victory, Canadiens' Maurice Richard had yet to score a goal so far in the series. Montreal got off to a quick start in the fourth game in Toronto and led 2–0 on goals by Elmer Lach and Richard before the game was three minutes old. In the second period Toronto came out battling and Mel Hill on a pass from Kennedy closed the gap to 2–1. The Leafs went on to win the game in overtime.As Toronto needed only one more victory to win the series, Montreal was facing elimination in game five in Montreal. Maurice Richard finally overcame Leaf checking and scored four goals in an 11–3 victory. In the game, Montreal had gone up 3–0 early, but goals by Lorne Carr and Kennedy closed the gap to 3–2, before Richard and his line-mates, the "Punch" line, put it out of reach. Toronto won the sixth game in Maple Leaf Gardens 3–2 to win the series. Toronto's Elwyn Morris, having scored only one goal all season, had dramatically openned the scoring by stealing the puck from defenseman Frank Eddolls. Eddolls was the player traded to Montreal to bring Kennedy to Toronto.

On completion of the Montreal series, the Globe and Mail said of the 19-year-old Kennedy, "Ted Kennedy's all-round display was the best individual performance of the six-game set." The Toronto Star was even more laudatory "There are a few great hockey players in the N.H.L. today. Kennedy is assuredly and emphatically one." Kennedy said that the 1945 upset of the Canadiens was the peak event of his career.

Toronto met Detroit in the Stanley Cup final. Toronto won the first three games of the series without giving up a goal, as rookie goaltender Frank McCool recorded consecutive shutouts. Toronto then had to ward off a Detroit comeback before winning the Stanley Cup in the seventh game. Fame comes to Teeder

In the 1940s the Leafs were a team depleted by their best players participating in the war effort. Many of the players on the Leafs during this period failed to stick with the team once the war ended and the stars returned. However, Kennedy was the exception and he would quickly become on the team's greatest stars and a favorite of the fans. "Come on, Teeder!" was to become a familiar rallying cry in Maple Leaf Gardens when it was yelled by the otherwise quiet fan, season ticket-holder John Arnott.As it would not be until the 1952–53 season that Saturday night hockey games would come to television in Canada, radio was the major form of entertainment in Canadian households and the broadcasts of Foster Hewitt made Kennedy famous.

Conn Smythe recognized the importance of finding the right line-mate for Kennedy, telling coach Hap Day in September of 1945, "we must get something really rapid to team up with this guy and we'll be set for a decade with a first rate front line." Consequently, Smythe attempted to acquire senior hockey's star player and future Hall of Famer Edgar Laprade, whose rights were owned by the New York Rangers. Lester Patrick was asking for several players in return so a deal wasn't made and Laprade made his NHL debut with New York in the 1945–46 season. In January 1946, Kennedy was lost for the season due to a bone injury in his foot. With the Leafs also losing Syl Apps to injury the Leafs missed the playoffs of the 1945–46 season. The NHL's first dynasty

On September 19, 1946, an informal ceremony was held in the Leaf dressing room in which former Leaf great Charlie Conacher presented Ted Kennedy with his No. 9 sweater he had worn during his career. Conacher had been Kennedy's hero when he was a youngster and had always wanted to wear number 9, but when Kennedy arrived Lorne Carr already had the number. He initially wore No.12 then was given No. 10. His Leaf team-mates had always teased Kennedy about his compulsion to have Conacher's number, so when Carr retired the previous season, they contacted Conacher and arranged for the ceremony. Conacher, now working as a broker, explaining why he was willing to take time off work said "He's a good kid and a great player. You just can't disappoint a guy like that."

Conn Smythe instituted a major rebuilding campaign for the 1946–47. Gone from the team was Sweeney Schriner, Lorne Carr, Bob Davidson, Mel Hill, Elwin Morris, Babe Pratt, Billy Taylor and new additions were Harry Watson, Jimmy Thomson, Gus Mortson, Garth Boesch, Joe Klukay, Don Metz, Vic Lynn and Howie Meeker. The team was very young and was felt to be two years away from challenging for the championship.

Kennedy now centered a line between rookie Howie Meeker and Vic Lynn which clicked immediately. Kennedy was the playmaker between the fast skating and goal scoring of Meeker and Lynn. Kennedy led the Leafs in points and they finished in second place to Montreal. Toronto faced Detroit in the first round of the playoffs. Except for an embarrassing 9–1 loss in the second game in Detroit, Toronto dominated the series and won in five games. Toronto now faced Montreal for the Stanley Cup. The matchup was between the very young Maple Leafs and the veteran Montreal Canadiens who had dominated the NHL for the past four years. Prior to the series Canadien goaltender, Bill Durnan was quoted in a Montreal newspaper as saying, "How did the Maple Leafs manage to get into the playoffs?" The words would come back to haunt him. Kennedy was having an excellent playoffs and led the the Leafs in points in the series. However, Montreal's star player Maurice Richard, even though he would finish the playoffs leading all players in points, was not at the top of his form. He had even missed the third game, which Toronto won, due to a suspension. Toronto defeated Montreal in six games. Kennedy's line had their best game of the series in the final sixth game. Montreal had taken an early lead when Lynn tied the game with assists from Kennedy and Meeker. Then in the third with less than six minutes to go in the game Kennedy scored and Toronto won the Stanley Cup. In the final series against Montreal, Kennedy had scored the game-winning goal in three of the four games Toronto won. Despite winning the Stanley Cup the Toronto Maple Leafs did not place a single player on the first or second All-Star teams. The 1947–48 season brought Max Bentley to Toronto from Chicago in what has been called the biggest trade in NHL history as the Leafs gave up five players for the league's scoring leader.

Toronto now had three future Hall of Fame centres: Syl Apps, Max Bentley and Ted Kennedy. The Leafs finished in first place at the end of the regular season. Kennedy had finished the regular season third in points on the team behind Apps and Bently, but it was Kennedy who was to dominate the playoffs. In the first round Toronto played Boston. Toronto eliminated Boston in five games with Kennedy scoring four goals in the second game. Contributing to his reputation for clutch goals, he also scored the series winning goal. The fifth and deciding game was tied 2–2 in the third period when Kennedy was carrying the puck into the Boston end. He passed to Meeker, who returned the pass, faked once, moved in front of the net, waited until goaltender Brimseck went down, then lifted the puck over him. Toronto then swept Montreal in four straight games to win the Stanley Cup. Kennedy scored twice in the Cup-winning game and finished leading all players in the playoffs in points with eight goals and five assists.

After a practice in the fall of 1948, at age 23, Kennedy was elected captain of the Leafs in a dressing room vote among the players. Captain Syl Apps had retired the previous year. Without Apps and Nick Metz, who had also retired, the Leafs struggled throughout the 1948–49 season. They made the playoffs, finishing fourth and with a losing record of 23 wins 25 losses and 12 ties. However, they defeated Boston in five games in the first round and then swept first-place Detroit in four straight games to win their third consecutive Stanley Cup. Kennedy finished the playoffs with two goals and six assists to lead the Leafs in points and finished second to Detroit's Gordie Howe. He had also scored the game-winning goal against Boston which put Toronto up 3–0 in the series. This was the first time a National Hockey League team had won three Cups in a row. This Toronto Maple Leafs team is distinguished as the first dynasty in the history of the NHL.

The 1950-51 season would be Kennedy's last Stanley Cup. In the years following until Kennedy's retirement in 1957 the Leafs would either finish out of the playoffs or lose in the first round. However, Kennedy continued to play productive hockey.

On November 7, 1951 the Leafs and the Chicago Black Hawks played an afternoon exhibition of hockey, prior to their regularly scheduled evening game, for Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth II, during her visit to Canada. It was captain Teeder Kennedy, representing the players, who greeted the Princess at the game. Kennedy said it was a thrilling moment and recalled thinking at the time, "Here's a kid from the little village of Humberstone, Ontario being presented to the Queen."

Published in 1999 Inductees
Tuesday, 07 April 2020 10:48

Tom Watt

Tom WattToronto native Tom Watt's excellent teaching ability led to a successful coaching career at both his collegiate alma matter and at the professional level.

In 15 hockey seasons (1965-79, 1984-85), Tom Watt guided the University of Toronto Blues to 11 OUAA titles and 9 CIAU national championships, including 8 consecutive OUAA titles (1966-73) and 5 consecutive CIAU championships (1969-73). In 1971, he was named the first recipient of the CIAU Hockey Coach of the Year Award.

Watt broke into the NHL coaching ranks as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks in 1980–81. His first NHL head coaching experience came with the Winnipeg Jets, whom he guided for two-plus seasons (1981 to 1984).

In 1981–82, Watt helped the Jets to a 48-point improvement in the standings, and was named Coach of the Year, winning the Jack Adams Award for his efforts.

He held the positions of head coach and assistant general manager with the Canucks for two seasons beginning in 1985–86. Watt was then an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames from 1988 to 1990, including the Stanley Cup-winning 1989 club.

In 1990, he was hired in as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and took over as head coach just 12 games into the 1990–91 NHL season. After two seasons behind the Maple Leafs' bench, he served within the Toronto organization as director of professional development in 1992–93 and director of pro scouting in 1993–94.

His career has allowed him to live all over the country, an opportunity for which he is thankful and proud of.

Published in 2020 Inductees
Sunday, 30 March 2014 20:00

Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Douglas Gretzky,(born January 26, 1961) was born and raised in Brantford, Ontario. Gretzky honed his skills at a backyard rink and regularly played minor hockey at a level far above his peers. Despite his unimpressive stature, strength, and speed, Gretzky's intelligence and reading of the game were unrivaled. He was adept at dodging checks from opposing players, and he could consistently anticipate where the puck was going to be and execute the right move at the right time. Gretzky also became known for setting up behind the net, an area that was nicknamed "Gretzky's office" because of his skills there.

In his career, Gretzky captured nine Hart Trophies as the most valuable player, ten Art Ross Trophies for most points in a season, five Lady Byng Trophies for sportsmanship and performance, five Lester B. Pearson Awards, and two Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP.

After his retirement in 1999, he was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and is the most recent player to have the waiting period waived. He became Executive Director for the Canadian national men's hockey team during the 2002 Winter Olympics, where the team won a gold medal. In 2000 he became part owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, and following the 2004–05 NHL lockout he became their head coach.

Nicknamed "The Great One", Gretzky was called "the greatest player of all time" in Total Hockey: The Official Encyclopedia of the NHL He is generally regarded as the best player in the history of the NHL, and has been called "the greatest hockey player ever" by many sportswriters, players, and coaches. Upon his retirement on April 18, 1999, he held forty regular-season records, fifteen playoff records, and six All-Star records. He is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season—a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, he tallied over 100 points in 15 NHL seasons, 13 of them consecutive. Gretzky's jersey number, 99, has been retired by all teams in the National Hockey League.


Published in 2004 Inductees
Sunday, 23 March 2014 20:00

Wendel Clark

Wendel Clark (born October 25, 1966) perhaps best known for being a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL), captaining the team from 1991 to 1994. During this time, he was often referred to as "Captain Crunch," as he played a very physical and intense style of hockey.

Clark was selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. His professional career lasted from 1985 until 2000, during which time he played for the Maple Leafs (during three separate stretches), Quebec Nordiques, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks.

Clark was known for his physical play and his offensive mind combined with scoring prowess. After his rookie season, he was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team and finished third in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy. He was a crowd favourite at Maple Leaf Gardens and won a place in the hearts of Leaf fans as he provided a spark and was named captain of the team for the 1991–92 season.

Throughout his career, Clark fought all the league's toughest players, quickly gaining a reputation as a feared pugilist. Despite his size, Clark more than held his own against much larger opponents, showing a ferocity seldom matched throughout the league.

Post Retirement, Clark is now employed by the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club as a community ambassador and public relations. The Toronto Maple Leafs honoured the former captain by raising his legendary number 17 to the rafters on November 22, 2008.

Published in 2011 Inductees
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