Back in the summer of 1993, I went to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto with my family.
I may have only been 10 years old at the time, but wow, what an unbelievable hockey heaven that place was. As soon I walked through the entrance, I knew it was the place for me because even back then, I was hockey, hockey, hockey.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to get back to the HHOF since then. My family and I went on other vacations, I was busy with school, college, playing hockey, etc., getting married, and having a family of my own.
Obviously, all those other things well and are well worth it. With that said, there is no doubt that I would like to one day go back there because now, I understand, appreciate, know and have a lot more passion for the sport than I did back then.
Well, my wish was answered. While I did not visit the HHOF physically, I was brought back to it through two books on this magical hockey place.
The fist one I read was The Hall – Celebrating Hockey’s Heritage, Heroes and Home by Kevin Shea. Shea has been the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the HHOF since 2001 and he’s also written a ton of books on hockey and is considered one of the game’s top historians.
The HHOF is celebrating its 75th anniversary so this book comes at the perfect time. There are several reasons why hockey fans must do themselves a favor and buy this unbelievable book.
For starters, the HHOF will always be important for the sport. It celebrates the game like no other place does and this book conveys that through terrific photos, descriptions, and showing that in terms of hockey history, the HHOF is the place to be.
Secondly, this book takes hockey fans behind the scenes in terms of how the Hall came to be, the hidden treasures stored in their Seaman Hockey Resource Center, people involved with the Hall whether it’s the selection committee, as well as the Hall’s involvement in growing the game.
Speaking of the sport, this book does such a wonderful job of explaining the Hall’s every detail. From the Hall’s founders, to where the Stanley Cup sits, to how the Hall has come to be what it is today: Heaven on Ice.
Another book on the Hockey Hall of Fame that is an absolute treasure for any hockey fan is A Century of NHL Memories – Rare Photos from the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The book is done by Phil Pritchard, the curator at the HHOF and also known as the keeper of the Stanley Cup, and Jim Hynes. Much like the first book I spoke about in this article, this awesome hockey book takes hockey fans to the Hall of Fame’s archives, which reveals some unbelievable photographs.
In all, there are 130 photos in this magnificent book. Whether it’s an action photo, a photo of a player (s) in a different setting, or even just a profile photo, they all do a wonderful job of bringing puck fans closer to the game that they love.
If you’re a hockey fan, please go out and buy these books. The Hockey Hall of Fame is a magical place and if you are not able to get there physically, these two books will bring you as close as you can get to it without physically being there.