The motto at the Hockey Hall of Fame is that you can "do it all at the hall", which is no exaggeration by any means. The Hockey Hall of Fame is the star of Toronto for hockey fans. It houses the legendary and much sought after Stanley Cup and showcases some of the all time greats of hockey history. However, those who visit the Hockey Hall of Fame can also look forward to taking shots at real-time goalies and defend shots against legends like Gretzky – testing their knowledge at hockey trivia, and browse a slew of hockey themed memorabilia. This museum is an entertainment destination like no other and is a can't-miss for hardcore hockey fans of all ages.
Get Up Close And Personal With The Stanley Cup
If there is one major draw of the Hockey Hall of Fame it is the trophies. The magnificent Great Hall houses all NHL trophies which include the Vezina, Hart and Calder trophies. It is the greatest collection of silverware in the world of sports. However, the crown jewel of all of those trophies is the massive Stanley Cup.
Out of all the accolades in the world of hockey, the Stanley Cup is the most desired. It is in the Great Hall where the Stanley Cup has its permanent home. There are many things in the Hockey Hall of Fame that guests are not allowed to touch, however the Stanley Cup is not one of them. Visitors can touch the cup or pose with it for pictures.
However, those seeking the Stanley Cup have to plan their trip carefully. This grand award is away from home for 300 days out of the year, so it may not be there on every visit. Many hockey fans don't know that since 1996 each player from the winning team is allowed to host the cup in their home town for a day. As many players hail from all over the world, this cup does some travelling that keeps it away from home. However, for fans that do get to see and touch the cup in the museum, they are touching a piece of hockey history that some of the greatest players in the world have once touched.
Take Shots At The Greats And Play Goalie
What would a Hockey Hall of Fame be without a little hockey to play? It is by far the most interactive Hall of Fame out of all the sports. Visitors who want to know what it feels like to block a goal or have a slap shot zip past them can head over to the NHLPA Be A Player Zone for life sized hockey action. Grab a glove and a blocker before filling the net.
Competition-minded visitors get to face off against hockey super stars like Wayne Gretzy and Mark Messier – virtually, of course. The video image of these greats fires off sponge pucks (for safety) that can reach speeds of 70 kilometres per hour at a number of preset openings in the nets. For the real hockey goalies, there are three difficulty levels of play – rookie, professional and all-star.
Alternatively, there is another virtual experience that takes visitors out of the goal and into the shooting range. The other option in the NHLPA Be A Player Zone is to take the opposite side of the goalie and instead be the score hero. This time visitors grab their stick and, instead of sponge pucks, attempt to hit real pucks past a life sized simulated goaltender.
Score is kept for both games, but there are no arcade tickets and no prizes awarded. It is just a fun for bragging rights.
Game Time Trivia
Think you know it all about hockey history? Well, there is only one way to find out. Outside of NHLPA Be A Player Zone there stand two sets of bleachers on either side where Game Time Trivia is played. While the Player Zone doesn't have any prizes, Game Time Trivia challenges visitors to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to bragging about their knowledge of hockey trivia.
Up to 60 visitors can compete against each other by answering hockey trivia. This happens every Saturday where visitors pay a small fee to enter and compete. The winners get a large cut off entry fees if they win.
For those that want to play a game of trivia whenever they visit, there are eight kiosks that house eight combatants for 10-minute game cycles from a database of 10,000 questions. The kiosks have four different game types: Shooting Drill, Starting Line Up, One on One and Photo Op. Each one encompasses different aspects of trivia. For example, Photo Op asks questions based on only photos, while Starting Line Up asks who played during historic games. Game Time Trivia covers the entire world of hockey from the light hearted pop culture to hardcore trivia.
Canadiens Dressing Room
There are many great exhibits around the Hockey Hall of Fame, but the most popular exhibit, aside from the Stanley Cup, is the Canadiens Dressing Room. This exhibit is a to-scale replica of the legendary space in the Montreal Forum. This space was home by 23 Stanley Cup champion teams between 1924 and 1996. The different stalls in the life sized replica commemorate some of the greatest Habs, including Lafleur, Plante, Dryden, Morenz and Bleiveau. Their jerseys encircle the area and visitors get a feel of what it would have been like to be surrounded by such greatness, even if it is just their jerseys.
The Puck Wall And Mask Columns
Even before entering the Hockey Hall of Fame, visitors are treated to great exhibits such as the Mask Columns and the Puck Wall. From afar, the Puck Wall looks like a beautiful mosaic, but upon closer inspection you realize it’s made of hockey pucks – 1,300 pucks. These pucks were collected from different arenas and tournaments around the world.
Before the admissions desk or even the Puck Wall are the Mask Columns. Hung on these stunning columns are over 30 goalie masks that are displayed with photos of the men who wore them. This collection includes the legendary masks of Terry Sawchuk and Ed Giacomin, as well as the more ornate masks of note throughout hockey history. A favourite of visitors and Hall of Fame staff is easily Gilles Gratton's fierce lion mask design that he wore in 1976 and 1977.
The TSN Theatre is the newest addition to the Hockey Hall of Fame, where visitors can watch a 3D film entitled Stanley's Game Seven. The film plays every 30 minutes. The movie uses archival footage of some of the most renowned playoff moments in Stanley Cup history. It then combines that with computer generated animation in order to make the event just a little more epic.