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10 things you didn't know about the Hockey Hall of Fame

by John McGourty
John McGourty provides readers with all of the information they need to know about the Hockey Hall of Fame.
It’s Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, with the distinguished class of Ron Francis, Al MacInnis, Mark Messier and Scott Stevens being inducted as players and NHL executive Jim Gregory going in as a Builder.

So what do you know about the Hall of Fame? Here are some fast facts about one of the most revered places in the hockey world.

* The Hockey Hall of Fame is located in the former Bank of Montreal Building in Brookfield Place, at the intersection of Front and Yonge Streets in Toronto, Ontario.

* The Hockey Hall of Fame was created in 1943, and its first inductees – Howie Morenz, Art Ross, Georges Vezina, Dan Bain, Hobey Baker, Dubbie Bowie, Chuck Gardiner, Eddie Gerard Frank McGee, Tommy Phillips, Harvey Pulford, Hod Stuart, Sir Montagu Allan and Lord Frederick Stanley – were selected in 1945.

* The first Hockey Hall of Fame building was opened in 1961 on the Canadian National Exposition grounds in Toronto. The Hall moved to its present location in 1993.

* The Hockey Hall of Fame is open 362 days a year, closing only on Christmas, New Year's Day and Induction Monday. That's this Monday, Nov. 12, when Mark Messier, Ron Francis, Al MacInnis, Scott Stevens and Jim Gregory will be inducted. The Hockey Hall of Fame is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

* Admission to the Hockey Hall of Fame is $13C for adults and $9C for children and seniors. Children under three get in free.

That’s the easy stuff. Now, here are 10 things you may not know about the Hockey Hall of Fame:

1. The Hockey Hall of Fame is independent of and cooperative with the National Hockey League. Seven of the 19 members of the Board of Directors are named by the NHL. Other organizations include the International Ice Hockey Federation. Former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner is a board member.

2. Forty-five percent of the material collected by the Hockey Hall of Fame is on display; the other 55 percent is rotated from storage to public display.

3. The Hockey Hall of Fame has been completely renovated in the past six years, with the exceptions of the Great Hall, where the trophies are stored, and the replica of the Montreal Canadiens dressing room at the Montreal Forum.

4. The Hockey Hall of Fame tops all sports Halls in annual attendance, over 300,000 every year.

5. The Hockey Hall of Fame has the world's largest hockey-book collection.

6. And the world's largest hockey-stamp collection.

7. Players, referees and linesmen must be retired for three years before induction. There were 10 exceptions: Jean Beliveau, Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Terry Sawchuk, Leonard "Red" Kelly, Ted Lindsay and Dit Clapper. No exemptions will be granted in the future.

8. Only six of the players were European-trained: Jari Kurri, Peter Stastny, Borje Salming, Slava Fetisov, Valeri Kharlamov and Vladislav Tretiak.

9. The Hockey Hall of Fame is located in the former Bank of Montreal, built in 1885, which was the only building on the block to survive Toronto's Great Fire of 1904.

10. There is a ghost named Dorothy. She was the paramour of a married bank executive and she committed suicide when he wouldn't leave his wife. Dorothy sometimes is seen in an upstairs window overlooking the intersection of Front and Yonge Streets.

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