TORONTO -- Pierre Turgeon attempted to lay down in his hotel room early Friday afternoon, trying to get a quick bit of rest before the festivities began.

"I had goose bumps, like I can't even sleep right now, I have to get up," Turgeon said. "I'm so pumped just to be here."

Months of anticipation since the announcement of the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2023 in June led to Friday, when induction weekend got underway with Turgeon, Henrik Lundqvist, Mike Vernon, Tom Barrasso, Caroline Ouellette, Ken Hitchcock and Pierre Lacroix's family receiving their Hall of Fame rings at a ceremony and press conference in the Great Hall.

They all had the chance to see their plaques on the wall -- Lundqvist's near the ceiling, Lacroix's closest to the floor -- the latest additions to the hardest room to get into in hockey.

"It's just exciting," Turgeon said. "I just want to embrace the moment, embrace this time and just be here and enjoy every day of it because the next thing you know is it's going to be next week, it's going to be Tuesday and it's going to be gone."

They all got Hall calls June 21 from Hockey Hall of Fame chairman Lanny McDonald.

Lundqvist said he was in his closet in Sweden preparing to go out for the evening when he got the call. Barrasso had just arrived at home from the grocery store. Vernon was home on his computer. Turgeon was in Las Vegas celebrating his sister-in-law's birthday. Ouellette missed the call because she was receiving the Order of Quebec the same day. Hitchcock was getting into his car after a practice round of golf. Lacroix's widow, Colombe, received the call on his behalf.

But Barrasso said it wasn't until he arrived at the Hall of Fame and walked into the Great Hall on Friday that reality set in.

"I don't think you recognize any of it, the significance of it, the weight of it until you enter this room and see your plaque and then you start looking around and start seeing all the plaques and the history of the game that's in this room," Barrasso said. "That's the first inkling to me that this is truly a humbling event. It's surreal for me to be here, just really grateful that the committee considered enough of my career to put me in with this group."

NHL Now looks back on the 2023 HHOF Inductees careers

The events of the weekend continued Friday with the Class of 2023 being honored with the ceremonial puck drop at Scotiabank Arena before the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames played in the annual Hall of Fame Game.

On Saturday, the members of the class will be at the Inductee Fan Forum, where fans who enter the Hall of Fame will have an exclusive opportunity partake in a Q&A with them.

The Hall of Fame Legends Classic at Scotiabank Arena is Sunday. That's where the honorees will receive their official Hall of Fame jackets. Lundqvist, Ouellette and Turgeon will suit up to play. Hitchcock will coach.

The induction ceremony is Monday night.

"I'm going to need the weekend to kind of take it all in," Lundqvist said. "It's just starting but it will be very special on Monday to be there with family and friends and to share that moment. I was fortunate enough to experience the jersey retirement (by the New York Rangers) a couple years ago, and the best part is to share it with the people that have helped you get to this point. I'm very excited about being here but also to share it with them."

The emotions that the 2023 honorees were feeling Friday as they received their rings, checked out their plaques, posed for pictures and did interviews were built on four-plus months of waiting for this weekend to finally arrive.

Class of 2023 performs ceremonial puck drop in Toronto

Hitchcock said he was initially uncomfortable about coming here because he hasn't been active in the game since 2019. He's been a coaching consultant for the St. Louis Blues, but he spends his summers in Kelowna, British Columbia, and winters in Palm Springs, California.

"Uncomfortable because I've been out of the circle," he said. "I haven't been around the circle at all. I just wanted to know that I fit in OK. When you're out of it the NHL goes on, life goes on. I just wanted to feel comfortable that I could come back here and enjoy it, and I have. It's been a great time so far and we're just getting started."

Ouellette also felt nerves in the past few weeks.

"Because it is a big moment," she said. "I think you're a bit scared that you're going to forget someone who meant the world to you."

For the Lacroix family, the past few weeks have been about making sure everyone who wants to be involved can be in their own unique way.

Eric Lacroix, Pierre's son and a former NHL player, was their representative in the ring ceremony. Colombe got the call to participate in the ceremonial puck drop before the Toronto-Calgary game. Martin Lacroix, Pierre's other son, wrote the induction speech that 19-year-old grandson Max, Eric's oldest son, will give Monday.

Pierre Lacroix died Dec. 13, 2020. He was 72.

"It's big for our family," Eric Lacroix said. "We're not going to be negative and say we wish he was here, but of course it is human nature. I wish he was here. I think today he would have been proud. I think it's good for my mom. There will never be closure. It was COVID. It's been rough on my mom. It's a big change, married 55 years. But I would say this is closure in a sense that, hey, this is a great celebration and we're here as a family and we're excited."

And it's just getting started.

"It's here," Turgeon said. "I'm going to embrace this time. I love being here and it's just a privilege to be a part of this."