Toronto Maple Leafs: Hockey Hall of Fame Weekend Fan Experience

TORONTO, ONTARIO - NOVEMBER 12: The Hockey hall of Fame is decorated for the upcoming induction ceremonies at the Hockey Hall Of Fame on November 12, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - NOVEMBER 12: The Hockey hall of Fame is decorated for the upcoming induction ceremonies at the Hockey Hall Of Fame on November 12, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Another Hockey Hall of Fame weekend has come and gone but has left a lasting impression on this Toronto Maple Leafs fan. As a fan of the game, I have always enjoyed watching the Hockey Hall of Fame ceremony.

Seeing players who you’ve had the pleasure of watching play now enter the Hall of Fame is exciting. To experience the Hall of Fame weekend in person is even more special.

Although I was unable to attend the actual ceremony on Monday night, I did have the pleasure of taking part in other parts of the Hall of Fame weekend. The following is a detailed account of my Hall of Fame weekend experience.

I hope you enjoy reading about this experience, and I hope that everyone at some point gets to enjoy it as well.

A Toronto Maple Leafs Fan Experience’s Hall of Fame Weekend

Saturday Afternoon

On Saturday, November 13th, the Hockey Hall of Fame hosted a question and answer (Q&A) period with the newest members of the Hall answering questions from reporters and fans alike.

Seeing the likes of Jarome Iginla, Marian Hossa, Kevin Lowe, Doug Wilson, Kim St. Pierre, and Ken Holland sitting up on the platform was special. It was so captivating to listen to them sharing stories from their careers and sharing their experience of getting their phone call from the Hockey Hall of Fame.

One of the funniest moments from the Q&A happened while Iginla shared what happened when he got his phone call from the Hall. He explained that Peter Hanlon, the head of PR with the Calgary Flames, told him that his window to receive the phone call would be between 11 am – 1 pm.

On the morning that he was to receive his call, Iginla was at a car rental company with his father when his phone rang. He saw the phone number was a Toronto number, but it wasn’t 11 am yet, so he hung up. A moment later, he received a second phone call from a Toronto number, and again he hung up. He thought it was someone from the Toronto media calling him.

The next time his phone went off, it was a text, that read “Pick up, this is Lanny McDonald.” So, it wasn’t exactly how he pictured it happening, but he was thrilled to get the call.

Saturday Night

Later that night, I attended a charity event at Bottom Line sports bar, located beside the Hockey Hall of Fame. Attendees got to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs game against the Buffalo Sabres, put their name in a hat to win great prizes, and mingle with a few hockey alumni.

The first alumni I had the pleasure of talking with was Graeme Townshend. He spent five seasons in the NHL playing with the Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, and Ottawa Senators. Townshend became the first Jamaican-born player to play in the NHL. From the 2008-09 season until the end of the 2011-2012 season, he served as the skating coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was in town to take part in the Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Classic game on Sunday.

Next up was a very brief chat with Molly Schaus. She is a goaltender with the United States women’s national ice hockey team. Like Townshend, she was in town to play in the Legends Classic.

One alumni that showed up that I was unable to speak with was six-time Stanley Cup champion, Glenn Anderson. He was arriving just as I was leaving, but being in his presence was still pretty cool.

Sunday Afternoon

On Sunday, November 14th, I attended the Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Classic featuring Team Canada versus Team World. This is always such a fun event to attend as there are so many former NHL stars taking part, including the newest players entering the Hall of Fame.

Before the game is when the newest Hall inductees receive their Hall of Fame jackets. One by one each of the newest members were introduced following a video highlighting their career. In order, the fans got to watch Doug Wilson, Kevin Lowe, Ken Holland, Kim St. Pierre, Marian Hossa, and Jarome Iginla have their HHOF jacket put on them by Lanny McDonald himself.

As always, many former Toronto Maple Leafs players were on hand to take part in the game. Such players as Wendel Clark, Tomas Kaberle, Eric Lindros, Steve Tomas, Larry Murphy, Nik Antropov, Mike Gartner, and Al Iafrate. A full list of the rosters can be found here 2021 Legends Classic Rosters.

Next. Leafs Who Might Make the Olympics. dark

All in all it was an outstanding weekend and an experience that I will not forget. I hope many of you will have the opportunity to take part in this great weekend one year.