Hockey Hall of Fame Book of Jerseys is a celebration of the Hockey Hall of Fame's collection of the best jerseys and sweaters worn by the premier players of the game.
The brand-new, never-before-seen photographs of each jersey are paired with in-game action images and player profiles detailing the significance of the jersey and the impact of the player on the league.
The selection of more than 100 jerseys from star players ranges from the rare and seldom seen, like Hall of Famer Rod Langway's high school championship jersey, to the most famous of garments, like the No. 9 of Montreal Canadiens' star Maurice the Rocket Richard.
Hockey fans will be thrilled with this collection and will enjoy the crests, patches, logos, colors, and designs -- not to mention the game-worn wear-and-tear -- of hockey's most distinguishing feature. As an addition to the jerseys of hockey's superstars, readers will be treated to a selection of some of the most unique and rare jerseys from around the hockey world, like Bob Gainey's Epinal Squirrels jersey from the France pro league, or the 1939 Cambridge University Ice Hockey Club sweater worn by captain Geoffrey Hallowes.
A few of the players and jerseys featured are:
Hockey Hall of Fame Book of Jerseys is a fantastic examination of hockey's most enduing symbol and is the only book on the subject.
Steve Milton is a 30-year veteran writer and author of more than 20 sports books.
INTRODUCTION by PHIL PRITCHARD
Is it called a jersey? Or is it a sweater? It's a great question that has been debated among hockey circles for years. No matter the answer, one thing is for sure: the Hockey Hall of Fame prides itself on having the world's premier collection of hockey uniforms. The concept of the Hockey Hall of Fame started in the 1940s when some of the prominent figures in hockey began collecting game-worn articles from players and teams. Although there wasn't a building until 1961, this early groundwork paved the way for the first collections that appeared at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds. Bobby Hewitson and Maurice "Lefty" Reid, along with their small staff, deserve a great deal of credit for their foresight. Collecting jerseys was one thing, but following milestones and tracking uniform styles and logo changes was not a simple task.
Today our vision of the Hockey Hall of Fame remains very similar to the one conceived by Bobby and Lefty, it is just more diverse. As the game has grown, so have the styles and designs that make up hockey's uniforms. Canada's gift to the world is now played in over 70 countries, and while some nations may only have a handful of club teams, many have well-established minor and professional leagues -- with each team sporting a different uniform. Ideally we'd love to have an item from every team that has ever played, and as we build our collection we never tire of adding new pieces.
Donations come from all over. Sometimes we'll receive help securing items for donation from people such as Pierre Trudeau and Marc Juteau of Classic Auctions, or Barry Meisel and Stu Oxhenhorn of the MeiGray Group. Longtime collector Allan Stitt has also kept his eyes and ears open for us.
Oftentimes, teams or players will go out of their way to donate items to us. After the 2008-09 playoffs, the Pittsburgh Penguins donated Evgeni Malkin's jersey. It was important to them that we have it. Wearing that jersey, Malkin became the first Russian to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff's Most Valuable Player.
However, to me, the best donations come from you, the fans. Without your generosity we simply could not be the foremost authority on hockey's history.
What I like most about receiving fan donations are the stories behind the artifacts -- stories about the players, the teams and the leagues who used the items, as well as the circumstances surrounding how they arrived at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Those stories are often just as interesting as the artifacts themselves.
Recently, John MacMillan, who came up through the college ranks in the United States and had a lengthy professional career including two Stanley Cup victories with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the early 1960s, was traveling to Toronto to take part in the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Leafs' 1962 Cup win. Prior to the trip he and his wife were reminiscing about John's early career and they happened to come across his old college hockey equipment; the next thing they did was call the Hockey Hall of Fame. We were honored and thrilled to get the call, and John was honored and thrilled that we were interested in his jerseys.
The Soviet National Team jersey worn by Vsevolod Bobrov at the 1954 World Championship (page 156) is one of my personal favorites in the book. Who would have thought that the "Big Red Machine" in Russia would have started off wearing bright blue? Another favorite is the trio of Boston Bruins jerseys worn by the famed Kraut Line (page 18). Those jerseys span three decades -- from the 1930s to the 1950s -- and the line, made up of Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer, played together their entire career; not only in the NHL, but in junior, minor-pro and even in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Amazing!
At the Hockey Hall of Fame we are fortunate to be able to see these artifacts every day, and it is our supreme pleasure to share them with you. As you flip through the pages of this book, enjoy the beautiful photographs that expertly capture the wide array of fabrics, colors, logos and crests, and immerse yourself in the stories behind each jersey. I know I will.
And remember, somewhere in those basements, attics or storage units might be that old Hamilton Tigers or Toronto St. Patricks jersey we have always been looking for. Or maybe it will be that unique sweater from the Western Hockey League that featured Johnny Canuck. Regardless of whether you call it a jersey or a sweater, we'll have a home for it at the Hockey Hall of Fame. We will preserve it, conserve it and have it on display for hockey fans around the world to see.
By the way, I call them hockey jerseys, and the best ones are game worn.
Phil Pritchard Vice President and Curator Hockey Hall of Fame
Introduction NHL Greats Around the Globe All-Stars Champions Hockey Hodgepodge Acknowledgments/Credits Index