Legends of Hockey - Induction Showcase - 1997 Induction Celebration
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The 1997 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration

(TORONTO, November 17,1997) -- Hockey's latest legends took their place amomg the pantheon of sports stars this evening as the Hockey Hall of Fame held its 1997 Induction Ceremony. The ceremony, seen across the continent on TSN and ESPN, saw Mario Lemieux and Bryan Trottier inducted in the Player category, along with Glen Sather as a Builder. In the media category, Ken McKenzie was presented with the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award, and long-time Philadelphia Flyers broadcaster Gene Hart received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award.

This evening's induction ceremony was the culmination of an excitement-packed and full weekend of activities that paid tribute to the 1997 inductees, and entertained thousands of hockey fans from around the globe who made the pilgrimage to hockey's shrine for the festivities. The celebration got off to a stellar start on Friday November 14th, when the inimitable Bobby Hull met with fans and signed autographs in the WorldCom Great Hall. The anticipation of the touchdown of "The Golden Jet" had fans flocking to the Hall of Fame hours before the former-great's arrival, and by mid-afternoon the line extended throughout the Hall and into the BCE Concourse.

Saturday November 15th was Esso Hockey Heroes Day and the all-day event saw a packed house as visitors were able to watch great action footage of the Stanley Cup glory years of the New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Edmonton Oilers. Fans were also able to receive door prizes, and compete for exclusive Hockey Hall of Fame merchandise in the Ford Hockey Trivia Challenge and Skills Challenge.

Saturday night was Honoured Members night at Maple Leaf Gardens, where the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins were able to help pay tribute to Trottier and Lemieux, as well as all the honoured members of the Hockey Hall of Fame, many of whom were present for the game.

On Sunday the 1997 honourees themselves were at the Hockey Hall of Fame to sign autographs and receive personal congratulations from their admirers. Many fans started lining up in the early hours of the morning for a glimpse of their hockey heroes.

Monday November 17th brought the apex of the Induction celebration, starting with the Inductees Luncheon in the Esso Theatre. Hockey Hall of Fame Chairman Scotty Morrison presented each man with his Honoured Member jacket. In addition Lemieux, Sather, and Trottier received their official Hockey Hall of Fame rings, while McKenzie and Hart were presented commemorative pens media award winners. This was followed by the Inductees photo session with their families.

The Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was broadcast on TSN and ESPN before a continent-wide viewing audience. The program was hosted by Dick Irvin and John Wells. The Inductees were given their own version of the plaques which were placed on the Honoured Members and Media Award winners wall in the WorldCom Great Hall. The speeches were emotional and provided each man with the opportunity to reflect on their careers and acknowledge the support of their families and friends.

Click here to download audio clips of the 1997 Inductee Acceptance Speeches.

Overall the Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend was another resounding success. The celebration and subsequent immortalization of the careers of these men is one of the reasons why the Hockey Hall of Fame is a must see for all fans of the game. Join us next November for the 1998 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.

 1997 Inductees

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