I promise I’ll get back to Colts talk after Sunday Night Football in the Bay. But this weekend was too cool not to write about.
My cousin Ryan and his fiancee Lauren were married in a beautiful ballroom inside the Omni King Edward Hotel located in Downtown Toronto this weekend. You guys know how much of a hockey fan I am, so of course I had to take advantage of the opportunity up in “The 6”.
I’ve been to Toronto once before, and went to a Maple Leafs game with a friend. The environment was electric. Unfortunately, the Leafs played the San Jose Sharks on Friday night. So the wedding definitely took dibs over that. Plus, Toronto lost at home. Leaf supporters are if the Yankees, Lakers, and Cowboys had their fan bases combine to create a super team.
Anyway, I got to do one thing this weekend that I never had been able to before. I visited the Hockey Hall of Fame, home of the Stanley Cup.
That’s right. When the Cup isn’t on it’s globe-wide tour with the NHL team who wins it, when it is tossed, carried, lifted, kissed, partied with, beer drenched, drank out of, or even when they pour cereal and milk in it, its home is Toronto, Ontario.
In a beautiful grand hall, the Cup is shined and sharpened countless times a day for fans and hockey nuts to come in and see hockey’s history.
Surrounding this auditorium is all of the individual trophies that are given out each season to NHL players who shine in the brightest lights. The Vezina Trophy for best goaltender, Calder Trophy for the rookie of the year, Selke Trophy for best defensive forward, and Lady Byng Trophy for the game’s greatest showing of sportsmanship.
They’re all there. Including the original Stanley Cup given out in 1894 by The Lord Stanley of Preston himself.
That all still was not the coolest part to me though.
What struck me most was all of the Indianapolis hockey history that was on display. And when you’re taking Indy puck, it all begins with The Great One.
Wayne Gretzky played eight games with the Indianapolis Racers over one month as a 17-year-old as he was signed by Pat Stapleton. Gretzky roamed the halls of Broad Ripple High School, took rides to functions with the late great Robin Miller, and built a name for himself that would eventually become the greatest hockey player of all time.
Gretzky’s time in Indy was short. But as I talked about last week with Jake Query on The Fan Morning Show, if the Racers had not folded in 1978-79, what if Indianapolis got soaked up into the NHL in the expansion that also brought the Edmonton Oilers in the league?
Since Gretzky was sold to the Oilers for a sum of $850,000, the Racers made some cash. But not as much that would have been made and for what would have changed the city if they stuck around. What if Gretzky’s 2857 career NHL points all came in Indy?
Would the Colts even be here? 1984 was a long time after Gretzky played at Market Square Arena. The what if questions are wild.
But still walking around the Hall of Fame, and seeing all the history, it brought up more memories and players.
How about the fact that Detroit Red Wing Hall of Famers Ted Lindsay, Sid Abel, and Alex Delvecchio all played for the original Indianapolis hockey club, the Indianapolis Capitals in the 1940s?
Or in one of the greatest dynasties that the NHL ever saw, the New York Islanders won four straight Cups from 1980-1983. During that time, the Islanders were affiliated with the Indianapolis Checkers.
There’s so much Indianapolis sports history in Toronto. You just would never guess to look there.