1961 Hockey Inductees
This was a major year for the Hockey Hall of Fame, and this was not because of the massive size of the Class of 1961, and that it included Maurice “Rocket” Richard. This was the year that the Hall officially set up residence in Toronto, Ontario, Canada where it remains to this day.
Conn Smythe, the former manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and chairman of the NHL owner’s committee was the man behind pushing for a permanent facility to be built in Toronto. He found the resources and funding to build on the grounds of the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) and construction concluded in 1961 where it enjoyed solid attendance.
The Class of 1961 as mentioned was headlined by Richard, whose three year wait was waived to get him in immediately. The class had other notable names, like George Hainsworth, Milt Schmidt and Syl Apps and the overall class consisted of fourteen players and builders.