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Minnesota & The NHL Hockey Hall of Fame

The NHL Hockey Hall of Fame is a hall of fame and museum dedicated to the history of ice hockey.  It was established in 1943 and is located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Originally, there were two categories for induction, players and builders, and in 1961, a third category for on-ice officials was introduced.  In 2010, a subcategory was established for female players.  In 1988, a "veteran player category" was established in order to "provide a vehicle for players who may have been overlooked and whose chances for election would be limited when placed on the same ballot with contemporary players".  Eleven players were inducted into the category, but in 2000 the board of directors eliminated it and those inductees are now considered to be in the player category.

For a person to be inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame, they must be nominated by an elected 18-person selection committee which consists of Hockey Hall of Fame members and media personalities.  Each committee member is allowed to nominate one person in each category per year, and candidates must receive the support of 75% of the members of the committee that are present, or a minimum of ten votes.  In any given year, there can be a maximum of four male players, two female players, and a combined two in the builders and on-ice officials categories.  For a player, referee, or linesman to be nominated, the person must have been retired for a minimum three years.  Builders may be "active or inactive".  The induction ceremony is held at the current Hall of Fame building and was first broadcast by The Sports Network in 1994.

The Hockey Hall of Fame also displays "Media honourees", who have been awarded the "Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award", which is awarded by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association to "distinguished members of the newspaper profession whose words have brought honour to journalism and to hockey", or the "Foster Hewitt Memorial Award", which is awarded by the NHL Broadcasters' Association to "members of the radio and television industry who made outstanding contributions to their profession and the game during their career in hockey broadcasting".

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Frank Brimsek - Eveleth, MN

Netminder Frank "Mr. Zero" Brimsek was one of the greatest players ever to hail from the United States. In a decade of NHL service, the accurately nicknamed Mr. Zero registered 40 shutouts and won 252 regular-season games. He led all netminders in shutouts, goals-against average and wins twice each, and he backstopped Boston to Stanley Cup wins in 1939 and 1941.

The Minnesota native starred with St. Cloud (Minnesota) State Teacher's College in 1933-34 and then joined the independent Pittsburgh Yellowjackets the following season. The next season he and the entire team moved to the Eastern Amateur Hockey League. The promising youngster registered a league-high 20 wins and 8 shutouts during the 1935-36 schedule. At the conclusion of the season he was placed on the EHL First All-Star Team and was presented the George L. Davis Jr. Trophy for allowing the fewest goals.

Next it was off to the Providence Reds where he led the AHL with 48 games played and a 1.75 goals-against mark. His unlimited potential convinced the Boston Bruins to sign him to replace their aging incumbent, Tiny Thompson. During his rookie season Brimsek showed no sign of buckling under the pressure of replacing an NHL legend. In one of the greatest first-year performances ever, he was in goal for 33 Boston wins and topped the league with 10 shutouts and a 1.56 goals-against mark. In addition, he posted two shutout streaks of more than 200 minutes each. During the playoffs he recorded eight wins in 12 games as Boston won its second Stanley Cup. Brimsek's heroics between the pipes were confirmed when he was awarded Vezina and Calder Trophies.

Brimsek was a classic standup goalie whose confidence on the ice threw off many a shooter. On breakaways and penalty shots he would often lean back calmly against his net as the foe approached. But he was not a passive figure while guarding his cage - Brimsek used his custom-made heavy stick to knock the puck off opposition sticks or to take the feet out from under someone who took too many liberties around his goal.

In 1941 his stellar goalkeeping contributed to the Bruins' second Stanley Cup in three years. That year he won his second Vezina Trophy and was selected to the NHL First All-Star Team. The 1941-42 season arguably spoke the loudest for Brimsek's importance to the Bruins. After the famous Kraut Line of Milt Schmidt, Bobby Bauer and Woody Dumart enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces, Mr. Zero almost single-handedly guided his club to a spot in the playoffs. In 1943 the Second World War interrupted Brimsek's career, and he spent a year each with the Coast Guard Cutters team and in the military.

Brimsek returned to the Bruins in 1945-46. Considering the layoff, he did well to earn selection to the NHL Second All-Star Team. He played three more years with Boston, but the team was not as strong as it had been before the war. Brimsek's netminding heroics kept the Bruins in many games during this period, and in 1948 he finished second to the Rangers' Buddy O'Connor in the Hart Trophy voting.

In September 1949 the Bruins sold Brimsek to the Chicago Black Hawks. He played all 70 games in the expanded NHL schedule behind a weak squad. He finally retired after the team failed to qualify for the post-season. Although he did not go out on a high note, his superb record over the years was not forgotten. Brimsek registered nine 20-win seasons and logged over 31,000 minutes of ice time.

In 1966 he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and, fittingly, "Mr. Zero" was also one of the first players elected to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, located in his hometown of Eveleth, Minnesota.

Frank Brimsek & 1933-1934 St. Cloud Teachers College

Frank "Moose" Goheen - White Bear Lake, MN

Frank "Moose" Goheen began his hockey career with the White Bear High School and City Team and was said to have been the finest player produced in the state of Minnesota. He was even considered by some to be even better than the legendary Hobey Baker. In addition to hockey he was an excellent football and baseball player at the University of Indiana.

Goheen was a member of the St. Paul Athletic Club when that team won the MacNaughton Trophy in 1915-16 and 1916-17 as United States Amateur Hockey champions but he did not play in 1917-18 and 1918-19, choosing instead to serve in the United States Army during the First World War. After being discharged, he became a member of the 1920 United States hockey team that played in the Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium, bringing home a silver medal. Goheen was named to the 1924 United States Olympic hockey team but he elected to stay home because of job commitments and did not join his countrymen in Chamonix, France.

Goheen turned professional with the St. Paul Hockey Club starting in the 1925-26 season after having turned down offers from Boston and Toronto of the National Hockey League because of a reluctance to leave his employment in St. Paul with the Northern States Power Company.

Moose Goheen was elected to Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame in 1958 and to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1973. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1952.

Phil Housley - South St. Paul, MN

Phil Housley retired with the record for most points and games played by an American-born player in the National Hockey League history.  Phillip Francis Housley was born March 9, 1964 in St. Paul, Minnesota. A hockey prodigy from an early age, Housley scored 118 goals as an 8th grader at the Bantam level. He went on to star for his high school, South St. Paul High, and was selected to play for the U.S. National Team at both the World Junior Championships and the World Championship.

Housley retired as the leading scorer in NHL history amongst U.S.- born players. Phil was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the sixth round of the 1982 NHL Entry Draft, and joined the Sabres on defence that fall. He had an outstanding rookie season in 1982-83, scoring 19 goals and 66 points to earn a berth on the league's All-Rookie Team. He scored a staggering 31 goals as a second-year player, and was picked to play in the NHL All-Star Game for the first of seven times. He starred during eight seasons in Buffalo before being traded to the Winnipeg Jets with Scott Arniel, Jeff Parker and a first round draft pick in exchange for Dale Hawerchuk and a first round selection.

Housley played in the NHL All-Star game on seven occasions. Housley spent three productive seasons with the Jets, including a Second All-Star Team selection in 1992. He was also a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenceman that same season. In 1992-93, he enjoyed a career year in which he collected 97 points. But Phil was then dealt to the St. Louis Blues just prior to the 1993-94 season, a trade that saw the Jets receive Nelson Emerson and Stephane Quintal. One season with the Blues and Phil was sent packing to the Calgary Flames along with second round draft picks in 1996 and 1997 in exchange for Al MacInnis and a fourth round pick in 1997. During his second season in St. Louis, the Blues traded Housley and Dan Keczmer to the New Jersey Devils for Tommy Albelin, Cale Hulse and Jocelyn Lemieux.

With 1,232 points, Housley is the fourth leading scorer amongst defencemen in NHL history. Signed as a free agent by Washington in July 1996, Phil spent two seasons with the Capitals, and in his last season, he and his teammates went all the way to the Stanley Cup final before being swept by the Detroit Red Wings. It was the closest Housley got to winning the Stanley Cup during his NHL career. In fact, Housley played more games without winning the Stanley Cup than any player in NHL history.

Housley was elected to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. During the summer of 1998, he was claimed on waivers by Calgary and returned to play three more seasons with the Flames. In September 2001, the Chicago Blackhawks claimed Housley in the waiver draft. He played the better part of two seasons with the Hawks, but at the trade deadline in 2003, Phil was traded to the Maple Leafs for two draft picks. Hoping to employ Housley's veteran leadership and offence from the blueline in their drive towards the Stanley Cup, Phil played but one regular season game and three playoff games before Toronto's season came to an abrupt end. Phil Housley's career came to a conclusion, too, and he announced his retirement in January 2004.

While his career consisted of a number of stops and starts, Housley always proved to be a cerebral player with strong offensive talent. He played 1,495 regular season NHL games, amassing a record of 338 goals and 894 assists for 1,232 points. In post-season play, he added 13 goals and 43 assists for 56 points in 85 games. Phil is the second-leading scorer amongst American-born players, in spite of playing defence.

In addition, he contributed significantly to the United States' entries at the World Championships in 1982, 1986, 1989, 2000, 2001 and 2003, as well as the 1984 and 1987 Canada Cup tournaments. At the World Cup of Hockey in 1996, Phil and the team took first place. He was also part of Team USA's silver medal effort at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

In 2004, Phil Housley was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.  He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.

John Mariucci - Eveleth, MN

The name John Mariucci was synonymous with the growth of amateur and professional hockey in Minnesota for over 40 years. He was a player, coach, administrator, and promoter who was a major reason why the game spread faster in the Gopher state than anywhere else in the United States.

The native of Eveleth, Minnesota was a standout in hockey and football as a boy. He later excelled in both sports at the University of Minnesota. In 1940 he was named an all-American on the varsity hockey team while helping the gridiron squad win the NCAA national championship.

After graduating from college Mariucci played five NHL seasons with the Chicago Black Hawks. He was a solid defensive forward and combative team leader who served as captain twice. Mariucci didn't back down from any opponent and waged many a fierce battle with rugged "Black Jack" Stewart of the Detroit Red Wings. When his NHL days ended, Mariucci suited up for the St. Louis Flyers of the American Hockey League and the Minneapolis Millers of the United States Hockey League.

As admirable a player as he was, Mariucci's true calling was as a coach and nurturer of talent. He took over as coach of the University of Minnesota hockey team and immediately declined to recruit players from Canada. An important part of this emphasis on home grown talent was a challenge sent out by Mariucci to high schools throughout the state to start their own programs and develop interest in their respective communities. Between 1952 and 1980 the number of high school teams grew from a handful to more than 150.

Mariucci produced several all-Americans at the university and expanded his own horizons by getting involved with international hockey. He coached the US Olympic team to the silver medal at the 1956 Cortina games. In 1967, he returned to the NHL with the expansion Minnesota North Stars as the assistant to general manager, a position he held until his death in 1987.

A charter member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Mariucci won the Lester Patrick award in 1977 for contributions to hockey in the United States. The University of Minnesota also paid tribute to him by renaming its ice hockey facility the Mariucci Arena.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985.

Walter L. Bush Jr. - Minneapolis, MN

Walter L. Bush Jr. played a vital role in the growth and development of amateur and professional hockey in the United States. Although his influence was felt throughout the country, it was strongest in his native Minnesota. Bush was instrumental in popularizing the game at the amateur and minor pro levels before playing a key role in the expansion of the NHL to Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Born in Minneapolis, Bush played high school hockey at Breck H.S. and minor hockey as a boy before heading east to attend Dartmouth College. He played hockey and football as an undergraduate then returned home to attend the University of Minnesota law school.

By his late twenties, Bush stopped playing but became more active in the administrative side of the game. In 1959, he was named general manager of the U.S. national team and was elected a director to the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States (AHAUS). Bush was an important influence when the Soviet national team was convinced to make an appearance in the United States for the first time that same year.

During the mid-1950s Bush expanded his activities into professional hockey. He was part of the group that formed the Central Hockey League (CHL) in 1955 and served as the president of the circuit for three seasons. At one time Bush owned, managed and coached the Minneapolis Bruins of the CHL.

After gaining experience in the minors, Bush concentrated his energy on obtaining an NHL franchise for his home state. He made one of seventeen bids for expansion and was ultimately successful because he guaranteed that the brand new Metropolitan Sports Arena would be ready for the start of the 1967-68 season. The Minnesota North Stars extended the powerful Montreal Canadiens to six games in the Stanley Cup semi-finals in 1971 and later reached the finals for the first time in 1981. Along the way Bush oversaw the merge between the North Stars and the defunct Cleveland Barons in 1978.

In 1986 Bush was named president of AHAUS. His vast expertise was sought as the American hockey officials tried to unite the amateur and professional factions in the country. That same year Bush was elected to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Council. He was later named IIHF vice-president and took on a role with the United States Olympic Committee.

Bush became a director of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth, Minnesota and, in 1972, was the first US-born official named to the Board of Directors of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Continually looking to broaden his horizons, Bush also became chairman of the IIHF Women's in-line hockey tournament and its subsequent Hall of Fame.

Bush's outstanding service to hockey in the United States was celebrated in 1973 when he was presented the Lester Patrick trophy. In addition to the Hockey Hall of Fame he was elected to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, the Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame and the Breck Military Academy Hall of Fame. In 1999, USA Hockey (formerly AHAUS) named a building in Bush's honour to commemorate his four decades of service to the game.

Bush was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.

Herb Brooks - St. Paul, MN

Although much is made of the significant contributions made by Herb Brooks to the 1980 US Olympic gold medal 'Miracle on Ice,' it overshadows the remainder of a remarkable career for this life-long hockey coach.

Born August 5, 1937 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Herb dreamt of a professional hockey career like most young players. His St. Paul Johnson High School collected Minnesota's high school hockey championship in 1955, fuelled in part by two goals from Brooks in the championship contest. Herb later played for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers between 1955 and 1959.

His international successes began early. As a player, Herb was a member of the United States National Team during two Olympic Games, and participated in five World Championships.

Brooks then moved into coaching, guiding the Golden Gophers for seven seasons beginning in 1972, collecting three NCAA Division 1 National Championships (1974, 1976 and 1979) and back-to-back WCHA championships in 1974 and 1975. Named WCHA Coach of the Year for 1973-74, Herb finished his collegiate coaching with a record of 175 wins, 101 losses and 20 ties.

After coaching Team USA at the 1979 World Championship, Brooks was named general manager and head coach of Team USA for the 1980 Winter Olympics. The team astonished the hockey world by collecting the gold medal in a triumph that has been heralded by the press as the 'Miracle On Ice.' The 2005 motion picture 'Miracle' chronicled the extraordinary accomplishment.

Herb coached France at the 1998 Olympics, returning to coach Team USA to a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Games.

After the 1980 Olympics, Herb coached Davos of the Swiss League for one season, then joined the New York Rangers from 1981 to 1985. During his tenure in New York, Brooks earned renown for reaching the 100-win plateau faster than any previous Rangers coach and was named The Sporting News' Coach of the Year in 1981-82.

After a season coaching St. Cloud State University, Herb became the first Minnesota native to coach the Minnesota North Stars when he joined the franchise in 1987-88. He later coached the New Jersey Devils in 1992-93 and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1999-2000.

Through his NHL coaching career, Herb Brooks compiled a record of 219 wins, 221 losses and 66 ties during regular season play, and 19 wins and 21 losses in playoff contests.

As a member of the gold medal-winning United States Olympic Team in 1980, Brooks and his team were awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for contributions to American hockey in 1980. He earned the same honour as an individual in 2002. In 1990, Herb was honoured by being inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, earning election to the International Ice Hockey Federation's Hall of Fame in 1999.

Herb Brooks was posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006, his life tragically ended in a single car accident in Forest Lake, Minnesota on August 11, 2003.