Humboldt is a hockey town, in the middle of a hockey-obsessed area.
The local museum will be paying tribute to our love of hockey in a new exhibit that will open just in time for the RBC Cup in May.
The exhibit is being put together by the Humboldt and District Museum and Gallery (HDMG), in partnership with the Humboldt and District Sports Hall of Fame (HDSHF).
It will focus on a specific aspect of hockey history in Humboldt and the larger surrounding area — mainly, players who have gone on to play in the NHL.
“There is a lot of hockey history in Humboldt, so we decided to focus the attention of the exhibit on that (highest) level of hockey,” said Jennifer Hoesgen, director of the HDMG.
So far, they have information on a wealth of Humboldt players who made it to the big show thanks to books of hockey cards donated by Art Saretsky to the HDMG last year.
Saretsky’s donation was three albums of hockey cards featuring NHL players from Saskatchewan. Aaron Lukan of the HDSHF went through those albums, identifying the players who hail from or have ties to the Humboldt region, and his son, Avery, did research on each one, finding out the basics, as well as when and where they were drafted, who they played for and any other interesting information.
For example, they tracked down the story of Bob Bauer from Lanigan, who played for Humboldt in the 1950s — he played one game with a broken ankle and scored the winning goal.
“It’s an awesome collection of cards,” Aaron Lukan said, flipping through the pages.
The information Avery found on these players will be typed up and included in the display with blown-up images from the hockey cards.
However, there are some players with ties to Humboldt Aaron Lukan knows of that don’t have cards in this collection.
They are also unsure of whether or not the list the Lukans have come up with is complete. There could be others from this area, or who have played hockey in this area, who made it to the NHL,
The bottom line?
“We need assistance in developing this exhibit,” Hoesgen said.
Names, images, artifacts — they’re looking for it all.
Anyone who can think of the name of a NHLer with ties to Humboldt is asked to call the HDMG and submit it.
Or if you have some interesting information about or a photo of a more well-known name, or team now is the time to share it.
“We’re looking for photos and more information for some of them,” said Lukan of those whose names they already have.
For instance, there is very little information — and no team photo — for the first ever Humboldt Broncos team (1970-71), who played in the SJHL final series in that first season.
“We have so little information on that first year,” said Lukan.
So little, in fact, that many believe the Broncos’ first season was 1971-72.
They do know the names of the players from that team, Lukan noted, including Terry Ruskowski, who was 16 when he played for the Broncos in 1970. He went on to captain the Chicago Blackhawks, the Los Angeles Kings and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Anyone with any photos of the team or any Humboldt Broncos player from that season is asked to contact the HDMG.
And anyone with any kind of hockey memorabilia at all can donate their items, too, Hoesgen said.
For instance, someone has already donated Brad Lauer’s shoulder pads, and a hockey mask and the HDMG is hoping to use these donations and more they can gather together to tell the story of the evolution of hockey equipment.
People with items that fit into this exhibit can just lend them to the HDMG specifically for this exhibit, or they can donate them to the museum’s archives.
Those with any other items or information pertaining to hockey history in Humboldt and the surrounding area are also asked to bring it to the attention of the HDMG or HDSHF, especially if it concerns the Wigwam — where the Humboldt Indians played.
“We are always looking for information,” said Lukan.
The HDMG is also following some other storylines with their exhibit.
For instance, they are looking at the transition of the Humboldt Indians, the team that got their start in Humboldt, moved to Estevan, and then became the Kamloops Blazers.
Mr. Goalie Glenn Hall once played for the Humboldt Indians, Hoesgen added, and they are still looking for information on that team.
Another storyline follows the Platzer Cup, a senior hockey trophy with a lot of history.
“We don’t have a lot of photos of the winners of the cup,” Hoesgen noted, so they are asking the public to lend or donate photos or memorabilia for the exhibit.
Not everything that is brought forward by the public is guaranteed to be a part of this exhibit, Lukan noted, but if it is donated, it will be kept by the HDMG in the HDSHF display, which they are hoping to expand in the future.
The HDMG is also asking those with memorabilia from the Humboldt Broncos’ RBC Cup seasons in 2003, 2008 and 2009 to consider donating them to the exhibit and their archives.
“History is not just 20 years in the past,” Hoesgen said.
“We know the community has extensive hockey memorabilia to share with Humboldt and the world when the RBC Cup comes to Humboldt,” she added.
Anyone with anything to donate, or information to share is asked to contact the HDMG as soon as possible.
The hockey display will be up from May 1 to June 30.