In 2007 Jim Gregory was in some pretty prestigious company when he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Not only is James “Jim” Gregory one of the key icons who helped shape NHL history, but he’s also one who helped shape local history as well as one of the founders of Haliburton Hockey Haven.
Back in the 1960s, when Gregory was still coaching and managing junior hockey, he had an idea to start a hockey training school at St. Michael’s College in Toronto. One day he mentioned this idea to a close friend and hockey associate, Wren Blair, who liked the idea but suggested a different location: the Haliburton Highlands.
In the season of 1964/65 Haliburton Hockey Haven was born and, given both Blair and Gregory’s clout in the hockey community, it didn’t take long for the school to make a name for itself.
Because of our work both of us were associated with some prestigious and all-star players. Over the years we had a lot of great hockey players. We were very fortunate, says Gregory.
The shopping list of hockey greats who visited the Haliburton Hockey Haven as instructors includes the likes of:
Bobby Orr, Johnny Bower, Red Kelly, Ron Ellis, Bill Gadsby, and Mike Walton.
Getting them here often wasn’t a problem, says Gregory.