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ELECTIONS: 1945

The first election brought its first controversy: Chair Morey Holzman refused to put Lester and Frank Patrick on the ballot because he determined they should automatically qualify as Builders for the first ballot included with Builders.

"Of the many, this may have been my biggest mistake," Holzman said. "I effectively took two votes out of everybody's hands by saying that the Patricks were automatic. We had 23 Oldtimers on the initial ballot who are enshrined in Toronto. I was trying to give everyone two extra votes, and I shouldn't have done that. Two people voted for Frank Patrick anyway."

Because we decided we wanted to induct a large initial class, we chose the top five vote getters in both the Oldtimers and Honoured Members categories, regardless of vote totals.

On the initial ballot, we had three players tied with seven votes apiece, so we inducted all three.

The initial class for 1945:

HONOURED MEMBERS:

HOWIE MORENZ (C)
EDOUARD "NEWSY" LALONDE (C)
GEORGES VEZINA (G)
CLINT BENEDICT (G)
FRANCIS "KING" CLANCY (D)
  FRANK NIGHBOR (LW)
JOE MALONE (C)
ART ROSS (D)
FRED "CYCLONE" TAYLOR (D-R)
HOBART "HOBIE" BAKER (R)
EDDIE GERARD (D)


Here is how the final voting went:

Honoured Players:
Howie Morenz 16
Georges Vezina 13
Newsy Lalonde 12
Clint Benedict 7
Francis Clancy 7
Frank Nighbor 7
Aurele Joliat 6
Lionel Conacher 4
Charlie Gardiner 4
George Hainsworth 3
Nelson Stewart 3
Bill Cook 2
Babe Dye 2
Gordon Keats 2
Irving Bailey 1

Harry Cameron 1
Sprague Cleghorn 1
Frank Frederickson 1
Harry Holmes 1
Ernie Johnson 1
Ching Johnson 1

Oldtimers:
Joe Malone 18
Art Ross 12
Fred Taylor 12
Hobart Baker 6
Eddie Gerard 6
Dan Bain 3
Thomas Dunderdale 3
Si Griffis 3

Joe Hall 3
Didier Pitre 3
Harvey Pulford 3
Mike Grant 2
Jack Laviolette 2
*Frank Patrick 2
Tommy Phillips 2
Hod Stuart 2
Jack Darragh 1
Herb Gardner 1
Jack Gibson 1
Billy Gilmour 1
Ernie Russell 1
Tommy Smith 1
Marty Walsh 1
Harry Westwick 1

* - Patrick was declared ineligible, but two committee members voted for him anyway.

"We fell into the same trap that the actual Hall of Fame did," said Iain Fyffe. "Hobey Baker's tragic death and word-of-mouth quality (he never played high-level competition) got him inducted. What a player accomplished as a player should determine his worthiness as a Hall-of-Famer; Baker accomplished little."