Director TIMOTHY GASSEN speaks (upper) and after
as a guest of JEFF MAREK on
In Canada (lower).
TIMOTHY GASSEN with the fan-styled Racers replica
display at "Gretzky's Restuarant" in Toronto
(upper) and as
a guest of ADAM PROTEAU and MIKE
Hockey News Radio Show (lower).
Former Racers & NHL goaltender GARY INNESS signs
autographs (upper) and BOB SICINSKI appears
on-camera for the
upcoming WHA documentaries
Former WHA All-Star RICK SMITH (above) goes
at the IHHOF in Kingston for the new WHA documentaries
we are shooting. That's superstar
WHA Jets jersey in the
background. Thank you, IHHOF!
WORLD PREMIERE SCREENINGS
at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto
and the International Hockey Hall of Fame in Kingston Ontario, May 2009
Left to right: Racers greats Reg Thomas, Gary Inness, Brian McDonald,
Jim Park, Nick Harbaruk and Pat Stapleton. (Not pictured: Bob Sicinski.)
Five years of work and film production came to fruition on May 16 & May 17, 2009 in Canada with the public premiere screenings of the documentary from the new DVD box-set "Gretzky, Indy & the WHA."
Director Timothy Gassen brought the film to both the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and the International Hockey Hall of Fame in Kingston, Ontario — and both events were highlighted by appearances by former World Hockey Association players and dedicated WHA fans.
Gassen also took the opportunity to begin shooting interviews with players for upcoming documentaries on the WHA Houston Aeros and WHA Winnipeg Jets. Shooting will now continue in the United States. We'll have more details soon!
The Toronto event began on Friday, May 15 with with a media blitz. Gassen appeared on DOUG FARRAWAY's popular afternoon show on The Fan 590, then headed to the Hockey News' radio show at Gretzky's Restaurant, then to the CBC broadcast center for Hockey Night in Canada. All-Star defenseman and former Racers Pat Stapleton started the day on Hockey This Morning.
Our thanks to all the kind media who helped spread the word about our trip to Canada and the release of the box set.
A capacity crowd greeted the former Racers players and director Gassen for the Hockey Hall of Fame film screening and autograph session. The players enjoyed taking photos with fans, and we were all delighted to see former NHL & WHA goaltender GARY INNESS finally have his vintage goaltending mask returned to him.
Also in attendance were Racers favorites forward REG THOMAS, forward BRIAN McDONALD, Racers broadcaster MIKE FORNES,
goaltender JIM PARK, forward NICK HARBARUK, forward BOB SICINSKI and defenseman PAT STAPLETON. (Former Racers coach JACQUES DEMERS told us he also wished to be there, but was obligated to broadcast an NHL playoff game that night.)
The help especially of former WHA and NHL All-Star PAT STAPLETON (Team Canada '72 & '74) was essential — the night could not have been possible without him.
SARAH GASSEN and longtime collaborator GUY CASTONGUAY also worked tirelessly to make the event run smoothly.
Gassen was greeted in Kingston, Ontario the next day at the International Hockey Hall of Fame by former WHA players JIM DOREY, FRED O'DONNELL, RON PLUMB and RICK SMITH. After the film screening and an enthusiastic discussion with the audience, the players kindly gave video interviews to Gassen in front of the museum's impressive WHA exhibit. More than that, the museum kindly offered WHA jerseys for players to wear for the interviews, and also gathered WHA artifacts for the video shoot.
The kindness, cooperation, friendliness and positive support given by the International Hockey Hall of Fame helped show us why it is a special place for hockey fans. Our sincere thanks to IHHOF President MARK POTTER and also MIKE POSTOVIT for treating us with such care and respect.
You can read a newspaper feature on the KIngston premiere HERE. Special thanks to the writer, Whitney Fleming.
So the trek to Canada was an unqualified success. Thank you WHA fans!
GASSEN poses in GERRY CHEEVER's
vintage WHA Cleveland Crusaders jersey outside the
of Fame in Kingston, Ontario.
(Notice the huge
replica of an original square hockey puck!)
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