TORONTO - Just what did Conn Smythe put in a 1931 time capsule unearthed during the renovations of Maple Leaf Gardens?
Valuables? Pucks? A proclamation the Leafs would never win a Cup if the NHL expanded?
Officials from Ryerson University will let the media in on the secret Jan. 26 when contents of the small copper-plated box are revealed. Bricklayers working on renovating the famous Carlton St. hockey palace to house Ryerson's new athletic centre and a Loblaws grocerey store found the box near the entrance in July.
"It was sealed with no writing on the exterior," said Ryerson media relations officer Michael Forbes. "It was common in that era to put a time capsule near the cornerstone of new buildings. The cool thing is to find it almost 80 years to the day the Gardens opened."
Workers also found an NHL rulebook from 1931 and a newspaper. Ryerson and Loblaws took posession of the capsule and opened it in private.
It's believed that it contains items placed there by Smythe, who bought the team in 1927 and built the Gardens in six months against long odds at the height of the Great Depression.
The owners have invited Smythe's family to the press conference and also informed Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which sold the property in the eary 2000s.
"Any hockey fan would be interested in what's inside," said Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president and COO of MLSE. "But they own it."
The Hockey Hall of Fame is also interested in anything of significance that might be in the box.