Minnesota Wild Curator Roger Godin

Eveleth native got his start in hockey in 1971


Named in honor of the former Brown University hockey coach and ACHA spiritual leader, this award recognizes an individual who loves the puri­ty of our sport. Whether a coach, administrator, trainer, official, journalist or simply a fan, the recipient exemplifies Jim Fullerton, who gave as much as he received and never stopped caring about the direction in which our game was heading.

2024 Recipient: Roger Godin, Minnesota Wild

Roger Godin, a native of Tarrytown, NY, was named the first director of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame (USHHF) in Eveleth, Minnesota, in June 1971. Godin had applied for the position based on a proposal on how he thought the museum might be operated. The facility opened on June 21, 1973 and Godin served two tours as director, July 1971-December 1983 and March 1985-August 1987. He then worked in non-sports museums in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. In 2000 he was hired by the NHL’s Minnesota Wild to conceive and execute exhibits dealing with hockey in Minnesota and continues in that position to the present time. The exhibits occupy locations on the four levels of the Xcel Energy Center, the Wild’s home arena, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

During these years Godin has done extensive research and writing on the pre-World War II American participa­tion in hockey. Most notably he has written two books: Before The Stars: Early Major League Hockey and the St. Paul Athletic Club Team and Red, White, and Blue on Ice: Minnesota’s Elite Teams and Players of the 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s. As a member of the Society for International Hockey Research (SIHR) he has also authored numerous monographs a sample of which are those dealing with 1933 United States National Team, early American stars Hugh “Muzz” Murray and Gerry Geran, the 1928 Boston University Club Team, the 1934-35 Baltimore Orioles, and the 1940-45 San Diego Skyhawks. All of the forgoing, except the Skyhawks’ work have appeared in SIHR’s Hockey Research Journal.

In 2021 the Hobey Baker Foundation honored Godin with a replica of the prestigious Baker award in apprecia­tion of his support, passion, and commitment to the foundation. Other awards have come from Minnesota Hockey for outstanding service in 1983, SIHR’s Brian McFarlane Award for outstanding research and writing in 1998, and the USHHF’s John T. Karakas Award for commitment to the mission and goals of the Hall in 2004. Godin also had a 30 year active/reserve component military career during which he received the Air Medal in 1969 for meritorious achievement.