Prime Minister Harper and son visit new hockey museum in Bowmanville, Ont.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended the Total Hockey Museum’s grand opening along with his son Ben, Heritage Minister Bev Oda, McFarlane, and former hockey greats Bob Baun, Johnny Bower, Red Kelly and Frank Mahovlich.

Harper, known to be an avid fan, said he was excited to meet McFarlane and look over his 1,300-piece collection.

“As an amateur hockey historian myself and fan, of course, it was fascinating to examine all the artifacts that Brian has collected over his long and amazing career,” Harper said.

McFarlane worked on the CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada for 27 years, has written dozens of books on hockey and designed the Peter Puck cartoon character.

Harper reminisced about a childhood filled with playing hockey, watching the game, and collecting hockey cards featuring some of the NHL heroes who were at the event.

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“Like most Canadian kids … I lived and breathed hockey during the winters of my childhood. I played every chance I got. I didn’t play very well, but I played every chance I got.”

Harper also thanked the surrounding Durham region, which he referred to as one of the nation’s “hockey heartlands.”

“This area has been producing outstanding hockey players for generations and some great teams like the Oshawa Generals and the 1958 world champion Whitby Dunlops. So you’ve done yourself and Canada proud.”

Harper also participated in a ceremonial puck drop at a game featuring NHL alumni versus Bowmanville Eagles alumni.