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Saturday, 3 October 2009

TBC: Hockey's Book Of Firsts

Teebz's Book Club returns today with a book that any hockey fan or trivia fan may want in their collection. TBC is proud to present Hockey's Book of Firsts, authored by James Duplacey and published by World Publication Group. I love hockey history, as you may have heard about on this site at some time, so this book interested me from the moment I picked it up. How many times has someone asked "who was the first player to..." and get nothing but blank stares? Now, you can be the wise and learned hockey trivia player. More on that a little later, but let's take a look at Hockey's Book of Firsts.

Duplacey splits the book up into three sections: the players, the history, and the game. Every single page contains a piece of information about the first occurrence of any event. The player section contains information on who the first defenceman was to amass 100 points in a season, who the first goaltender was to be named captain, the first goaltender to score a goal, and all sorts of information on European-born and female hockey players in professional hockey.

The history section covers the annals of professional hockey, bringing to light the first events that helped to shape hockey as we know it. Things like the first team to feature swastikas on their uniforms, the first natural and artificial ice rinks, which arena was the first to use Plexiglass, and the first player to come back from the dead are all covered in this section. It's amazing to read some of these stories that are now part of hockey folklore.

The game section deals exclusively with all the first events that happened in the game of hockey on the ice. The book explains such information as the first coach to pull his goalie for an extra attacker, the first coach to sign himself to a professional contract, who the first mascot was, the first referee to drop the puck, the first time a puck was used, the first player to wear a triple digit in a game, and how the tradition of tossing hats on to the ice surface became a tradition for hat tricks. This is a section that is deep in history, and really explains how things got started for a number of routine things we see in hockey at every game.

What might be one of the best features of this book are the photos. There are some amazing historical and unseen photos (by me, at least) in this book, and I need to start scanning them into my computer. There are pictures from all eras of hockey, and some from international games and the minor leagues as well. This might be worth the price of the book alone.

Hockey's Book of Firsts is a well-written, well-researched book that not only shows that some players weren't the first to achieve something, but how myths sometimes trump facts. The amount of information in here should satiate even the most knowledgeable of hockey fans. Hockey's Book of Firsts is certainly worthy of Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval, and I commend James Duplacey for writing a book of this nature. This book is recommended for everyone, and would be an excellent addition to a reader's library with the start of another NHL season.

Now before I let you get back to watching hockey, there will be a contest starting tomorrow based upon the facts presented in this book. TBC will award the winner a copy of Hockey's Book of Firsts or a copy of Beyond The Crease to the winner. Second-place will get whichever book is not selected by the winner.

Brush up on your hockey "firsts", kids. The contest will run from tomorrow, October 4 until Wednesday, October 7. The contest will close at 11:59pm on October 7. The winners will be announced and contacted on Thursday, October 8. The way the prizes will be handed out will be on the number of correct answers AND the fastest entry. Whoever is fastest with the highest number correct will win. Check HBIC tomorrow for the official contest questions, and how to get your answers in!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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