Teebz's Book Club returns for a second day with a look at a book filled with facts and fun. There are a lot of stories and fun facts that are missed by a majority of the population, and this could be caused by a number of factors: how widely known these facts are, where they happened, or simply how common they are in the hockey world, for example. There aren't many places, though, that bring them together in one place where you can read about them. However, The Love of Hockey, written by James Duplacey and published by Publications International Limited, brings together a ton of facts, and it was very interesting to read about some of them.
James Duplacey has written over fifty books on various sports. HBIC has featured one of these, Hockey's Book of Firsts. Duplacey is the former Curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame and is the Managing Editor of the Official NHL Guide and Record Book. The 56 year-old graduated from the University of New Brunswick, has done some acting in the past, and is an author for the Armchair Reader series of books. He currently resides in Calgary, Alberta, and occasionally contributes articles about the Calgary Flames to the examiner.com.
It would be tough to describe this book without giving you an example of what is contained within its covers, but I can tell you that this collection of facts and figures is simply astounding, and the pictures that accompany the information are vivid and very appropriate. Mr. Duplacey has broken the book into six chapters, and we'll look at a few facts from the first of these sections.
Chapter One is entitled "Opening Faceoff", and there are all sorts of amazing anecdotes in this section. Some of these include:
- The story of 44 year-old head coach Lester Patrick suiting up for the New York Rangers as their goaltender after Lorne Chabot went down with injury. Next to the story is a picture of "the silver fox" in his Rangers gear - an image rarely seen!
- There's a story about Jim Riley, the only Canadian to suit up in both MLB and the NHL in his sporting career. Riley played with the St. Louis Browns and Washington Nationals during his baseball career, while his hockey career saw him play with the Detroit Cougars and Chicago Black Hawks.
- The's a very interesting story about Mike Smith, a goaltender for the ECHL's Lexington Men O' War. Smith is the only goaltender in hockey history to record his first professional win, his forst professional shutout, and his first professional goal on October 22, 2002. Smith shutout the Dayton Bombers 2-0, and scored into the empty net.
Chapter Two is entitled "Greatest Show on Ice", but the chapter designations really just blend into one another as the chapters all feature stories on amazing players, lesser-known hockey history, anecdotes on arenas, and great moments in hockey. Chapter Three is entitled "Slap Shots"; Chapter Four is called "Power Plays"; Chapter Five is named "Last Line of Defence"; and, Chapter Six is entitled "Back of the Net".
What makes The Love of Hockey a phenomenal book are the images. The stories would be worth the asking price alone, but the images featured on the book's 320 pages are simply magnificent. I have never seen some of the historical photos that Mr. Duplacey has used in this book, but these are the photos that a person like me who loves hockey history would pay serious money to own. Simply put: amazing imagery in this book.
Because of Mr. Duplacey's work in collecting facts and figures and pairing these with the amazing collection of photographs that he has at his disposal makes this book worth the asking price assigned to it. While it really isn't a book that one can use for a trivia challenge, the facts and figures presented by Mr. Duplacey certainly could be used. Needless to say, Mr. Duplacey's The Love of Hockey was a highly enjoyable read, very interesting, and extremely informative. Because of these traits, The Love of Hockey certainly deserves the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval, and should be a welcome addition to any library or collection of hockey books that one may have.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!