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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

TBC: IIHF Guide & Record Book

If you're not gearing up for the World Junior Championship or the Spengler Cup coming up at the end of the month, you either aren't a hockey fan or don't have a pulse. This might be the best hockey we see all year, and possibly until next September! I'm already excited, and I decided to start brushing up on my IIHF facts and statistics in case I'm called upon by TSN to be an analyst. Chances are pretty darn good that I won't be asked, but, in case I am, Teebz's Book Club is proud to present the IIHF Guide & Record Book 2013, compiled and written by the International Ice Hockey Federation and published by Fenn/McClelland & Stewart. While it would be a stretch to say that I read this book from cover to cover, I do possess a larger quantity of IIHF stats and records thanks to my flipping through this book to certain chapters.

Reading this book, if you can call it "reading", was a little dry, I must admit. It's not like there's a story being told about hockey unless you read deeper into the facts and statistics presented. The section about some of the records held in international hockey was pretty amazing, though.

Were you aware that Canadian and former New York Islander Pat Flatley still holds the record for most penalty minutes at the Olympics Games with 70? Or that Flatley set the single Olympiad record for most penalty minutes with 70 in 1984 in Sarajevo? Or that Czechoslovakian star Vaclav Nedomansky still holds the record from 1972 for most points in one game with eight against Poland?

There are a ton of facts like this in the IIHF Guide & Record Book 2013, and you'd be surprised at some of the records and information found in here. Andrei Mezin of Belarus will always be remembered for his stunning win against the Swedes in 2002, but he's also the goaltender who has recorded the most Olympic losses in his career with ten. Tomas Vokoun of the Czech Republic leads all goaltenders with two assists in Olympic play, and Canada's Sean Burke still holds the Olympic career penalty minutes mark with 16 PIMs to his name.

As I was reviewing the statistics and records for the World Junior Championships, I realized that I have been fortunate in seeing a vast number of superstars play before they hit the NHL. Players such as Peter Forsberg, Markus Naslund, Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, and Eric Lindros are all household names, and I got to see these players work their magic as juniors before making it big in the NHL.

To give you an idea how good some of these players were, here's some perspective. Ryan Ellis, the speedy Canadian defenceman who suited up from 2009-11, has 20 assists in his World Junior Championship career and sits third all-time. Peter Forsberg, the leader in career World Junior tournament assists, recorded 24 assists in 1993 alone! Forsberg owns the career points and assists records, as well as the single tournament records for points and assists. Forsberg was a beast as a junior-aged player!

IIHF Guide & Record Book 2013 is an absolute treasure trove of information, and it will be sitting next to me as I watch the World Junior Championship this month. From giving me the information on the head-to-head records between countries to scanning over possible records that could be shattered, IIHF Guide & Record Book 2013 has it all. Because of its vast amount of information and thorough telling of it all, IIHF Guide & Record Book 2013 absolutely deserves the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval! It will be my hockey companion throughout the entire tournament as I get myself ready for the best hockey seen on TV thus far this year!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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