A gallimaufry of goodies about hockey.
It is possible that hockey has the greatest range of enthusiasts. It has crossed gender and race lines (though neither is given sufficient page space here), and it is way up there in the cosmopolitan makeup of its rosters. The result is that when you throw together a grab bag of hockey angles, you are going to draw from a wide pool of buffs to fanatics. The then-and-now aspect to this collection is a nifty approach, depicting changes in equipment, uniforms, styles of play, etc., in themed double-page spreads. Eye-catching photographs appear throughout, though the writing could use some pizzazz: “An avid animal lover, the Sharks’ defenseman frequently visits zoos on road trips.” Readers will sit agog that players wore wool jerseys and didn’t wear helmets (and had the scars and the empty gums to prove it) and that goalies went without masks. Changes in tactics and game play help readers follow the action on the ice. As the book approaches the end, it loses its focus. Card collecting has its place, but difference in player size now and then seems arbitrary, if not pointless—a 7-foot defenseman is hardly a typical player—and playoff beards…well, if that’s what blows your hair back, so be it.
Even if the book becomes a bit of a salmagundi, one page or another will find a follower. (Nonfiction. 10-14)