10 Books All Hockey Fans Should Read
There are a lot of hockey books out there. Here, we discuss 10 books that are recommended for fans of all ages.
From a book for kids aspiring for a career in hockey, to biographies of prominent players, to just plain fun books to read, these are the ones that hockey fans should run to their local bookstore (or library) to read.
By no means, however, is this a complete list. There are many other hockey books out there - too many to name - and this is simply a small collection.
Be sure to look for Part Two ("Ten MORE Books All Hockey Fans Should Read"), coming soon.
The Hockey I Love
Goaltender Tretyak never played a game in the NHL, but he came close.
Drafted by the Canadiens in 1983, his attempts at an NHL career were blocked by the Soviet government. Nonetheless, Tretyak played 16 seasons with CSKA Moscow and won 13 gold medals (Olympics, World Juniors, and Canada Cup).
In this book, Tretyak recalls his path to hockey, from his youth (he never played a game of hockey until the age of 11) to his relationship with his trainer and his time on the Olympic team. He also discusses the impact hockey had on his family and his life.
Remembering Tim Horton
This is one of three books in the "Remembering..." collection by MacInnis. All three (focusing on Tim Horton, Maurice Richard, and Bobby Orr) are excellent reads that discuss the players' lives before hockey and how they became involved in the sport.
The books also discuss their lives within hockey and their home lives. Each book also includes sections and quotes written by prominent individuals who worked with the player, as well as pictures from their careers. In addition, each book ends with a two-page spread of facts about the player.
The edition focusing on Tim Horton is especially touching, because at times, people tend to associate his name solely with his (highly successful) donut chain.
Tim Horton deserves to be known for much more than a donut chain, and this book chronicles his life (and untimely death) in a sensitive and informative manner.
The Horton edition is 117 pages, the Richard edition is 128 pages, and the Orr edition is 114 pages long.
I Play to Win
Simply put, it's a great read about Mikita's life. Written in 1969, this book may be a bit hard to find (even on Amazon.com, it's difficult), but if you can get your hands on a copy, it's worth a read.
Z Is For Zamboni
Designed for ages 4-8, this book covers all the basics. It has a fun pace to it, teaching kids about hockey AND the alphabet at the same time. It also touches on the history of the sport, particularly on the Canadian aspect of it.
Hockey Night In Canada: By The Numbers
Hockey Night in Canada analysts focus on the numbers-jersey numbers, that is-in this book. The writers look at each number, from 00 (worn by Martin Biron), to the always-known 99 (Gretzky), and try to determine who the best player was to wear each number.
An interesting read, and, as one Amazon.com reviewer says, "if you love hockey, then this is the book for you."
Stanley Cup Fever
This book truly captures the essence of the greatest prize in sports. It details the entire history of the Cup, from its first days overseas, to its movement to Canada, leading up to present day.
The Code: The Unwritten Rules Of Fighting and Retaliation In The NHL
One of several "The Code" books by Bernstein, this book explores the history of fighting in hockey and the "honor code" behind it. In a time when the importance of fighting in hockey is constantly being questioned, this book is a must read.
Bernstein spent two years researching and interviewing a number of players and includes their opinions on fighting and retaliation.
One of the coolest visual parts of hockey is most certainly the goalie mask; the Hockey Hall of Fame has a section dedicated to it, and each mask truly is unique.
This book talks about the history of the mask (remember when they didn't use a mask at all?), and how the use of the mask has changed the game. It includes more than 150 historic and modern photos.
They Don't Play Hockey In Heaven
Goaltender Ken Baker never made it to the NHL. He was focused on hockey, played in college, and had a chance to make the Olympic team...until a brain tumor ended his career.
Eight years later, Baker is a journalist working in California, writing celebrity news stories, when he has The Dream. The Dream hurls him back into the hockey world.
Determined to be a pro hockey player, he tries out for several minor league teams and moves his way up the ladder. Will he make it?
In this book, Baker writes about his attempts to get back into hockey, from beginning until end, and provides an inside look at the minor league workings.
Shooting From The Lip
This book is simple: a compilation of great quotes about all aspects of the sport.
It's broken down into sections, from attitude, to fans, to penalties, to winning and losing, and everything in between. Read it straight through, or just flip open a page and pick a quote to read.
"You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take." - Wayne Gretzky