Revue de presse
An illustration of hockey's special place in the Canadian heart and mind...Harper has written a finely detailed history of the struggle between professionalism and amateurism in early 20th-century Ontario hockey...It includes insightful examinations of class and religion and the roles they played in a country that still saw itself as a pillar of the British Empire, all viewed through the prism of hockey at the dawn of the pro era." (The New York Times
"...the Prime Minister does a good job of taking you back to the country, and the time, that gave birth to the national game." (Globe and Mail
)A Great Game
is a "...readable and entertaining historical exposition of the early organizational days of Canada's most beloved sport...[Harper is] an unreconstructed sentimentalist about hockey. He romances the game, focusing on its sepia-toned infancy." (Toronto Star
Présentation de l'éditeur
In the tumultuous beginnings of hockey, the fights were as much off the ice as on it. A Great Game
is about the hockey heroes and hard-boiled businessmen who built the game, and the rise and fall of legendary teams pursuing the Stanley Cup. With a historian’s perspective and fan’s passion, Stephen Harper presents a riveting and often surprising portrait of the early years of hockey, capturing everything from the physical contests on the rinks to the battles behind the scenes. A Great Game
shows how much about hockey has stayed the same. Rough play, fervent hometown loyalties, owner-player contract disputes, partisan news coverage, and big money were issues from the get-go. Was hockey to be a game of obsessed amateurs playing for the love of the sport, or was it a game for paid professionals who would give fans what they wanted?
A century ago rinks could melt, and by halftime the blades screwed to the players’ shoes could be sinking in mud, but the hockey pioneers were unstoppable. Teams sprang up across North America, from Victoria to Winnipeg, Halifax to Montreal, and Detroit to Pittsburgh. In the Queen City, in spite of the fanatical opposition of amateur hockey leaders, early teams such as the Toronto Professionals of 1908 and the Toronto Blue Shirts of 1914 took turns battling for Toronto’s very first Stanley Cup. These “forgotten Leafs” would lay the groundwork for the world’s most profitable hockey franchise.
In A Great Game
, Stephen Harper brings alive the history of hockey’s first decades and pays passionate tribute to the earliest star players of the game. This entertaining and original book will captivate fans from start to finish.