A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs & the Rise of Professional Hockey

A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs & the Rise of Professional Hockey

by Stephen J. Harper
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Drawing on extensive archival records and illustrations, histories of the sport, and newspaper files, Canada’s Prime Minister delves into the fascinating early years of ice hockey.

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

Overview

Drawing on extensive archival records and illustrations, histories of the sport, and newspaper files, Canada’s Prime Minister delves into the fascinating early years of ice hockey.

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.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
"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."
Globe and Mail
"...the Prime Minister does a good job of taking you back to the country, and the time, that gave birth to the national game."
Toronto Star
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."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781476716534
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
11/05/2013
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
1,371,377
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Like millions of other Canadians, Stephen Harper developed his love for hockey at a young age as he played at the arenas and on the shinny rinks and roads of his hometown. Today, long retired from his on-ice “career” with the Leaside Lions, he is the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada and is happily married to Laureen, who, with their children Ben and Rachel, live in Calgary and Ottawa.

A member of the Society of International Hockey Research with a particular interest in the early decades of the game, Mr. Harper is an amateur historian interested in exploring the sport’s impact on the people and places that define Canada.

A Great Game is his first published work on the game of hockey.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >