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"Hockey All-Stars" is a stunning visual and statistical record

by Harvey Frommer

Harvey Frommer - Click to Enlarge

HANOVER, N.H. (Nov. 6) -- From Howie Morenz and Terry Sawchuk to Paul Kariya and Jaromir Jagr, from Gordie Howe to Wayne Gretzky, from the brothers Hull to the brothers Bentley -- "Hockey All-Stars/The NHL Honor Roll" (Firefly Books, $40, 248 pages) showcases 281 players from virtually every National Hockey League team and era.

Chris McDonell, author of "For the Love of Hockey" and "Hockey's Greatest Stars," has put his best foot forward with his newest effort. The book's focus is not on players selected for the midseason NHL All-Star game. Instead, McDonell concentrates on the dozen players selected annually at the end of the season by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

The mix and match of the famous, such as Howe and Ken Dryden, along with the not so famous, such as Flash Hollett and Hy Buller, gives the book a historical flavor.

An alphabetical who's who of the game's honor roll, "Hockey All-Stars" is also a retrospective about some of the stars who time has passed by, such as Baldy Northcott, Ebbie Goodfellow and Sweeney Schriner.

Northcott, who had a full head of thick hair, was nicknamed "Baldy" by an envious sports writer. His career (1928-1939) was spent almost entirely with the Montreal Maroons. He was an All-Star in 1933.

Goodfellow spent his entire career (1929-1943) with Detroit and was selected to three All-Star teams.

Schriner, born in Saratov, Russia, played from 1934-1946 with the New York Americans and Toronto. Left wing was his position, and he played it so well that he was a first team All-Star in 1936 and 1941 and was on the second team in 1937.

These players, like all the others in the book, are succinctly profiled with relevant stats, anecdotal material and vintage photographs. There are also reminiscences and colorful anecdotes from people who were there.

One of the more interesting entries focuses on Ray Borque, already an 18-time All-Star. "Every day you've got to prove yourself," Borque says, "and that's how I've played this game my entire life." Born in Montreal in 1960, the great defenseman shows no sign of letting up.

"Hockey All-Stars" also contains a chronological list of every first and second All-Star team. These "dream teams" never were on the same ice together, but it makes for mind-boggling contemplation of the combinations that could have been put out there had they skated together.

For reference, for browsing, and especially for fans of the sport -- "Hockey All-Stars" is the book to get or give. It is just another example of the high quality sports books out there.


"Kids' Hockey" by Gary Abraham with Michael Smith (Firefly, $19.95, 174 pages) is a slim but very useful guide for parents.

"Talking on Air" by Ken Coleman and Dan Valenti (SportsPublishingInc., $22.95, 216 pages) is a memoir of a Hall of Fame broadcaster's life. From his 14 years as "Voice of the Cleveland Browns" to his time with the Cleveland Indians through his two decades as the "Voice of the Boston Red Sox," Coleman has seen and said it all. The book is a charmer!

"A Paddler's Guide to Everglades National Park" by Johnny Molloy (University Press of Florida, $16.95, 224 pages) is filed with practical tips related in a down-home style. The 50 photos and 22 maps enhance one's reading experience.

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You can reach Harvey Frommer at:   

Email:  harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU 

About the Author:

Harvey Frommer is in his  38th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to acclaim in 2011.  The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One. 

His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath, The Sporting News, among other publications.

FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.
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Dr. Frommer is the Official Book Reviewer of Travel-Watch. 
*Autographed copies of Frommer books are available .

Other Frommer sports related articles can be found at:   

Harvey Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz  Frommer are the authors of five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth  College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. 

This Article is Copyright 1995 - 2014 by Harvey Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.


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