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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on October 20, 2002
For hockey devotees only (including former hockey devotees grown disenchanted):
This is a sharp look at what made Mario Lemieux retire a few years ago: the fact that the game is not what it used to be, i.e. skill players not allowed to show their skills properly, having often been replaced by holders, grabbers, fighters, etc., and how the game has become very hard to watch over an 82 game season with an overly expansionized league.
Though the book could've been written in a bitter ticked off tone, it is actually well-written, easy-to-read and humourous. Also offers reasonable suggestions for improvements of the league and the game.
Though a few years old now, what was written is still currently applicable - things haven't changed much. Worth finding.
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on January 4, 2007
This book is great on many levels, and even though it is a little older, much of the context still applies to the NHL of today. It is unfortunate this book never received more attention because it uncovers so many truths that your average hockey fan probably never knew. It definitely has a bit of that conspiracy-theorist edge to it, but that is one big reason why I love it. If you are the type of person to stroll through life and accept everything that is dished out to you, you probably won't like this book. If you are the type of person who likes to question the powers that be, you will love it.

Why were teams in places like Minnesota, Winnipeg, and Hartford moved to sun belt cities where people could care less about hockey? Why was there a need to add 9 expansion teams from 1991 to 2000, severely watering down play league-wide? What caused the play in the NHL to become clutch-and-grab goonery over the years, and goal scoring to diminish? Why do the NHL and its teams feel the need to replace traditional team colours and crests with cartoon characters and ridiculous pattern and colour schemes? How has an attempt to "Americanise" the game alienated more American fans than it has attracted, not to mention Canadian fans? Why were things like FOX network's glowing puck, goalie catching gloves the size of large pool skimmers, and hundreds of frivolent rule changes bad ideas?

This book explains all of these questions and much more. If you are a traditionalist in general, not just in regards to hockey, you will appreciate this book. Klein and Reif did very well here, my only complaint is that they may be a little too extreme at times with their views (we can't expect everything to be just like it was in the 50's and 60's and before), but the traditional view overall is positive I think. Small changes are good, abandoning so many traditions that fans love, like the NHL did in the name of the almighty dollar, is certainly not good at all, and the writers do a nice job of highlighting this.
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on December 9, 2003
Bought this book when it originally first came out in 1998, and I reread it again at the start of each NHL season. Nothing's changed. Klein and Reif were right on the money with every item five years ago, and the miserable state of NHL hockey today is testimony to the stupidity of the powers that be who run the game (and run the game into the ground). In spite of it, the writing is stylish, highly intelligent, entertaining and often hilarious. Still the best state-of-the-game book out there. A must for every hockey book shelf.
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