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Dean Robinson.

Erin (ON), Boston Mills Press, c1982.
165pp, cloth, $14.95.
ISBN 0-919822-69-X.

Grades 6 and up.
Reviewed by Paul E. Blower.

Volume 11 Number 3.
1983 May.

In 1950, a Canadian Press poll named Howie Morenz the greatest hockey player of the first half of the century. With 291 NHL goals and three Hart trophies as the league's most valuable player, Morenz was "unique, dangerous and tremendously exciting to watch." Whether hurtling through opposing defencemen or making a rink length rush at top speed, his daring, colourful style astonished hockey fans everywhere until complications resulting from a tragic spill in a game against the Black Hawks brought his career to a much lamented end.

Freelance journalist Robinson, like Morenz a native of Mitchell, Ontario, describes the flashy center's life and career from amateur status as the "Mitchell Meteor" and the "Stratford Streak" to professional stops with Montreal, Chicago, New York, and Montreal again. The. author draws on an extensive number of interviews with former teammates and members of the Morenz family to round out his narrative. We learn of Morenz's interests in swimming, baseball, pidgeons, and limburger cheese, and that he was "a bon-vivant but not a playboy," at least Technology not according to sportswriter Andy O'Brien. A final chapter deals with the short-lived hockey career of son Howie Jr.. and the equally short-lived figure skating career of daughter Marlene (Mrs. Boom Boom Geoffrion).

The author's sympathetic, though generally commendable work is enhanced by a colourful cover and a vast array of black-and-white photographs that show Morenz in both public and private life. It would have been interesting if Robinson had taken up the issue of payment to amateurs raised against Morenz when he appeared reluctant to join the Canadiens in the 1920s, having apparently signed a contract with the team. In addition, the book is unfortunately marred by more than a dozen printing and/or editing errors, e.g., "Barry" is given for "Barrie," Ontario. Nevertheless, this book can be recommended without serious reservation.

Paul E. Blower, Sault Ste. Marie P. L., Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
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