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Scott Young

Toronto, McClelland & Stewart, 1989. 365pp, cloth, $27.95
ISBN 0-7710-9093-5. CIP

Grades 12 and up / Ages 17 and up
Reviewed by Allan S. Evans.

Volume 18 Number 3
1990 May

Scott Young's credentials as a hockey writer are virtually nonpareil in Canada. This latest work is one of his most ambitious. After describing the origins of the Ontario Hockey Association in a smoky hotel room in Toronto in 1890, Young traces its evolution through to the present. As his narrative unfolds, it becomes apparent that the OHA was the single strongest force in the shaping of our "national game."

Young is at his most interesting when recounting anecdotes about well-known players or promoters, such as "Cyclone" Taylor, W.A. and Foster Hewitt, Conn Smythe and many others. He is most instructive when revealing the decades-long efforts of the OHA to preserve the integrity of amateur hockey from the inroads of professionalism, including the proclivity of the latter for rewarding violence and "fan entertainment" potential as much as skill in upcoming players.

The only significant weakness of the book is that it seems to wander, and thus lose its focus, toward the end. A more extensive, precise conclusion would have strengthened its impact by communicating the author's ultimate purpose for going to all this work.

While hockey fans of all ages might be initially attracted by the book's title, its contents are strictly for senior readers interested as much in the behind-the-scenes history of the game as in its well-publicized on-ice developments.

Allan S. Evans, North York, Ont.
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