CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number . . . .September 25, 2015
Seeing, not hearing, the first robin each year confirms for me that winter’s over and spring is here, but the arrival of Paul Romanuk’s annual Hockey Superstars signals that another season, that of the National Hockey League, is almost upon us. With the 2015-2016 edition, Romanuk, a sports broadcaster and author, maintains the annual’s familiar “sandwich” format. Again, the “meat” portion consists of 16 pairs of glossy pages, with the rectos resembling oversized hockey cards bearing an action, full-colour photo of one of the volume’s superstars. This year’s entries are arranged alphabetically from the Anaheim Ducks’ goalie Frederik Andersen to the Nashville Predators’ Shea Weber. In the past, a seventeenth star was featured on the book’s cover. P. K. Subban, a defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens, is featured on the cover, but the two column text about him no longer appears on the cover’s verso. Instead, a second Subban photo and a text page are inserted in the correct alphabetical spot, i.e., wedged between two centers, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos and the New York Islanders’ John Tavares. The major text for the other NHL stars, which appears on the page facing the player’s photo, usually speaks to happenings related to the player’s previous NHL season and includes quotes by or about the player, with one comment being highlighted and bolded. Of the Philadelphia Flyers’ right winger Jakub Voracek, his coach said: He’s shooting pucks, getting to the net, things like that. A guy with that skill, and he does the right things all the time, he’s going to produce.
“Did You Know?” and “Hockey Memories” can be found at the bottom of the text page, with both providing brief snippets of information about the page’s focal player. For example, the “Did You Know?” about the Pittsburgh Penguins’ center Sidney Crosby informs readers that “Sid was offered the captaincy of the Pittsburgh Penguins twice. He turned it down the first time, feeling that, at the time, he was too young for the honor.” This year’s “Hockey Memories” are a bit more engaging than in the past. Defenseman Erik Karlsson, the captain of the Ottawa Senators, recalls that “[o]ne of [his] earliest hockey memories is of wanting to be a goalie. His dad took a shot at him when he was in goal and Erik remembers that he started crying. That was it for his goaltending career.” On the action photo page, Romanuk provides the player’s stats for the previous season as well as his draft ranking and first NHL team, date and place of birth, position, height and weight (Metric and Imperial units) plus shooting/catching handedness.
Of the NHL’s 30 teams, 13 are represented in this edition of Hockey Superstars, with three teams, the Ducks, Lightning and Canadiens, each having two entries. Players who are wingers and centers constituted 10 of the entries while the remainder consisted of four defensemen and two goalies. The book’s superstars are a mixture of established veterans and relative newcomers, with players like the Ducks’ Ryan Getzlaf, the Canucks` Henrik Sedin, and the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin falling into the former category, and players such as the Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau, the Lightnings’ Tyler Johnson and the Duck’ Frederik Andersen representing the latter.
The book’s sandwich “bread” is again made up of two sections of matte pages which principally provide brief, point form information about the NHL teams, end-of-season stats, NHL awards, 18 referee signals or offer the book’s readers opportunities to record information as the season proceeds or to make predictions about individual players or team outcomes.
The reader participation “bread” portions reinforce that Hockey Superstars 2015-2016 is more likely an individual “home” purchase, but copies in public and school libraries should also circulate well.
Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB, the home of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets who made the playoffs last season.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.