________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 4 . . . . October 10, 2008


Hockey Trivia for Kids 2.

Eric Zweig. Illustrated by Lorna Bennett.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2008.
124 pp., pbk., $6.90.
ISBN 978-0-545-99699-0.

Subject Headings:
Hockey-Miscellanea-Juvenile fiction.
National Hockey League-Miscellanea-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 3-8 / Ages 8-13.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

*** /4


Three of a Kind.

Before he reached the NHL, future Hall of Famer Denis Savard was already part of a famous line with the Montreal Junior Canadiens. Savard centred Denis Cy and Denis Tremblay on a line known as “Les Trois Denis.” Not only were all three players named Denis, they had all been born on the same day – February 4, 1961 – and they all grew up within three blocks of each other in the Montreal suburb of Verdun!

Two years have elapsed since sports writer Zweig produced his first collection of hockey facts, Hockey Trivia for Kids. See: CM, Vol. 13, No. 12, February 2, 2007. His second volume  provides more of this “useless” information that young hockey afficionados love to trot out to demonstrate their hockey knowledge. While the word “hockey” in the title should be understood to largely mean the male-dominated National Hockey League, Zweig does include four entries that address women’s contributions to the sport. Zweig largely avoids retelling already well-known bits of hockey history and lore. The entries represent both the contemporary and historical NHL.

     Although Hockey Trivia for Kids 2 has no discernable organizational structure, four headings do reappear numerous times throughout the book: “Did You Know?”; “Cup Chronicles”; “By the Numbers”; and “Name Game.”

     In a way, just by using the interrogative form, “Did You Know?” challenges the reader’s prior knowledge. For example, Wayne Gretzky’s jersey number, 99, is well known in hockey circles, but when did he first adopt 99? Zweig provides the answer.

Did You Know?

     When Wayne Gretzky started playing hockey, he wore number 9 in honour of Geordie Howe, his favourite player. He didn’t start wearing 99 until he played junior hockey with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Another player already had 9, so Gretzky had to choose another one. He tried 14 and 19 before finally settling on 99.

“Cup Chronicles” contains anecdotes connected to the Stanley Cup.Cup Chronicles

     When New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur was a boy in Montreal, he and his friends used to play road hockey and pretend that they were playing for the Stanley Cup. So, when Brodeur won the Cup for the first time in 1995, he brought it home to Montreal and got all his old buddies together for a road hockey game. The winners got to carry the Stanley Cup around in triumph! Brodeur’s team lost the game that day, so when he won the Cup again in 2000, he organized a rematch. This time, his team won.

     “By the Numbers” entries concern themselves with statistics, usually records of some kind, and are presented in table form. Examples would include a list of players with the most Stanley Cup wins, the names of NHL players who have had their numbers retired by at least two different teams, and a list of players having the longest consecutive point streak.

     Finally, “Name Game”entries explain how some of the NHL teams came to be named.

     Name Game

     Before moving to Arizona, the Phoenix Coyotes had been the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets’ name started with a junior team in Winnipeg. Ben Haskin, who ran the team, was a friend and admirer of the man who owned the New York Jets in the National Football League. The name followed Winnipeg into the World Hockey Association, then into the NHL. When the Jets moved to Phoenix in 1996, the name Coyotes was chosen in a name-the-team contest. Coyotes are common in the Arizona desert.

     The entries, which rarely exceed a page, are frequently illustrated with cartoon-style illustrations, and the book also contains 10 black and white captioned photos. A good recreational read, Hockey Trivia for Kids 2 is a worthwhile school and public library purchase.

     And my personal favourite entry? It’s a “Did You Know?”:

     When rookie Guillaume Latendresse wore 84 for the Montreal Canadiens in 2006-07, it meant that at some point in history a player in an NHL game had worn every number from 0 and 00 to 99.
Now, if I can just find a way to naturally incorporate this absolutely fascinating fact into a conversation.


Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB, where one of his sons was the organist for the now departed Winnipeg Jets.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.