CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 27. . . .March 15, 2013
Promotional material accompanying Next Goal Wins!: The Ultimate NHL Historian’s One-Of-A Kind Collection of Hockey Trivia asserts that Liam Maguire is “Canada’s unofficial hockey trivia expert...”, and certainly the contents of this compendium do nothing to contradict that claim. The book’s two-column text is divided into eight chapters with each chapter being introduced by a full-page captioned black and white photo.
The opening chapter, “Thirty Teams, Thirty Questions”, takes readers alphabetically though the current teams in the National Hockey League, from the Anaheim Ducks to the Winnipeg Jets, and poses one question about each team. The “one” question, however, sometimes has multiple parts, such as that associated with the Vancouver Canucks:
Not only does Maguire provide the answers to this three part question, but he goes on to add additional trivia associated with the goalie on whom the two penalty goals were scored.
Concerning the second chapter, “Stanley Cup Anecdotes”, Maguire explains:
The third chapter 3, “Best of the Best”, is the one where readers may be most likely to find themselves disagreeing with Maguire. In this chapter, Maguire has “compiled a list of 12 players who, in my opinion, were the most dominant during their respective eras.” Eleven of this dozen are now retired, with just Sidney Crosby being a currently active NHLer. Maguire then goes one step further by adding 12 of what he calls “shadow” players.
According to Maguire:
And Sid the Kid’s shadow? Alex Ovechkin.
Fifty questions related to “Firsts and Lasts” make up the content of the fourth chapter as Maguire contends that “[b]eing either the very first or the absolute last to do something in sports automatically qualifies a player as a trivia answer.” A typical “first”, albeit multi-part, question would be: 3) Who scored the first goals in franchise history for the 30 teams that were in the NHL at the start of the 2012-13 season?. A more direct “last” question is 21) Who was the last NHL goaltender to play without a facemask?
The book’s fifth chapter, “Defunct Team Trivia”, is most interesting as it contains from three to a baker’s dozen questions relating to each of the 23 teams that were once part of the NHL but are no longer. Included along with teams such as the Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Quakers and St. Louis Eagles are the first iteration of the Winnipeg Jets.
Chapter 6, “The Men at the Top”, has 16 questions relating to 50-goal scorers and 13 questions associated with 100-point scorers. Additionally, Maguire identifies the 42 players who have scored at least 500 career goals and provides trivia associated with their five hundredth goal. He follows a similar pattern with the 79 players who, going into the 2012-13 season, had accumulated 1,000 points over their NHL careers.
“Oddities, unusual circumstances, obscure number references...” form the basis for the 50 questions found in Chapter 7, “My Top Questions”, which includes questions such as 1) How many players in NHL history have worn number 99?, 16) Who was the oldest rookie in NHL history and 30) What NHL team once drafted a player who did not exist?
The final, and shortest, chapter is entitled “Paul Henderson, and five of its six pages are given over to Maguire’s arguments as to why Paul Henderson should be an elected member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. This chapter also contains seven questions (see excerpt above) relating to the ‘72 Team Canada series against Russia in which Henderson’s name forever became etched into Canadian hockey history. A 15 page index completes the work.
Though Next Goal Wins! is aimed principally at an adult audience and will undoubtedly be shelved in the adult section of public libraries, it should occasionally be displayed in the teen area as its contents will definitely be of interest to adolescents who are diehard hockey fans. High schools will probably not make Next Goal Wins! a first-priority purchase, but, if teacher-librarians are looking for books to hook those reluctant readers, this compendium of hockey trivia would be a good choice.
Those wanting more of Maguire can go to www.liammaguiresultimatehockey.com.
Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, is a hockey fan and has been a faithful follower of both versions of the Winnipeg Jets.
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