________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 17. . . .January 3, 2014


Hockey Superstars 2013-2014.

Paul Romanuk.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2013.
48 pp., pbk., $7.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-2489-8.

Subject Headings:
National Hockey League-Biography.
Hockey players-Biography.

Grades 3 and up / Ages 8 and up.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

*** /4



Tobias Enström Two years ago, when the Atlanta Thrashes left the moderate climate of the southern United States for Winnipeg, it was like getting back a little bit of home for Tobias “Toby” Enström. Tobias is from Nordingra, Sweden, and Winnipeg reminds him a little of his hometown. “It’s a smaller place [Nordingra], but it gets pretty cold in the winter and is nice and beautiful in the summer,” he says. “But the big thing is that peopler really love their hockey.”


A new National Hockey League season means the return of Romanuk’s Hockey Superstars. Romanuk, a sports broadcaster and author, maintains the annual’s familiar “sandwich” format with the “meat” portion consisting 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, the entries being arranged alphabetically from the Ottawa Senators’ goaltender, Craig Anderson, to Henrik Zetterberg, a left winger with the Detroit Red Wings. A seventeenth star, the Pittsburgh Penguin’s center, Sidney Crosby, is featured on the book’s cover, with the two-column text about him appearing on the cover’s verso. 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, in this case the lockout shortened 2012-13 48 game season, and includes quotes by or about the player, with one comment being highlighted and bolded. The Edmonton Oilers’ Taylor Hall’s quote reads: “We all love playing in a market where they care; where they come to watch you play and come to watch you win every night.” Of the Boston Bruins’ Brad Marchand, his teammate Patrick Bergeron is quoted as saying, “He seems to have a knack to come up with some timely goals or hits or he just generates energy and chances with his skating. He hustles and gives his all on every shift.”

     “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 Montreal Canadiens’ defenseman Raphael Diaz tells readers that “Raphael’s sister, Daniela, is a talented hockey player as well. She played for Switzerland in the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2007 World Championship.” For the most part, the contents of the “Hockey Memories” tend to be somewhat bland and trite. Steven Stamkos, a center for the Tampa Bay Lightning, recalls “getting out on the frozen ponds in the winter, and it was something I fell in love with early.” The “memory” associated with the Colorado Avalanche’s left winger Gabriel Landeskog is that “Gabriel’s first NHL goal made him the youngest Swedish-born player ever to score in the NHL” Is that really a memory, or just a fact?

     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 (Imperial and metric units) plus shooting/catching handedness.

     Of the NHL’s 30 teams, 14 are represented in this edition of Hockey Superstars, with three teams, the Penguins, Blackhawks and Canadiens, each having two entries. Players who are wingers and centers constituted 12 of the entries while the remaining five consisted of two defensemen and three goalies. The book’s superstars are a mixture of veterans and relative newcomers, with players like the New Jersey Devil’s Patrik Elias, the Vancouver Canucks’ Daniel Sedin and the Detroit Red Wings’ Henrik Zetterberg falling into the former category, and players such as the Canadiens’ Raphael Diaz, the Edmonton Oilers’ Taylor Hall and the Colorado Avalanche’s Gabriel Landeskog representing the latter.

     The book’s sandwich “bread” is again made up of two sections of matte pages which largely provide information about the NHL and its teams or offer the book’s readers opportunities to record information as the season proceeds or to make predictions about individual players or team outcomes. Though the contents of these sections largely replicate what was found in earlier iterations of Hockey Superstars, readers will want to pay particular attention to the opening “THE TEAMS” section which identifies which teams are now in the realigned two conferences and respective pairs of divisions.

     Though the reader participation “bread” portions point to Hockey Superstars 2013-2014 as being an individual “home” purchase, 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.

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

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