Feb. 24th, 2013

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Hockey fandom really, really needs to read Ken Campbell and Jim Parcels' Selling the Dream: How Hockey Parents and Their Kids Are Paying the Price for Our National Obsession. It's both a terrifying look at the systems that produce NHL players, and a wonderful source of bizarre facts about current players.

Essentially, the system, as it currently stands, is kind of fucked )

Campbell and Parcels do spend what seems like an excessive amount of time arguing with Malcolm Gladwell )

On a less depressing note, this book is also a delightful source of peculiar hockey-player facts. Some of it is evidence that particular guys' parents were kind of obsessive (though for me, no one beats the couple who lived in a boat in the Toronto Harbour for a couple of years so their son could play in the GTHL.)

Among others: Matt Duchene, Carey Price, Stamkos, the Staals, Giroux, and Ryan O'Reilly )

1They also keep criticising his statistic that nearly the entire roster of the Medicine Hat Tigers - as a random example - was born before August, by pointing out that Tyler Ennis (Oct 6) was actually one of the few guys off that team to make the NHL, which is a terrible fucking point to make off a dude who has publically complained that he spent his childhood getting cut from teams before he ever got a chance to try out entirely because he was "too short" (he is now 5'9"). He's not exactly your poster-boy for the idea that parents don't need to get involved.


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