Don't Call Me Goon: Hockey's Greatest Enforcers, Gunslingers, and Bad Boys

Greg Oliver, Author, Richard Kamchen, Author
Greg Oliver & Richard Kamchen. ECW, $19.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-77041-038-1
Reviewed on: 10/28/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-77090-421-7
Open Ebook - 290 pages - 978-1-77090-420-0
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Authors Kamchen and Oliver have provided a rambling encyclopedia of the NHL's oft-demonized enforcers. While ‘enforcer' is not an official position, every NHL team has at least one player whose primary role is to protect his most skilled teammates, intimidate other teams' players, and battle his opposite numbers. The ability to skate, defend, or score comes a distant second. In our age of heightened awareness of head trauma, the NHL is paying increased attention to player safety, but fights, and enforcers, still bring fans to the games. Enforcers distinguish North American hockey from European iterations of the game, and a historical overview of the evolution and shifting requirements of the job would be fascinating; however, Kamchen and Oliver don't provide one. Instead, they breeze from one mini-bio to the next and as a result, the names blur together. The enforcer story follows a template: player enters minor leagues. Player can fight. Player gets scouted because he can fight. Player earns a high-paying, violent job. Despite the sameness of this approach, the authors serve up plenty of fascinating anecdotes and remind us that, despite their savage pedigrees, there's more to these men than the armored warriors we see brutalizing each other on the ice. (Sept.)
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