The Voices of Hockey: Broadcasters Reflect on the Fastest Game on Earth

Kirk McKnight. Rowman & Littlefield, $38 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4422-6280-5
Sportswriter McKnight, who wrote The Voices of Baseball, turns to his other passion, hockey, which he grew up watching during baseball’s off-season, and the broadcasters who cover the NHL in what McKnight shows is “arguably the most difficult capacity in the world of major sports.” He conducts 53 interviews with 34 broadcasters, divided into chapters by the 30 major hockey teams. There’s some repetition; most of the broadcasters say that the pinnacles of their careers involved calling championship wins for their teams. But each chapter offers fascinating insights, such as Vancouver Canucks announcer John Shorthouse’s description of being “aghast and in disbelief” while watching Boston Bruin Marty McSorley’s infamous 2000 slashing of Canuck Donald Brashear, which Shorthouse calls one of “the ugliest incidents in NHL history.” McKnight gives an exemplary history of hockey itself and adds excellent chapters on related subjects such as how changes in hockey arenas have affected how the sport is broadcast, and appends a survey of significant announcers from the past whose influence lives on today. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/22/2016
Release date: 09/01/2016
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-5381-0756-0
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4422-6281-2
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