Blue Lines, Goal Lines and Bottom Lines

Greg Oliver. ECW (Perseus/Legato, U.S. dist.; Jaguar, Canadian dist.), $39.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-77041-251-4
In this interesting coffee-table book, hockey writer Oliver (Don’t Call Me Goon) explores the game’s history through contracts and historical documents provided by collector Allan Stitt. The book features short biographies of players (and notable figures in hockey management) and includes photos of their hockey contracts, mostly from the 1960s to 1980s, going back to times when a $500 annual raise made players feel like they had “won the lottery.” There are also more whimsical and fun documents; in a questionnaire for players, Jean Beliveau answers the question, “What are your hobbies?” with “Golf and women.” A letter from a cereal company executive to the Minnesota North Stars’ management, sent with a case of cereal, suggests that veteran player Elmer “Moose” Vasko try making it a part of his diet because “when combined with hard exercise, it will help peel off the pounds fast.” Alongside info on stars such as Bobby Hull and Mario Lemieux, the book also includes documents for interesting, under-the-radar players such as Fred Stanfield and Greg Sheppard. Readers will enjoy flipping through this book for fun tidbits, hockey nostalgia, and a glance at the upsides and downsides of less regulated times. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2016
Release date: 09/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
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