December 12, 2008

IIHF Top 100 Hockey Stories Of All Time by Szymon Szemberg and Andrew Podnieks

Oh there is just something absolutely wonderful about flipping through a book. As amazing as the internet's potential is, and despite all of the challenges facing the publishing industry, I do not think that will ever change.

Take for example IIHF Top 100 Hockey Stories of All-Time, a joint project of the International Ice Hockey Federation and HB Fenn.

As part of the IIHF's 100th anniversary celebrations, counted down the 100 top international hockey stories from their past century, 1908-2008. Every day for over three months they slowly revealed their choices. It was a taxing read, at times boring, easy to forget and painstakingly drawn out.

Now they put the exact same text and many of the same photos into a 180 page book, and voila, a whole new, and much improved, experience is born.

The book is well laid out and attractive. It is a little small to be termed a coffee table book, but it is an enjoyable and fun book to pick up and flip through. The mix of black and white and color photos and range of stories from many countries will ensure everyone will find something interesting. And the more curious reader has a splendid opportunity to learn lots about hockey history.

Of course, plenty of hockey arguments will arise as you and your pals debate the top 100. What is the greatest story in international hockey history? The Miracle On Ice in 1980? Henderson's heroics in 1972? The Soviet domination of the World Championships? One of many Olympic games?

While you can get the list and the stories online, the book does offer 50 pages of additional material. Specifically they offer a look at the 2008 World Championships, held in Canada for the first time ever, the 2008 IIHF Hall of Fame inductees, various centennial celebrations, the birth of the Victoria Cup, and a look at vintage sweaters.


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