January 25, 2010

Early Hockey Years in Parry Sound by Rick Thomas

Parry Sound, Ontario. Just the mention of this town evokes the image of hockey. Why? Because it is the hometown of none other than Bobby Orr - perhaps the greatest player to have ever played.

While Orr may have put this town on the map, hockey in Parry Sound has a far richer history than just what it's most famous hero offers. Hockey on the Georgian Bay goes back to the late 1800s, over half a century before Orr was even born.

Rick Thomas, who grew up playing hockey on the Seguin River and is best known as a long time minor hockey coach in the area, has been busy preserving hockey's amazing history in Parry Sound. He has just released his first volume of research, looking at the pre-Orr years from 1896 to 1941. It is called Early Hockey Years in Parry Sound.

Thomas does a wonderful job of piecing together the city's hockey history by exhaustively combing through the archives. His self-published book is a wonderful effort, very professional and appealing to the eye.

Now obviously the book's target audience is pretty small, with just the locals and former residents likely to have an interest. That may change when Thomas releases his follow up volume, with Orr's story likely dominating part 2 of his research.

For now we will have to enjoy part one of Early Hockey Years in Parry Sound. I do not fall in the target audience group but I can really appreciate Thomas' obvious passion, diligent research and excellent presentation. I can honestly say I really enjoyed this book, so I can only imagine how well received this title will be amongst the locals.

The book costs $16, and is available either by emailing the author or via the book's Facebook page.


Anonymous,  September 28, 2010 at 1:01 PM  

I've got to say that anyone that enjoys hockey at all would enjoy this read.Mr Thomas takes you through hockey as a whole from the start with 7 players per side (the rover) through the years of the first world war and onto the start of the OHL.He really uses all avalable resorses with new's paper articles of games played and names not only those from the ParrySound area but all involved.This book is a great easy read and he lists those who have made it to the bigger leagues before Bobby.I'm sure looking forward to the next book.Keep up the Great work Mr Rick Thomas

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