World of Hockey: Celebrating a Century of the IIHF
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
On top of the Hockey Hall of Fame inductions, this past weekend in Toronto also featured the official launch of World of Hockey: Celebrating a Century of the IIHF.
The International Ice Hockey Federation is gearing up for the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Halifax and Quebec City (May 1-18), which will mark the organization’s 100th anniversary, and this beautiful 228-page coffee table book is just one of many commemorative projects that are currently in the works.
Expertly edited by IIHF Director of Communications Szymon Szemberg and veteran hockey writer Andrew Podnieks, World of Hockey chronicles the explosive worldwide growth of the international game, from its unlikely beginnings in Paris under original president Louis Magnus to today’s IIHF with 65 member nations plus millions of TV viewers and IIHF.com users following the Worlds and Olympics.
Although the book includes an extensive statistics section, the history it retells is far from dry numbers. Whether your interests run more toward accomplished international coaches like Harry Sinden and Viktor Tikhonov or superstar players such as Dominik Hasek and Jari Kurri, you’ll find plenty of new, exclusive Q&As. In-depth sidebars on Peter Forsberg’s 1994 Olympic-winning shootout goal and Poland’s shocking 6-4 win over the Soviet Union at the 1976 IIHF World Championship, among other topics, further enhance World of Hockey.
Full disclosure: I had the honor and pleasure of writing Chapter Nine, “Women’s Hockey Goes Global (1990-2008).” That involved conducting hours of interviews with stars like Cassie Campbell and Cammi Granato and women’s hockey organizers from around the globe. The challenge was to convey just how far this emerging sport has come since the first official IIHF World Women’s Championship in Ottawa in 1990.
Some other noteworthy chapters include “The Miracle and the Revenge: Pure Amateurs Make Hockey History (1980-1985)” by John Sanful, “The Second Coming of Canada: Gretzky Passes the Torch (2002-2007)” by Podnieks, and “Sweden’s Double Gold Makes History: Centennial Circle Completed in Canada 2008 (2006-2008)” by Szemberg.
World of Hockey is a visual and educational treat for anyone who has a vision where the world is one big hockey rink. It’s well worth picking up for the hockey book lover in your life.