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As a hockey dad and a seven-year President of Minor Hockey you can imagine that I have seen most of what life in hockey is all about. I thought this book might be just more hockey talk, propaganda, or a coffee table showpiece. It was a pleasant surprise to see how very useful it is. This book follows the new landscape of hockey. Its not just about drills and skills and winning but about creating a well-rounded athlete, not just a hockey player. Anyone reading this book cannot help but gain important knowledge that will improve ability and improve confidence. There are important messages of effort, commitment, and attitude. Very nice to see a book that is so useful for hockey players and families…

– Bryce Balmer, St Paul, Alberta

You have a great book here. My life in hockey has been quite extensive; coaching all minor hockey levels, instructor with Hockey Canada in the National Coaching Certification Program, hockey chair of the 1999 Canada Winter Games, power skating instructor, and tournament co-ordinator. My first reaction to your book – If only I had that book in 1971! What a fantastic book for parents and players, coaches, executive members of hockey organizations, referees, etc. Truly anyone involved in the game of hockey. It is difficult to imagine a topic that is not covered. I like that it can be read from cover to cover or serve as a resource that can be referred to when needed. It is guaranteed to make a journey in hockey a more positive and rewarding experience…

– Darryl MacGillivray, Corner Brook, Newfoundland

4:00 am wake up. Snowstorms seem to always happen on the hockey weekends! I am a hockey mom from the Georgian Bay snow belt, with a son and daughter in hockey. I really related to this book. It is a great insight into the world of hockey from any perspective. But as a hockey mom I really benefitted from the topics of cost, the tiers, and opportunities – understanding the complex systems and teams, as well as the role we play as their parent and #1 fan. I highly recommend this book to any parent, new or seasoned, who has a kid in hockey. What a great way to start the journey of a hockey mom/ dad…

– Gail Marchildon, Midland, Ontario

Just got my hands on your book, a beautiful book. I really liked how the book covers the entire life in hockey, from beginning to end, from kids to pro. Even after spending a lifetime in hockey there were things I did not know that were in this book. One thing I liked is your advice on coaches communicating with parents, having a pre-season meeting. I clearly remember how as a coach and former President of Minor Hockey, life changed when we called that first pre season parent meetings, bringing parents into the loop, laying out on the table how we would run the team, everything from ice time to discipline. It really opened the doors, made parents feel a part of everything, more respect for coach and manager. That first year we called meetings was smooth sailing. I also have to say that after reading the book it became pretty obvious that the author has a serious passion for the game. Absolutely awesome.

– Melvin Taphorn, Kamloops, BC.

Really enjoyed this book. Having played in the AHL and ECHL plus coached many years of Junior Hockey, this book really put things into perspective, gets into the real world of hockey. Speaking as a coach, I liked how it grounds parents, and players too. There is too much push, push in hockey these days, a big panic to get better. Hockey is supposed to be fun. This book really outlines the details of life in hockey, and how to improve that life. It connects the dots. It is clear on the positives and negatives and gets into how coaches should relate to kids…

– Matt Goody, Battersea, Ontario

First, I want to say that this book just looks really cool, the layout it awesome, the book really pops. As well as being President of Minor Hockey here in Whitehorse, Yukon, I have a son in U-13 hockey. One of the big problems, particularly with U-13 and U-15 kids is that they just don’t eat right. If you let them, they eat crap, they don’t feed themselves properly. Putting junk in their bodies is a really negative factor. And hockey parents and kids just don’t always know what to eat, what is healthy, including before and after games, supplements and additives. This book has a great section on nutrition, lays it out. I have lots of chapters to cover yet – really looking forward to it. Also, in the next meeting I will present the book to the association for the fundraiser…

– Jeff Frizzel, Whitehorse, Yukon

Just want to say I feel this book will be very beneficial to kids, and for parents. As a hockey kid I needed direction when there really was not a lot. I just about lived on the ice but who do kids turn to when you grow up in a family with limited hockey knowledge? I think there must be thousands of kids out there like me. Thankfully, there we a couple coaches who helped out. And now, after starting in house hockey and ending up playing high level junior hockey, and later coaching and being a President of Minor Hockey, I still see it all the time. Kids and parents who just have no where to turn for good help, from understanding stick flex, to do I need an agent, to who knows what. Your book is loaded with detail and advice. So, for many, who is going to be with you on your journey through life in hockey? Well, if mom or dad can’t, this book can. Really valuable.

– Jason Grinevitch, Bonnyville Alberta

Since I learned how to skate at the age of 5, hockey has been my life. It was a passion from the beginning. I played Tim-Bit to pee-wee in Georgian Bay Ontario, then Bantam to Junior in North Island BC, then returned to Ontario to play for Seneca College in Toronto.
‘Hockey is Life’ was a wonderful read that really brought me back to my roots as a little boy, gave me insights on being a hockey parent in the near future and, most importantly, another perspective of life in hockey! Excellent information for young and old, with wisdom that you can relate to. There’s a ton of books out there about heroes, coaching, facts etc. But Hockey is Life delves into the lives of parents and players! 10/10!

– Adam Contois, Toronto, Ontario

I am really enjoying your book. I am a female veteran AA ice hockey goaltender and I grew up in a world where playing hockey as a little girl was a struggle. “Girls shouldn’t play with boys” was the common comment I would hear. I didn’t have a choice, there were no girl’s teams. I would even have parents of the players tell me that I “should go figure skate like the rest of the girls”. But I did well, I stopped the pucks, and I fit into the game. I was lucky to have close friends on the team that always had my back. Now my daughter, age 10, wants to join. This book was a wonderful read that helped me navigate through the changes and opportunities that are growing in the sport today, especially for young children. I recommend this book to any parent about to venture into the world as a hockey parent. Some great insight on what to expect and the decisions that need to be made. My message to any young girls in today’s hockey environment would be, you are unstoppable as long as you don’t listen to the rest of the world’s chatter. Always be the best version of yourself, no matter what.

– AJ Bridges, Wyebridge, Ontario

As a hockey dad, I am putting three sons and a daughter through various forms of hockey. One just finished Junior and one seems headed that way. As a journalist, editor and writer for the past 25 years, I have worked on countless news stories, magazine articles, and books. As the main editor for the Hockey Is Life book project, I had an early sense that it was going to be a special book, but I wasn’t anticipating how deep my enjoyment would go. I actually found myself constantly getting wrapped up in just reading the book, how interesting it was, how immersed I became in valuable information (some got put to use this very hockey season as I dealt with what my kids were doing). It was my job to work with the text, but that didn’t prepare me for what I saw when I held the finished product in my hands for the first time. It’s big, but feels alive with colour and images, and I’m not just talking about the pictures. The layout is a feast for the eye and it is easy to turn pages in tasty portions, complete with topical humour and sober fact. It is rich with the “everybody” factor. I’d read of some of Stan’s prior work so I knew he was an evocative storyteller, but it was like he wrote this one just for me. I cannot imagine anyone doing a better job on a book about this life in hockey so many of us are leading. I have never held a more satisfying sports book in my hands, and I have a wall full of them. I keep this one on the kitchen table for easy reference.

– Frank Peebles, Prince George, BC