The Canadian Hockey Atlas.


340 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 978-0-385-66093-6
DDC 796.962'0971





Reviewed by Ian A. Andrews

Ian A. Andrews is a high-school social sciences teacher and editor of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association’s Focus.


This book is a treat. With hundreds of photographs to complement hundreds of stories, Stephen Cole has approached the game of hockey in a unique way.


An announcer’s description of a hockey player frequently includes reference to their place of origin. Indeed, in Canada, a sense of place is very important, whether it be a region—such as the Gaspé, or the Prairies, or Cape Breton—or the political boundaries of provinces and territories. In The Canadian Hockey Atlas, Cole has chosen the latter approach combined geography and history to produce a different type of hockey encyclopedia of Canada.


The author has attempted to chronicle—or at least acknowledge—every Canadian player who every suited up for an NHL game. Also included are individuals who may not have played at the elite level, but who contributed significantly to the game—such as Antigonish’s coach John Brophy who inspired the makers of the movie Slapshot.


Within each province and territory, Cole spins his tales around the major centres where the better-known players lived and played, relying more on insightful anecdotes than stale statistics. Gilbert Dionne is the “King of Drummondville”; Walter Pratt is “Babe in the City” (Winnipeg); and “Danny Boy” tells the story of Canadiens’ broadcaster Danny Gallivan. Even “The Happy Motoring Man,” Regina’s Murray Westgate, whose commercials ran for nearly two decades on Hockey Night in Canada, receives recognition.


Attention is given to the historical roots of the game, the World Hockey Association, female involvement in hockey, and the first black NHL player (“Colour-Blind Ambition”—Willie O’Ree from Fredericton). An appendix provides the names of players (by province and home town) whose stories are not recorded in the main text.


Anyone fascinated by the history of hockey and its geographical precincts should have a copy of The Canadian Hockey Atlas for handy reference.


Cole, Stephen., “The Canadian Hockey Atlas.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,