WELL IF YOU INSIST:MOLLYHALL’S BIG LIST OF BOOK RECS FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN’T HOCKEY TOO GOOD AND WANT TO LEARN HOW TO DO OTHER THINGS GOOD TOO
Rob Vollman’s Hockey Abstract, Rob Vollman: this book is a++ for people whose instinctive reaction to math is just “DDDDDDD:???????” it doesn’t really teach you how to calculate any of the actual statistics, but you’re not going to need how to do that anyway since they’re so readily available. this is a great book to introduce yourself to advanced hockey stats and what they mean/why they matter.
Alternative:Hockeynomics by Darcy Norman: does basically the same thing as Hockey Abstract; i just found it a little more … like, math-y.
The Game, Ken Dryden: so this book is probably the best hockey book ever written? and is maybe among the best sports book ever written in general? dryden is a really, really smart dude and articulate writer, and a lot of his observations are incredibly on point. plus, he’s writing with an insider’s perspective on one of the best hockey teams of all time (“OF ALL TIME” - kanye west) and he has an incredibly insightful eye.
Searching for Bobby Orr, Steven Brunt - one day maybe i’ll shut up about this book but TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY. it’s so good, y’all, and so well-written, and so fair. this book teaches you a very little bit about bobby orr and a LOT about what bobby orr meant to the NHL, and the context in which he made his career.
The Boys of Winter, Wayne Coffey: you know the movie miracle? it’s the movie miracle.
The Greatest Game Ever Played, Todd Denault: you know the movie miracle? it’s the movie miracle … but with canada.
The Rookie, Shawna Richer: so, if you’re not at least neutral when it comes to crosby then a) we probably can’t really be friends? because we see the world in fundamentally incompatible ways, and b) you may not find this book very interesting. BUT! the thing about the kid is that what it really did, for me, was show the world that crosby was coming into as the 1st-round draft pick. it showed the state of things, both in pittsburgh and the NHL as a league, as well as the pressure and absurd expectations that are put on young athletes. so if you’re a human capable of empathy, you’ll like this book.
Future Greats and Heartbreaks: A Secret Year Undercover in the Secret World of NHL Scouts, Gare Joyce: okay, i haven’t actually read this one yet but it just came in the mail today and I HAVE A GOOD FEELING.