A Great Game

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A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs and the Rise of Professional Hockey
A Great Game.jpg
AuthorStephen J. Harper
Subjecthockey history
Published2013 (Simon & Schuster)
Media typePrint (hardcover)

A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs and the Rise of Professional Hockey is a 2013 non-fiction book by Stephen Harper concerning the history of professional ice hockey in Canada during the early 20th century.


The book follows the development of Toronto's earliest professional hockey teams, particularly the Toronto Professional Hockey Club (1906–09) and the Toronto Blueshirts (from 1911).[1] Prior to this, the development of professional teams was fiercely opposed by the Ontario Hockey Association and by Toronto Telegram publisher John Ross Robertson.[2]


Harper wrote the book over an eight-year period.[1] It was released on 5 November 2013 by Simon & Schuster.[1] Proceeds from the book's sales support the Canadian Forces Personnel and Family Support Services.[3] The book also covers other aspects of the early-century game such as the development of artificial ice rinks.[4]


Perry Lefko's negative review in Quill & Quire deemed that the book "reads like a long-winded essay or thesis from a hockey historian".[5] Globe and Mail reviewer John Allemang noted that "[v]erbal amateurism apart, it's enjoyable to catch traces of a more boyish, playful Stephen Harper".[4] The Toronto Star review of the book also noted the academic style of the book but indicated the presentation of early 20th-century hockey provided a "historical perspective that has received scant attention among all the books devoted to hockey".[1]


  1. ^ a b c d DiManno, Rosie (5 November 2013). "Stephen Harper on his game with new hockey book: DiManno". Toronto Star. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  2. ^ Selley, Chris (5 November 2013). "Stephen Harper's long-awaited hockey history is exhaustive, exhausting". National Post. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  3. ^ The Canadian Press (4 September 2013). "Prime minister's hockey book to hit store shelves in early November". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b Allemang, John (8 November 2013). "A Great Game: Stephen Harper's new book revels in hockey nostalgia, but leaves the analysis for others". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  5. ^ Lefko, Perry (December 2013). "A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs and the Rise of Professional Hockey". Quill & Quire. Retrieved 18 November 2013.

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