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Selling the Dream: How Hockey Parents And Their Kids Are Paying The Price For Our N

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  58 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Drawing on decades of combined experience in hockey at all levels, Ken Campbell and Jim Parcels pull back the curtain on hockey to show just how far our national game has strayed from its roots.

What they reveal is a system driven by unrealistic expectations of a financial windfall, where minor-hockey fees and new sticks for kids are deemed “investments”— and where there is
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Hardcover, 360 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Viking
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Stephen
Sep 11, 2014 Stephen rated it really liked it
I think this is an above average book (hence the 4 stars).
I wouldn't say I "enjoyed" it (but that has more to do with the discomfort the book causes). I think it's relevant to many Canadians. And many parents of kids who play hockey. And hey-ho, I fit the bill.
Going in, I didn't feel like I needed to read this book: I'm not crazy competitive and I'm going to walk away from crazy before I participate in it.
But... I learned some interesting facts and stories. For instance, seemingly normal peop
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RiskingTime
Selling the Dream by Ken Campbell and Jim Parcels is a book about the costs of playing competitive hockey in Canada. It is mostly a book about the costs and sacrifices parents make in the hopes that their child will make it to the NHL. Readers learn details about the costs of time and money required to train a competitive hockey player. The book also implicitly questions the value of these costs.

I found Selling the Dream interesting from the perspective of a reader who enjoys playing hockey and
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Glenn Schmelzle
Oct 18, 2015 Glenn Schmelzle rated it liked it
Want to hear a pro-hockey writer give an anti-hockey rant? You won't get exactly that from this book, but you will get 300+ pages of an insider's opinion on what's wrong with minor hockey.

As a dad of 3 minor league players, I can identify with many of Campbell's points. It's so easy to let the business of hockey (at competitive levels) eclipse the game of hockey. Why do Canadians do this to themselves? Campbell believes it's because of our collective myth that says any kid can make it to the NH
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Deodand
Mar 22, 2013 Deodand rated it liked it
This book could stand another edit, there are many typos in the text. It could also stand a grammatical brush-up.

The message is important, though, even to someone like myself without kids or relatives in the hockey system. A former co-worker of mine with three boys in A-level hockey opened my eyes to the extreme expenses involved. If her kids weren't in hockey, she would not have had to work. Her full-time salary was 100% committed to paying for her sons' hockey.

It wasn't just the money, either.
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Ngaio
This was a bit long winded. I felt like they would make a point then belabour it. It had a good argument, but I didn't feel like it was telling me something that I didn't already know.

Additionally, it was not really written for the lay person. They don't go into much detail explaining how the minor hockey or draft systems work (odd since that's there topic) and if I hadn't read a previous book on the subject I might have been lost.

D'Arcy
Mar 03, 2013 D'Arcy rated it really liked it
Very interesting read.

Hard to out the book down.

I think some of the facts may be a bit skewed but overall an accurate depiction of the minor hockey scene in Ontario.

A must read for hockey parents.
Laura
Mar 28, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
Definitely an interesting read, but a lot of the issues discussed are dragged out longer than they need to be.
William McDuff
Jul 13, 2013 William McDuff rated it liked it
Horrific in exactly the way you expect it is, but not completely without hope. Manages to seem fair while showing off how crazy people can get. Worth a read.
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“One of the misconceptions in minor hockey is a belief that players have to get on “big city” teams as young as possible to gain exposure when being identified by major junior clubs. For example, the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) has long been considered a strong breeding ground, with three or four elite AAA teams each year producing some of the top players for the OHL draft. However, on the list of players from Ontario since 1975 who have made the NHL, only 16.8 percent of those players came from GTHL programs while the league itself represents approximately 20 percent of the registered players in the province—that means the league has a per capita development rate of about –3 percent. What the research found was that players from other Ontario minor hockey leagues who elevated to the NHL actually had an edge in terms of career advancement on their GTHL counterparts by the age of nineteen. Each year several small-town Ontario parents, some with players as young as age eight, believe it’s necessary to get their kids on a GTHL superclub such as the Marlboros, Red Wings, or Jr. Canadiens. However, just twenty-one GTHL “import” players since 1997 have played a game in the NHL in the last fifteen years. This pretty much indicates that regardless of where he plays his minor hockey from the ages of eight through sixteen, a player eventually develops no matter how strong his team is as a peewee or bantam. An excellent example comes from the Ontario players born in 1990, which featured a powerhouse team in the Markham Waxers of the OMHA’s Eastern AAA League. The Waxers captured the prestigious OHL Cup and lost a grand total of two games in eight years. In 2005–06, when they were in minor midget (age fifteen), they compiled a record of 64-1-2. The Waxers had three future NHL draft picks on their roster in Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay), Michael Del Zotto (New York Rangers), and Cameron Gaunce (Colorado). One Waxers nemesis in the 1990 age group was the Toronto Jr. Canadiens of the GTHL. The Jr. Canadiens were also a perennial powerhouse team and battled the Waxers on a regular basis in major tournaments and provincial championships over a seven-year period. Like the Waxers, the Jr. Canadiens team also had three future NHL draft picks in Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis), Josh Brittain (Anaheim), and Stefan Della Rovere (Washington). In the same 1990 age group, a “middle of the pack” team was the Halton Hills Hurricanes (based west of Toronto in Milton). This club played in the OMHA’s South Central AAA League and periodically competed with some of the top teams. Over a seven-year span, they were marginally over the .500 mark from novice to minor midget. That Halton Hills team produced two future NHL draft picks in Mat Clark (Anaheim) and Jeremy Price (Vancouver). Finally, the worst AAA team in the 1990 group every year was the Chatham-Kent Cyclones—a club that averaged about five wins a season playing in the Pavilion League in Southwestern Ontario. Incredibly, the lowly Cyclones also had two future NHL draft picks in T.J. Brodie (Calgary) and Jason Missiaen (Montreal). It’s a testament that regardless of where they play their minor hockey, talented players will develop at their own pace and eventually rise to the top. You don’t need to be on an 85-5-1 big-city superclub to develop or get noticed.” 0 likes
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