Hals Hot Corner: I Read a Children’s Book About Hockey. “That’s Not Hockey!” by Andrew Poulin

Biz Dev Dale messaged the group and asked us if anyone was interested in writing a book review. I haven’t read a book in a century but I knew I was the man for the job. I did, after all, (no clue if I should have put commas there) minor in English in college. Test and studying weren’t for me, so I figured if I minored in English I’d just have to mix in a couple essays. I used that thing my 2nd grade teacher taught me where I drew a hamburger and put a couple paragraphs in each one before writing, and I was able to pull out a degree from a mediocre liberal arts public school. The American dream.


On to the book. The book in question is “That’s Not Hockey!” By Andrew Poulin. Felix Girard was on the ones and twos drawing/painting.



Honestly, if I had a child I’d toss this in their library. Here are some highlights.


1. The story follows Habs legend Jacque Plante on his was to NHL stardom. It highlights difficulties that one of the best to tend crease had a long the way. From his dad making him equipment to play on the pond, to being one of the first goalies to handle the puck, Jacque was often told “Hey, thats not hockey there pal!” But he pushes in. The story comes to a climax (thats a big time literature buff word) when the rangers start taking clappers at his dome at MSG. Jacque tosses on his mask and everyone goes crazy. Mr. Plante tells his coach if i’m not wearing a mask then you can kick rocks cause I’ll go work at the textile down the road on the river. Coach says fine. Jacques gets chirped by everyone. Jacques wins cups and becomes a hero.


2. The books 29 pages, featuring two sentences per page tops. Thats right in my wheelhouse. Usually after reading a book I feel exhausted and have to crush a nap, but I found this book to be a jog in the park on a brisk fall day compared to most books that feel like running a turkey trot hungover as shit in 10 degree weather.


3. The artistic medium. Now to be fair, I don’t know what this is. Painting? Colored pencils? Crayons? Animation? I can’t figure it out but its easy on the eyes. But everyone knows pictures are the best part of a book. And these were great. Theres one page where Jacques in leaking blood as he’s helped off the ice by the trainer. Nails.


4. The book always has a great message for kids to keep on plugging along, over come adversity, don’t drink their haterade, let it rip, keep stunting.

5. Toe Blake looked like a villain in the book. Looked him up and the first photo I found looks like a hard working guy who owns an authentic gelato shop.


6. Hopefully “That’s Not Hockey!” becomes a series. Next should be a book about Derek Sanderson having a couple shakers at his nightclub after a pair of shorthanded goals against the Flyers. Hey Derek! Thats not hockey!


7. I used the same Gordie Howes autobiography that I won at a squirt tournament raffle for book reports from 4th to 10th grade.




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