***A new feature here on Pizzo’s Points is a book review. I read a lot of hockey books: some good, some I don’t get past page 4. Every couple weeks I will talk about one that I just read. Here is review #1***

There is a point in every young hockey player’s life when they come what I like to call “The Realization”. You see from the moment they put on their first pair of skates, they have dreams of playing in the NHL. They dream of being the next Gretzky, Lemieux, Yzerman or Crosby. Then they hit that point where they realize that dream is just not going to happen.

For some it’s early in life (being on the 4th line in house league hockey is a strong indication) .

Others realize it later (“That concludes this year’s NHL entry draft”. Come on Mom and Dad, let’s go home)

Regardless of when you had this realization, most of those players all end up in the same place: In a Beer hockey league (also known as Rec hockey).

If you ever want to see a ton of different personalities, just walk into a beer league dressing room (actually, don’t do that, you will probably get arrested). I just finished reading the Beer League Hockey Handbook by Steve Duncan. When I first opened the book I looked at the table of contents and saw that Duncan had described 70 different types of players that play in Beer Leagues. You read that correctly, SEVEN-ZERO. I thought to myself, “I have played plenty of beer league hockey, and there is no way there are that many different types of players”, I was wrong.

As I flipped through the pages I realized that I could name at least 2 players I personally knew for every character.

It was like Duncan had been spying on every league and team I have ever played on (he kind of has, he has been running Beer Leagues for players of all ages for 7 years now) . Each player description comes with an illustration, an explanation, plus a skill level and dressing room likeability ranking. If you played hockey you will definitely find the player that best describes you. Here is mine (with a bit of Duncan’s description):

The Story Teller: Somebody hand this guy a microphone! The Story Teller is the Beer league player that shows up to the dressing room week after week with yet another new story for his teammates. “You’re gonna love this one fellas”.

Yup, that’s me, at least his likeability in the dressing room is an 8 out of 10!

Some of my other favourites:

“The Stat Tracker”- Come on ref, I assisted on that one

“The Tardy Goalie”- Gives everyone a heart attack 5 minutes before the game

“The Escape Artist” – guy who needs permission from wife to play

“The Borrower”- Hey man, can I borrow some tape?

“The Klima” – self explanatory

You will spend the whole time reading this book saying things like “Man that is SO John” or “Wow, maybe I should stop doing that”. There is even a section describing the different kind of referees.

The book has now gone interactive as Duncan has created a facebook app. Answer a few questions and you can find out what kind of player you are. Click here to take the test

This book will have you laughing from beginning to end. You should also bring it into your dressing room and read a few, maybe some of your teammates will take a hint!

For more info or if you want to buy the book, click here


Lets head to the links

At least a couple more games before Jagr is coming back (Pro Hockey Talk)

Cam Neely and Larry Murphy have their Flippy Floppies (NHL)

The guys at Puck Daddy break down what they are thankful for (including our very own Justin Bourne)

Dirty Dangle tries to answer a question many hockey fans have asked themselves this year : Who the hell is Matt Read?

I guess Alexander Semin heard Bruce Boudreau’s message loud and clear (Washington Post)

Speaking of the Caps, Score Nation goes through the ongoing history of the franchise

People are looking for answers in Anaheim right now. Are changes on the way? Anaheim Calling has three moves they DON’T think will happen

Being a basketball fan sucks right now.  Spector’s Hockey thinks that us hockey fans won’t have to worry about going through the same thing

This is hilarious: What if the Blackhawks were Muppets? (Blackhawks Down Low)

Remember the “realization” I was talking about earlier? This throws that theory right out the window! (PD)