Sports Book Review:
The Mooseheads

This sports book review illustrates the story of The Mooseheads (Nimbus Publishing 2005) by Dan Robertson and provides the reader with an interesting perspective as how this team from Canada’s Maritimes became a powerhouse in Canadian Junior Hockey as it details the team’s first decade of play in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

This review was first written a couple of years after the book was originally published (2005) and re-printed after Nathan MacKinnon's draft (2013)

The Mooseheads have been in the national sports spotlight for the past few years not only because they have enjoyed considerable success on the ice, but also because two of the top junior prospects skated for the Halifax team. 

2013 NHL Draft

Right up until the first selection was made in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft there was considerable speculation as to who would be the number one choice. Two of the top three prospects were Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin of the Mooseheads. 

Very few hockey fans were surprised when the odds-on favorite, Nathan MacKinnon, was selected first over-all by the Colorado Avalanche. Two selections later, his line mate Jonathan Drouin was chosen by the Tampa Lightning. (The third of the three favorites, Seth Jones was selected fourth by the Nashville Predators.)

The Mooseheads proved that they were not just a two-player team in 2013 when they captured their first-ever Memorial Cup. 

Sports Book Review:
The Mooseheads (2005)

Sports book review of The Mooseheads (Nimbus Publishing 2005) by Dan Robertson describes in an entertaining and informative manner the Halifax junior hockey team's rise to becoming a top contender in its first ten years of operation in the QMJHL

The Mooseheads have been a successful hockey team since their inaugural hockey season in 1994-95. Perhaps unlike no other sports franchise, before or since, the Mooseheads first decade has been one of success at the gate and on the ice. In fact, unlike most new sports franchises, the Mooseheads made the playoffs every season, but one, in their first ten years in the Quebec Major Junior League. Ironically, unlike most new teams who miss the playoffs at least in their first season of play, the Mooseheads did not miss post-season play until 2003-2004, nine seasons after they entered the league!

Author Dan Robertson’s story of the first decade of the Halifax Mooseheads franchise is not only a description of wins and losses, but also provides information about players. This includes those who went on to professional hockey prominence, and those whose career paths strayed from the world of sports upon completion of their junior career.

Not unlike most junior hockey franchises the Mooseheads have had their share of future NHL stars. In fact, last season’s (2006-2007) Stanley Cup champion goaltender, Anaheim Ducks J.S. Giguere, provided stellar goaltending for the Mooseheads during their first seasons of play in the QMJHL.

Giguere’s last season in Halifax was the first for another player who would become a star in the NHL. Alex Tanguay (first a star a with the Colorado Avalanche and now with the Calgary Flames) made the Quebec Junior League’s All Rookie team.


Tanguay’s second season in the “Q” was disappointing from the perspective of playoff success. Unfortunately for the Mooseheads they drew Rimouski as their playoff opponent. The Oceanic were deep in goal but Robertson wrote that the secret to their success was on the forward line.

“It was a one-two punch at forward that concerned the Mooseheads the most. Born eleven days apart in the spring of 1980, Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards were thrilling to watch…. In the spring of 1998, the Mooseheads had no answer for Rimouski’s dynamic duo: in the five-game series Lecavalier had 6 goals and 7 assists while Richards had 2 goals and 8 assists.”

The Mooseheads is more than a re-telling of stories about players who donned the Mooseheads’ jersey. It is about the whole team, the owners, managers, coaches and fans.

The Halifax fans were strong in their support of their team. A revealing story about the fans occurred the first time Sidney Crosby arrived to play for Rimouski against the Mooseheads. Crosby, who grew up in the Halifax-area community of Cole Harbour, was presented with a plaque before the game. But, once the puck was dropped, the fans who had given the local kid a standing ovation before the game, booed him during the game. Robertson wrote “the fans loved seeing a local boy excel, but not necessarily at the expense of their beloved Mooseheads.”

A sports book review of The Mooseheads  (Nimbus Publishing 2005) illustrates that author Dan Robertson does not bog the reader down with information about game events and statistics. Instead, Robertson provides some great thumbnail sketches of important events during each of the Mooseheads’ first ten seasons in the QMJHL. Player profiles are interesting and brief. Photographs of players such as J.S. Giguere as a teenager and others broaden the interest level of the book. The liberal use of sidebars and photographs provide a wealth of information and entertainment for the reader. Consequently, I must give my sports book review of this book is, Read it! You will enjoy this book!

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About Sports Book Reviews

Growing Up Hockey  will touch you in many ways, especially if you grew up in Canada or the northern United States. The Foreword by former NHL goalie Kelly Hrudey not only prepares you for what lies ahead in the pages of the book but also demonstrates the similarity of experiences between himself and the author (not to mention most readers).

Sports Book Review: The Mooseheads provides the reader with an interesting perspective as how this team from Canada’s Maritimes became a powerhouse in Canadian Junior Hockey as it details the team’s first decade of play in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Sidney Crosby: A Hockey Story provides a detailed look at Crosby's amateur hockey career before he was drafted first over-all in the 2005 Draft and the book gives an interesting overview of the history of hockey in Canada's Maritime Provinces.

Sports Book Reviews go beyond stats, etc to give you a sense of the reading value of a book.


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