• By: Keith Whittier

Book Review: Of Myths and Sticks

Hockey Facts, Fictions and Coincidences

TSN stats archaeologist Kevin Gibson, whose book Of Myths and Sticks blows the whistle on all hockey matters from the mainstream to the obscure.

Fascinating, and at times unbelievable, the stories behind the National Hockey League are as engaging as the great game itself.

Yet when it comes to hockey trivia, erroneous facts emerge from urban legends, conspiracy theories and coincidences, leaving sports fans to debate what’s real and what’s not. In Of Myths and Sticks, stats expert and radio personality Kevin Gibson stickhandles the truth to uncover the real facts of hockey including its much-disputed origins.

When was the first NHL game? Who scored the first ever goal? Did Gordie Howe actually achieve a “Gordie Howe hat trick”? The book answers the game’s biggest questions, and offers little-known facts such as the details of a dubious contract dispute; the worst and best nicknames in the sport; a certain goalie’s 24 children; and a flu epidemic that killed two players and cancelled the 1919 Stanley Cup Final.

From hall-of-famers, to hall-of-shamers, to an extensive “On This Date” chapter containing 366 trivia-worthy moments from nearly 100 years, Of Myths and Sticks combines extensive research and humour with a fresh perspective on the game. Hockey’s version of MythBusters, the book’s exploration of myth and legend is as fast-paced as a puck on ice.

Kevin Gibson is TSN’s one-man Research, Stats and Information of Myths and Sticks Department. He is a regular on Mike Richards’ In the Morning show on TSN Radio 1050 and a popular presence on Twitter (@

Published by Douglas & McIntyre