Saturday, September 29, 2012

2012 IIHF Publications

With the NHL mired in it's current state of inactivity due to the current impasse in it's labor situation, international hockey looks to be one of the hockey fan's best bets for entertainment this season. There will be several competitions to determine which three additional countries will qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics, plus all the Men's and Women's World Championships taking place at various age levels, U18, U20 and Senior, in 6 different Divisions within in each age group on the men's side, for a total of 18 champions plus another five up for grabs on the women's side.

To get you up to speed on what is happening this season, any fan of international hockey needs to be aware of the publications offered by the International Ice Hockey Federation, an fantastic array of materials which compliment each other perfectly.

First up is IceTimes, the official newsletter of the IIHF, published every other month with news, features, stats, photos and results from the broad array of tournaments organized by the IIHF.

IceTimes is available for free on the IIHF website, or media members can be added to the mailing list to receive a free printed copy by sending a request to

IceTimes, IceTimes

Next on the list is the IIHF Annual Report. a 116 page complete recap of the previous season. It features several sections, including results and standings for all the IIHF World Championship events, over 70 photographs, information on all the IIHF member national associations as well as various reports from important international hockey topics.

Last year's version can be downloaded for free and the 2012 version is due to be available very soon. The reports are also available as printed copies directly from the IIHF, but be aware that the shipping charges from Switzerland do add up to a final price of roughly $38 USD. Package deals of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 reports are available as well.

IIHF Annual Report, IIHF Annual Report

The third level of publication offered is the IIHF Guide and Record Book, which continues to grow each year and covers every tournament from every year, from the Olympics down through Division V. Additionally, it includes not only every active player stats, but every retired player to ever appear in even just a single game back to 1920 - over 12,000 players in all!

Beyond the World Championships, the book covers the U20 World Juniors and U18 World Championships for both men and women, the 1972 Summit Series, the history of the Canada Cup and World Cup of Hockey.

There is no free version of this encyclopedia of world hockey, but it can easily purchased online. The IIHF sells the book directly as a printed version ($67) or a less expensive DVD ($22) shipped from Switzerland, but we were able to find the 2012 edition on for as little as $18.39 plus $3.99 shipping from within the United States. Unlike the Annual Report, which contains unique content every season, the Guide and Record book is the type of thing one only would want to get perhaps once after each Olympics due the vast majority of the information being repeated each year.

IIHF Record Book, IIHF Record Book

While there are other IIHF related publications on Amazon, such as the excellent "World of Hockey: Celebrating a Century of the IIHF", priced from $21.32, there are any number of what we call "fake books" listed on Amazon. They are not traditional books created by a reputable publisher, but are merely overpriced collections of relevant and tangental Wikipedia articles collected together in book form. 

While some topics might be somewhat worthwhile to have bounded together in printed form, we find the creation of these "fake books" to be deceiving in nature. Consider if the ice hockey book you are interested in has a picture of wild flowers, zoomy screen saver light patterns or field hockey on the cover, not much care or thought has likely gone into creating the product, the contents of which is all available to you for free on Wikipedia, which is how the "publisher" got it all to begin with. Buyer beware!

Fake Book, Fake Book
Seriously? Field hockey on the cover of a book on
the 2006 Ice Hockey World Championships?

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