Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword: Thinker on the Rink

Jean Dion

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pp. ix-xii

It was spring 2006. The Anaheim Ducks, still Mighty at the time, were trying for an improbable shot at the Stanley Cup. During the first round of the playoffs, the team’s star goalie, Jean-Sébastien Giguère, suffering from an injury, fell into a slump. Giguère had brought his team to the cusp of victory three years earlier, but now there wasn’t much choice: his replacement goalie had to be thrown into the lions’ den. The replacement, Ilya Bryzgalov, was a Russian..

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xviii

The Greek historian Diogenes Laërtius reports that Thales of Miletus (circa late seventh century to early sixth century BCE), who is generally credited as the first true philosopher, fell into a well while he was looking at the stars one night, for which he was mocked by his family. This image has persisted for centuries: absorbed in the affairs of the mind, philosophers are sometimes...

Bibliography

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pp. xix-xx

1st period Social and political philosophy

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On est Canayen ou ben on l’est pas”:1 Hockey, Nationalism, and Identity in Québec and Canada

Tony Patoine

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pp. 3-24

Two nations: Québec and Canada. One national sport: hockey. In this chapter, we’ll attempt to pin down the key features of Québécois and Canadian nationalism through the lens of this shared passion. We’ll use sports to dissect national imaginations.
No matter where you are in Canada, there’s no denying it. The Canadian media are incurably fixated on it, and the fever it gives us during the Winter Olympics proves the point further: more than...

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Hockey and Politics, Same Battle!1

Jean-Claude Simard

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pp. 25-42

Can the findings of anthropology teach us anything about today’s world? Can examining the primitive origins of sport bring us to a deeper understanding of contemporary rituals, specifically hockey rituals? And can we take a serious look at our national sport and still have fun doing it? In this chapter, we’ll take a stab at these questions plus a few more....

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Hockey Salaries: Scandal or Fair Pay?

Mario Jodoin

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pp. 43-58

Daniel Brière, Scott Gomez, and Thomas Vanek rake in $10 million a year. Jaromír Jágr had to settle for a paltry $8.36 million in 2007–2008, down from $11 million in 2003–2004.1 Astronomical, mind-boggling, staggering—there’s no shortage of descriptors when it comes to hockey salaries. And yet, as we saw in Jágr’s case, they actually decreased overall by 24 percent in 2005 with the...

2nd period Mythology and metaphysics

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The Rocket: The Making of a Hero

Julie Perrone

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pp. 61-70

For Montréal Canadiens fans, autumn is always a time of great hopefulness. It’s the start of the new hockey season, pregnant with possibility, dreams, and memories of victories past. Each year, the fans are pulled into the hysteria of the season, gradually becoming convinced that this is the year their boys in red, white, and blue will bring home the Stanley Cup. They’ve been disappointed every year...

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From the Shinny Pond to the Bell Centre: Reweaving the Myth of the Sainte-Flanelle

Anouk Bélanger and Fannie Valois-Nadeau

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pp. 71-96

When people talk hockey in Québec, one of the things they love to discuss the most is the commercialization of the sport and its insidious effects. The corruption of hockey’s soul provides endless fodder for sports blogs, radio call-in shows, newspapers, and essays about hockey (specifically the Montréal Canadiens). Commercialization, runs the argument, is a disfigurement of “real hockey” and perversion of a “pure” national symbol....

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The Metaphysics of Hockey

Jean Grondin

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pp. 97-108

Amidst the monotony of modern life, hockey affords us a breath of transcendence. In a world of disenchantment, devoid of miracles, it offers us something spectacular and creates moments of ecstasy. To borrow from Marx, hockey is a bit like “the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.” It gets our blood pumping and infuses our day-to-day lives with poetry and dream....

3rd period Ethical and aesthetic issues

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Eulogy for the Tie Game

Daniel M. Weinstock

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pp. 111-124

There are no more tie games in the NHL. Not since 2005. The last tie game in regulation time dates back even further, to the 1982– 1983 season. Within a few years, the tie game will have been relegated to the dustbin of our national sport’s history. I’ve searched far and wide but have found no one who has mourned its disappearance. It’s as though every last fan of the game implicitly agrees with...

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Fisticuffs: When do We Say Enough’s Enough?

Christian Boissinot

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pp. 125-150

Don’t bother searching online for further details on this sorry scene. Contrary to what you might be thinking, these events didn’t transpire recently—they happened in 1899! Ice hockey has been dealing with the problem of violence since it first began. Violence continues to be a thorn in the side of the NHL (founded in 1917), where unsavoury behaviour has unfortunately become par for the course and frequently makes the headlines....

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The Aesthetics of Hockey

Normand Baillargeon

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pp. 151-166

Picture this.
You’re at the Place des Arts in Montréal. It’s a beautiful evening in May, and a prestigious event has just begun.
The master of ceremonies steps up to the podium and gives his opening remarks. Then he invites the person who will announce the first of many awards to be presented tonight....

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The Great Drug Debate: Saturday Night at Chez Paulo

Normand Baillargeon

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pp. 167-182

It’s almost midnight on February 19, 2008. Just like every Saturday during the hockey season, I’m heading home from a night at Chez Paulo.
And also just like every Saturday, everybody in the “band of four” (as we call ourselves) was there: Chantal, a biology student; Jean, a dispatcher for a transportation company; Pierre, who studies literature and is writing his thesis on the poet Jacques Prévert, whom he quotes constantly; and me, an aspiring sports journalist....

Overtime

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A Game to Be Forgotten!

Jon Paquin

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pp. 185-204

The following sketch depicts the life and work of some of history’s philosophers; it is presented in a comedic and solely fictional context as a screenplay dialogue. It is the preliminary foundation for a film piece in which the characters’ spirit would be revealed through the actors’ performance. In this version, the emphasis is on the dialogue; physical descriptions of characters are intentionally left to the reader’s imagination....

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Towards a Kantian Hockey

Chantal Santerre (with Normand Baillargeon)

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pp. 205-222

A Saturday night, in the winter of 2023
Granddaughter: “Grandpa, come watch the hockey game with me; the Montréal Canadiens are playing the New York Islanders.”
Grandfather: “You know I haven’t watched hockey since they banned checking.”
Granddaughter (insistent): “But the captain of the Islanders is my favourite player. He can handle the puck like anything. I want...

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Kierkegaard and the Art of Goaltending

Charles Le Blanc

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pp. 223-234

The port of Copenhagen doesn’t freeze over in wintertime. Already this says a lot about the practicality of playing a sport like hockey there. Of course, closer to the Limfjord, there are lots of ponds you could skate on, but the closest thing you’ll find to sticks there are cattails. Besides, a frozen toad would never do for a puck—much too bouncy—and the Danes are so clean their country is completely devoid of “meadow muffins,” which, as legend has it, were...

Shootout

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Haitians, Hockey, and Some Philosophy of Culture

Rodney Saint-Éloi (with Marie-Célie Agnant, Dany Laferrière, Rita Metsokosho, and Jean Morisset)

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pp. 237-252

At first blush, Haitians and hockey don’t seem to have much in common. But when Normand Baillargeon approached me about contributing to this collection, I immediately accepted—because it’s almost impossible for me to tell him no, given the trademark drive and pluck of this man who endeavours to turn the words “hope” and “rebellion” into something concrete. So accept it I did. I told...

About the authors

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pp. 253-257