Overcoming obstacles

Book captures stories of four members of Canada’s Summit Series team

JASON MALLOY ANNAPOLIS VALLEY REGISTER jason.malloy @saltwire.com @JasonMa47772994



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Jim Prime hopes to introduce a new generation of Canadians to some of his era’s hockey heroes while inspiring youth along the way. The New Minas author has recently written Ice Dreams to share the story of the 1972 Summit Series with a younger audience. But it is different than most books on the topic as it includes what four superstars from the Canadian team had to overcome to be part of the team. “Kids like to identify with heroes,” Prime said. “But it’s pretty hard sometimes because they’re so far above us in many cases or seen that way.” Prime has written other books on the series. While researching them, he learned more about members of Team Canada. It included Ron Ellis being born with a club foot and developing a speech impediment, Bobby Clarke having Type 1 diabetes, Paul Henderson, who scored the game-winning goals in the final three contests in Moscow, not learning to skate until he was nine years old as his parents couldn’t afford to buy him skates and Serge Savard towering over his peers as a kid. “They didn’t sit and mope about it,” Prime said. “They checked the experts out and got support wherever they could – from their parents, their teachers, medical people – and they carried on with their lives.” CONTRIBUTED Prime said he thought today’s youth could relate with the four stars’ stories. “It might give some encouragement to young people who are struggling with one obstacle or another,” he said. “And I thought there is a good lesson to be taught here.” The book, which was published by Moose House Publications in Perotte, will be available in stores in early December. Andrew Wetmore, who edited the book, said Prime provides the framework for the reader to engage with the story. “I appreciate his ability to write a clear sentence that gets to the point and lets the reader take it further in their own mind,” he said. “He doesn’t waste a lot of time telling us how wonderful the hockey players are, as if it were a press release, in this book. “He talks about the struggles they had to endure or press through from when they were small in order to get to the point where they could be the hockey players on Team Canada. And I found that a really interesting story, not just for kids, but for grown-ups.” There’s been a lot of talk about the Summit Series this year as Canadians celebrate its 50th anniversary. “I just didn’t want it to get lost,” Prime said of the timing of the book’s release. “If it came out the year after or the year before, people aren’t in that frame of mind. But right now, the Summit Series is on their mind.” Prime said today’s youth have probably heard about the eight-game series to determine hockey supremacy from their parents, grandparents or in recent media coverage, but don’t know many of the details. He said the book provides them an accessible place to learn the information. He envisions parents and grandparents sitting down with young people, reading the book together and maybe watching some online videos of the series as well. “I have to kind of pinch myself every once and a while about those sorts of things,” Prime said. Wetmore remembers being glued to the TV and radio during the ’72 series and the sense of pride Canadians had as they cheered on the squad. It is something his grandchildren didn’t experience first-hand. “If I wanted them to know about that series, this is the book I would hand to them,” he said.