The Legend and Lore of Cyclone Taylor
by Eric Zweig
Hockey's first superstar, Fred "Cyclone" Taylor, was often caught up in the politics and turmoil of hockey's early professional years. Star Power is the story of one of Canada's greatest athletes and a game in transition.
Nicknamed "Cyclone" for his breathtaking speed, Fred Taylor was hockey's first superstar. Though known for his squeaky clean game, Taylor was often caught up in the politics and turmoil of hockey's early professional years. Star Power is the story of one of Canada's greatest athletes and a game in transition.
[Fry Reading Level - 4.8
About the Author
As Zweig indicates in the title, much of what is known about Taylor is legend. In his day, there were no instant replays, therefore, whether, or not, he scored a goal after skating the length of the rink backwards, will always remain a legend. But, as Zweig points out, legends can become facts. This may happen if they are repeated often enough. It is true that Taylor was a very fast skater (many who saw him play mentioned this), but legend has it that he was nicknamed Cyclone after Governor General Lord Grey said, "He's a cyclone if ever I saw one," at the conclusion of an Ottawa Senators game in 1908. However, Lord Grey may not even have attended the game.
Star Power is illustrated with four, decorative, black and white photographs scattered throughout the book. These show Taylor in the uniforms of the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Millionaires, in a 1904 picture of the Listowel Hockey Team and in a group shot of an old-timers' team. There are, in addition, five pictures of Taylor on the book's covers. There is also a useful Glossary with definitions of hockey terms such as slashing and deke. There is no Index. The book is divided into ten chapters, averaging ten pages each.
Throughout the book, there are bracketed paragraphs that highlight events in Taylor's life and also bits of hockey history. For example, Protect Yourself tells readers about Taylor's using padding to protect himself, an idea he apparently thought up while watching padding being put on a horse's back to shield it from the saddle. This could be true, because, at only 5' 8" or 9," he was often roughed up during a game, and so he stuffed material from corsets into his hockey pants. Players were not protected with pads the way they are today.
The back cover of the book states that it is suitable for children 12 and older, but children younger than this should have little trouble with Star Power. It is not a difficult book and is suitable for recreational reading.
Author Eric Zweig has previously written a number of books about hockey, including Long Shot: How the Winnipeg Falcons Won the First Olympic Hockey Gold. He was a writer both for CBC Radio Sports and TSN Sports Radio and has written articles for newspapers such as the Toronto Star and the Globe & Mail. He is presently managing editor of Dan Diamond and Associates, described as consulting publishers to the NHL.
Thomas F. Chambers, a retired college teacher, lives in North Bay, ON.
Reviewed in "Canadian Review of Materials" Volume XIV, Number 9