____Posted Thursday March 16, 2017 ____


Book Review

Kitchener-born Hockey Hall of Famer Father David Bauer subject of new book

This weekend, Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19, author Greg Oliver will be in and around the Kitchener-Waterloo area promoting his just-published biography on Father David Bauer, entitled Father Bauer and the Great Experiment.

Father David Bauer changed lives—at the rink, in the classroom, and at the pulpit. He was raised in Kitchener-Waterloo, where his father ran Bauer Industries, and was heavily involved in politics, local sports, and his faith. David’s older brother, Bobby Bauer, made the Hockey Hall of Fame as a star for the Boston Bruins and its “Kraut Line” in the 1930s.

After his elementary schooling in K-W, David Bauer went to St. Michael’s College in Toronto where he studied and then later taught.

Along the way, he never left the hockey rink, coaching the St. Mike’s Majors to the 1961 Memorial Cup, and then, after arriving at the University of British Columbia, taking over the men’s hockey team. But he was more than a coach, dedicated to not only creating great hockey players, but well-rounded men.

In 1963, Bauer created Canada’s first national hockey team; he and his players, affectionately called “Bauer’s Boys,” carved a place for Canada on the international hockey scene. They inspired the country, and continue to inspire generations of players and sports enthusiasts today.

Though Father Bauer died in 1988 at age 64 of pancreatic cancer, his legacy lives on in many ways: he is in the Hockey Hall of Fame (1989), Canadian Sports Hall of Fame (1973), Waterloo County Sports Hall of Fame (1972), B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame (2009), and International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame (1997); Calgary’s Father David Bauer Olympic Arena is named in his honour, as is a Father David Bauer Drive in Waterloo; and he was one of the inaugural recipients of the Order of Canada in 1967.

Through exhaustive research and countless interviews, author Greg Oliver explores a Canadian icon, the teams that he put on the ice, and the rocky, almost unfathomable years when Canada didn’t play international hockey. Finally, for the first time ever, the whole story of Father Bauer and Canada’s game is told in the rich detail it deserves.

Saturday, March 18 – Cambridge Card & Comic Show
Hespeler Memorial Arena, 640 Ellis Road, Cambridge, from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Sunday, March 19 – Postcard Memories Show & Sale
Bingemans (Embassy Room), 425 Bingemans Centre Drive, Kitchener, from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Father Bauer and the Great Experiment
$32.95 CDN, $29.95 U.S.
ECW Press ISBN 978-1-77041-249-1


“Father Bauer and the Great Experimentfills an important gap in the history of hockey as it is played today. Greg Oliver has done a masterful research job in showing how Father Bauer was far ahead of his time in the evolution of what is, today, a truly international game. Hockey around the world—Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden, Finland, everywhere—is deeply indebted to this fascinating Canadian character.” —Roy MacGregor, bestselling author of Home Team: Fathers, Sons and Hockey, and Wayne Gretzky’s Ghost

“When you look at those who have made a profound and lasting impact on hockey in Canada and throughout the world, Father David Bauer is a central figure. Father David Bauer had the vision to start a full-time men’s national team, but it was much bigger than that, in combining hockey and education. When you talk to all the players who played for Father David Bauer, they first and foremost talk about the education and values that he instilled in them. This was as important as the pursuit of hockey excellence. As Hockey Canada becomes a global brand, we will remember a great legend of the game and someone who made a lasting impact on so many , Father David Bauer.” —Bob Nicholson, Oilers Entertainment Group CEO & vice chair, and former Hockey Canada president & CEO

“While David Bauer’s ‘great experiment’ to create a men’s national hockey ‘team-in-being’ focused on excellence, education, and values may have seemed quixotic, especially in a sport dominated by the NHL, his vision set the aspiration for the Canadian sport system to this day. It’s important that Canadians know his story. Greg Oliver’s well-researched biography ably captures the man, his mission, his players, and his times.” —Bruce Kidd, author of The Death of Hockey, vice-president and principal, University of Toronto Scarborough

“It’s the labour and passion behind each word that makes Father Bauer and the Great Experiment such an excellent read. The ice beneath Bauer’s skates was rough at times, but his vision was solid. This is an amazing history of where our national game was and how it has progressed. A tap of the stick to Greg Oliver for his amazing efforts.” —Jiggs McDonald, broadcaster and 1990 recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame

Greg oliver is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home dad, Greg Oliver has written extensively about hockey and professional wrestling. Recent books include Blue Lines, Goal Lines, & Bottom Lines; Don’t Call Me Goon; The Goaltenders’ Union; Written in Blue & White; and Duck with the Puck. A member of the Society for International Hockey Research, Greg lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his wife and son. Learn more at OliverBooks.ca.

He grew up in Kitchener, and went to Grand River Collegiate Institute, where he served on the student council for two years, as editor of the school newspaper. While in high school, he published the Canadian Wrestling Report newsletter, with subscribers across the world. Greg came by the self-publishing route honestly, as his parents, Jim and Shirley Oliver, self-published The Buyers Guide to Factory Outlets in Ontario for many years. As well, Greg was always involved in the community through his association with 24th Kitchener Scout group, based at his church, St. James-Rosemount United Church.

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