by Matt Hoven
Catholic University of America Press, 2024
Paper: 978-0-8132-3787-9 | eISBN: 978-0-8132-3810-4
Library of Congress Classification GV848.5.B38H68 2024
Dewey Decimal Classification 796.962092

Born in Waterloo, Ontario, in 1924, to a prominent family, David Bauer attended St. Michael’s College-School run by the Basilian Fathers of Toronto. After serving in World War II, Bauer joined the religious community and coached its St. Michael’s Majors to a national championship in 1961. Influenced by philosophers like Jacques Maritain, Bauer tried to find solutions to problems created within elite hockey and thus founded Canada’s first ever National Team program. This team countered the cutthroat ideals of hockey’s powerbrokers and set out to return Canada to international glory. The team represented the nation at several global tournaments and three Winter Olympic Games. Bauer was posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989.

Hockey Priest looks past simply understanding Bauer as a do-gooder or hockey innovator. It shows how he attempted to create a different stream of hockey that could better support youth and so build up the nation. Archival research for the book uncovered Bauer-written hockey reports, speeches, and notes that detail his thinking about the game and his politicking to bring about change in it. Interviews with dozens of associates and family members told the story of his bold efforts to take on the National Hockey League. Despite his work being undermined by some supporters of the corporate game, Bauer offered a vision for Canada’s sport that remains an important counterpoint in the sport’s history and its ongoing challenges.

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