SELLING THE DREAM
HOW HOCKEY PARENTS AND THEIR KIDS ARE PAYING THE PRICE FOR OUR N
Drawing on decades of combined experience in hockey at all levels, Ken Campbell and Jim Parcels pull back the curtain on hockey to show just how far our national game has strayed from its roots.
What they reveal is a system driven by unrealistic expectations of a financial windfall, where minor-hockey fees and new sticks for kids are deemed “investments”— and where there is no shortage of entrepreneurs more than happy to take money from starry-eyed parents.
Always informative, often shocking, Selling the Dream is not only a guidebook for legions of hockey parents across the country, its a defence of the game we all love, and of childhood itself.
“Ken Campbell has written the most important book on minor hockey that the game has
ever known. Selling the Dream should be mandatory reading at registration. It is
an extraordinary, compelling and profound look at what happens to a marvellous game when
those who love it make it matter too much. It does not shatter the dream, but places that
dream in perfect, undeniable and realistic perspective. Read this, parents — every single
one of you — and then go and watch your child doing what the game intended: play.”
—Roy MacGregor, author of Home Team: Fathers, Sons, and Hockey
“We all know the stories of hockey success ... the young minor hockey protégé becomes a
junior first round pick or college star who finds fame and a long career of riches. Ken
Campbell balances those successes with the stories of the many more young players whose
families spend countless hours and money trying to achieve that dream only to fall short.
Selling the Dream is required reading for all hockey fans, parents and those
connected to the game.”
—Pat Morris, Newport Sports Management, agent to NHL stars Chris Pronger, Brad Richards, James Neal and others
“An absolutely fascinating read for someone in the NHL...a shocking accounting of the
costs of minor hockey. I don’t think the average person realises the lengths parents will
go to in order to get their kids into the NHL. I was flabbergasted. This story needs to be
—Jim Devellano, Senior Vice-President, Detroit Red Wings
“As a father of a young boy, I'm getting ready to navigate my way through the Canadian
Minor Hockey system. You hear all sorts of stories, get all kinds of advice. This book
does a great job of making me much more prepared for the challenges, choices and
opportunities we'll need to address.”
—Elliotte Friedman, Hockey Night In Canada
“Campbell … walks readers through the madness that parental obsession has brought to
—Winnipeg Free Press
Ken Campbell has been a hockey writer for twenty-five years. He is currently a senior writer/columnist with The Hockey News.