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How I Came to Know and Love The Hockey News

Stan Fischler has seen just about everything in his hockey writing career. He's joining the team now, and he shares his memories of reading the magazine throughout his life.
Stan Fischler

I got to know The Hockey News five years before it was born; and I kid you not.

The year was 1942; I was ten years old and already a confirmed hockey fan. But there was a problem. I lived in Brooklyn and hockey news in New York was slim to none.

Then, one day, while leafing through Jim Hendy's excellent 1943 Hockey Guide, I spotted a compelling ad on Page 71 with headlines I couldn't refuse:

WIDE AWAKE FANS READ THE SPORTS FAN, HOCKEY'S ONLY WEEKLY. And only for a nickel.

Wow! This was it; the answer to my hockey-reading prayers. I quickly sent my $1.25 for 26 issues to P.O. Box 62, Station "H", Montreal and awaited The Hockey News before there was a genuine Hockey News.

Alas, nothing happened. The Sport Fan, Hockey's Only Weekly never arrived; nor did my buck-and-a-quarter. Having nothing better to do than grin and bear it, I wondered whether there ever would be something called "Hockey's Only Weekly."

Then, one day in the summer of 1947, I received a form letter about – guess what? – a hockey weekly to be published, starting in October.

I ran to my mother who was making my daily oatmeal. "Ma, Ma, could this be for real?"

I showed her the letter signed by a guy I'd never heard of, Ken McKenzie, and told her about the lost buck-and-a-half from the non-existent Sport Fan.

Typically, Mom shot back, "Whaddya got to lose. Here's the dough; send away and see what happens!"

So, I sent away not too sure about this McKenzie fellow, let alone this still-unborn publication.

Then, I waited and waited and wondered if this McKenzie was kidding around or not. And one day, I opened the mailbox and did a double-take.

Make that a triple-take.

"Mom," I screamed, "it's here!"

'What's here?"

"THE HOCKEY NEWS, Mom, here look."

And so it was with a big headline: PRO TEAMS IN SWING OF PRE-SEASON DRILLS.

I read every word; twice. I have not stopped 75 years later.

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