Roy MacGregor is perhaps the most prolific of Canadian writers to use hockey as the subtext and text for his writing. His most well-known work, The Home Team: Fathers, Sons, and Hockey, succinctly, is an intimate portrait of the father-son bond in and through the game of hockey. More sweeping in national scope and significance of hockey is Home Game: Hockey and Life in Canada which MacGregor co-authored with hockey legend Ken Dryden. Least well known, though acclaimed by academics to be one of the very best novels on sport, is The Last Season. The latter is a poignant description of jaundiced hockey goon, Felix Batterinski. Finally, MacGregor has authored 21 adolescent novels (and a companion Scrapbook) in a series entitled The Screech Owls, a fictional co-ed team of players. The series has garnered MacGregor several major writing awards. The Screech Owl books were the first adolescent-level narratives to be popularized after Scott Young’s Scrubs on Skates series from the 1950s and re-published in the 1980s. This paper examines MacGregor’s hockey fiction (and his non-fiction, to a lesser extent) from the lens of his treatment and portrayal of the family and its place in the pantheon of hockey, at least in MacGregor’s perspective. From the dysfunctional Batterinski family contextualized in northern Ontario and within a Polish ethnic background to the concept of father:son in The Home Team to the notion of families in selected examples from the Screech Owl series, this analysis explores the mirror held up to the hockey family by one of Canada’s best ‘hockey’ novelists. Using literature to examine the concept of family construction and portrayal is an important revelation of the truth that emanates from fiction.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/donald_morrow/92/