STATEMENT OF BELIEFS

The Ice Hockey Annual believe that this sport needs:

  • A strong, independent, national governing body.
  • A national men's senior team in the top 16 of the world rankings.
  • Better coaching at all age levels.
  • One national league.
  • Partnerships between the governing body and (bodies representing) the leagues, players, media, officials and fans.

THE FIRST ICE HOCKEY ANNUAL

1976 to 1977

The title of the first Annual was ‘Ice Hockey 1976-7’ with a sub-title of ‘The Ice Hockey Newsletter Annual’.  (The Newsletter was the monthly magazine which Stewart produced in 1975-80.)  It was reproduced using the old ‘stencil’ method (ask your dad, or grandad).
The cover photograph was reproduced by courtesy of the Scottish Daily Record and featured the Ayr Bruins wearing the uniform of their more famous Boston namesakes.
Ayr had just won the 1975-76 Icy Smith Cup, which was the National Knockout Championship and the most coveted trophy of that era.  In fact, it was the first time since 1960 that ice hockey had crowned a British national club champion.
The goaltender for Ayr - on the left of the picture - was Jim Graves, a young Canadian who was named the Northern Ice Hockey Association’s Netminder of the Year.  Jim currently runs Rockies Sports Bar in Belfast’s Odyssey Pavilion.
The Annual had just 52 pages but was packed with information about the teams playing under the auspices of the Northern and Southern Ice Hockey Associations.
This first edition sold out years ago, of course, so as a taster we have included here the text on the first page, which includes the Honours Roll‑Call for season 1975-76 and the text of Stewart’s editorial/introduction.  Note that it was described as a ‘magazine’ rather than a book.

Introduction to 'Ice Hockey 1976-77’
This is the first ice hockey yearbook to appear since Bernard Stocks' Ice Hockey Herald Annual 1972-73.
     In the 52 pages of this magazine, all the happenings in ice hockey during 1975-76 are described in both words and statistics, plus a few glimpses of what the game has in store for us in the coming season.  Naturally, most of 'Ice Hockey 1976-77' is concerned with British hockey but as the sport enjoys such great popularity in Europe and North America I have devoted some space to this aspect of the game.  I have not forgotten British ice hockey's illustrious past, either, and readers will find detailed records, many of them unpublished for years, within these covers.
     All the statistics in this Annual have been carefully checked but if any reader spots an error, I should be grateful if he or she would draw my attention to it, so that it may be corrected in future editions.  I should also be pleased to hear from any reader who has any criticisms, or suggestions for items to be included in the next issue.
     'Ice Hockey 1976-77' could not have been produced without the information provided by the following persons and organisations to whom I should like to express my grateful thanks: Frank Dempster, NIHA PRO; Aarne Honkavaara of International Sports Consultants; Alan Lee, Bernard Stocks, the Polish and Danish Ice Hockey Federations, all the Newsletter Rink Correspondents and, of course, my colleague, Martin Harris, who has dug untiringly into ice hockey's archives.  And last, but not least, my thanks to Terry Dunne of Barmouth Printers and Bernard Smith for their help on the production side.

Stewart Roberts