Canadian prime minister moonlights as author with ice hockey book

OTTAWA Thu Feb 7, 2013 5:44pm EST

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper holds a hockey stick from the 1907 Stanley Cup final during a research visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in this December 2011 handout photo obtained by Reuters February 7, 2013. Harper has recently completed a book about the history of hockey that will be published by Simon & Schuster in the United States and Canada in November 2013. REUTERS/Jason Ransom/PMO/Handout

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper holds a hockey stick from the 1907 Stanley Cup final during a research visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in this December 2011 handout photo obtained by Reuters February 7, 2013. Harper has recently completed a book about the history of hockey that will be published by Simon & Schuster in the United States and Canada in November 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Ransom/PMO/Handout

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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper, an avid hockey fan, has juggled running the Canadian government with 15-minute daily writing sessions to finish a book on the history of ice hockey.

His publisher said Thursday that the book, still untitled, about Canada's most popular sport will appear in bookstores in November. It draws on archives, early hockey histories and old newspapers to paint a picture of hockey at the turn of the 20th century, publisher Simon & Schuster said.

Harper, who worked on the book in 15-minute bursts most evenings and is an avid hockey fan, said he had enjoyed conducting the research on hockey, which is Canada's most popular sport.

"The early days of professional hockey featured outsized personalities who fought pitched battles to shape the game we know and love today," he said in a statement from the publisher.

"Writing this book has taught me a lot about hockey and a great deal more about Canada. I hope all who read the book enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the experience of writing it."

According to media reports, Harper is not using a ghost writer and has been studiously researching his subject. He is a member of the Society for International Hockey Research.

While Harper has had tried not to show favoritism for any one team, he has admitted his first love is the Toronto Maple Leafs, which last won the Stanley Cup in 1967.

Harper's royalties will go to the Military Families Fund, which provides emergency help for military families.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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