Wednesday, November 19, 2008



Want to give your children a better chance of making it to the NHL? Plan to have them in January. So says Malcolm Gladwell, via Roger Barnsley, in his new book Outliers.

"The more he looked, the more Barnsley came to believe that what he was seeing was not a chance occurrence but an iron law of Canadian hockey: in any elite group of hockey players--the very best of the best--40 percent of the players will have been born between January and March, 30 percent between April and June, 20 percent between July and September, and 10 percent between October and December."

It's not that hard to figure out why this is the case, but I suggest picking up the book, anyway. Gladwell is always a great read (and Cosh's choice for "Canada's most important public intellectual").


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Ah, that isn't Gladwell. That's been known for ages. It's the Gretzky Effect.

If the playoffs don't inspire fornication, I don't know what will.

Yeah, Dryden wrote about this in Home Game back in 1989.

The effect has been understood for a while, but isn't it time we do something about the cause? We'd have a lot more good hockey players if we did.

I'm really late to the party, but here's my take: The players born at the end of the year are much better, on average, than the players born at the beginning of the year.

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