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Old Prof Jim Parsons, Sr.




The Hockey Writers Jim Parsons, Sr. writes under the pseudonym The old Prof. Dr. James Parsons, PhD uses the pseudonym to avoid confusion with his son and namesake, THWs Jim Parsons (Jr.). While the old professor can’t do much about the aging process, he continues in Prof mode, with online courses for three Canadian universities. Jim, Sr.’s academic career includes lessons in remote places like Scotland and New Zealand, with a layover of several years in China. (He led the team that developed an English-language program now used in that country.)

The Old Profs’ academic achievements include over 100 published books, countless magazine articles, and the prestigious onesHonorary Membership of the Alberta Teachers Association, the highest honor of the organization.

Favorite Hockey Stories from The Old Prof at
One of The Old Profs’ favorite hockey stories involves a private tour of Maple Leaf Gardens as a child. (CREDIT: wyliepoon / Flickr)

For, The Old Prof mainly covers the Toronto Maples Leafs (although he often writes about other Canadian teams). His portfolio has included some 700 stories and columns in recent years. I recently had the opportunity to ask The Old Prof about his career at The Hockey WritersThis is what he told me.

My favorite stories

The longtime pro says he hasn’t written an academic book since he started writing the Maple Leafs for (although it sounds like he doesn’t regret it). Here are some of the hockey stories that stand out to him.

Taking the Toronto Maple Leafs out of the Cup Some personal thoughts

I wrote a post about my dad taking me to the old Maple Leafs Gardens as a kid. When it was locked, he knocked on the door until a guard replied. When my dad told the custodian he wanted to show his son one of the great hockey arenas, the custodian let us in and we could walk through the empty arena on our own. My dad, typically a quiet man, went on to talk about Maple Leafs hockey. I was too young to remember his thoughts, but I remember his joy as a father to show me where the Maple Leafs played.

Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews is undergoing a transformation

I sometimes have the opportunity to use my academic research and background in the posts I write. For example, the season after Auston Matthews ran into trouble in Scottsdale, Arizona for harassing a female guard, I was able to write about what I believe was his transformation of character. I was glad he had learned a valuable lesson in my opinion and wrote about what I thought he had learned.

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews learned a valuable lesson after troubles in Arizona.Jess Starr/ The Hockey Writers)

Interestingly to me, the message was reprinted in a Scottsdale newspaper after it was posted by The Hockey WritersIt reminds me that our work as hockey writers can sometimes impact the larger culture and society.

Toronto Maple Leafs should let Mitch Marner down for the 2019-2020 season

Being troubled by the negotiations between the Maple Leafs and Mitch Marner when Marner was a limited free agent, I put my thoughts on those negotiations.

Mitch Marner Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitchell Marner (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Chris Young)

What I liked about that post was that The Hockey Writers received a note from a professor who had spent more than 20 years in contract negotiations at the University of Toronto Law School. His comment and background suggested that the analysis in your article is excellent, and your suggestion is fully consistent with best negotiation practice.

Are there any columns you would like to forget?

There are no specific messages that I would like to forget. That said, I hate making a mistake a typo or a spelling mistake, but I do. That bothers me; however i have a good number of readers who tell me kindly (really nice people). in my work with The Hockey Writers, I have tried to apply the same rigor of craftsmanship and theory in my daily posts as in my academic work. I don’t have a simplified vocabulary or my ideas. At the same time, I try not to be secretive.

Finally, I believe that because of my age, I can write from a positive (sometimes juicy) perspective. I try to focus on the positive aspects of hockey: teamwork, relationships, celebrations and the ability of hockey players to influence their fans and their society. So I am a fan of itCarey Price and his wife for giving full benefit to their charity work

Carey Price Montreal Canadiens
The Carey and Angela Price Foundation is very active in charity work.Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Sometimes my heart goes out to these young men who entertain us by playing hockey and who hear really negative comments. Usually they are children. Perhaps due to my educational background and my age, I will be more grateful than critical. If I’ve said anything overly critical of a hockey player, I’d happily retract it.

Following on from The Old Prof

De Oude Prof regularly publishes with The Hockey Writers and you’ll find his articles on the Toronto Maple Leafs (and other teams) featured prominently when they are published. But to make sure you don’t miss any of his comments, you can follow him on Twitter:
Here is a link to a collection of The Old Profs stories on The Hockey Writers.
(And Pete is quite proud of himself for getting this far without mentioning it The Big Bang Theory

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