Having read a few hockey-themed children's books, Paulina Galiardi felt there was something missing. So when she set out to write her own, her mind went to the often overlooked center of all the action; the puck.
"Paul the Puck," which Galiardi wrote and illustrated, tells the story of a puck trying to make it across the goal line before time runs out. It is available in versions with each of the Canadian NHL teams in English, and in the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators in French as "Remi la Rondelle."
"With hockey, there are so many moving parts. There's players and coaches and fans and equipment managers and playoffs and overtime wins… and literally none of that could exist without the humble puck," Galiardi told NHL.com. "The puck is so important. And yet it is hardly given any thought or recognition. Without it, the game of hockey could not exist.
"I thought writing 'Paul the Puck' could give the puck its moment in the spotlight, and give us a chance to think about the game of hockey from a perspective that we wouldn't usually think of it from."
Galiardi trained to be a classical concert pianist at the Royal Conservatory of Music in her native Toronto, and spent years performing and competing before finding a new passion in writing children's poetry and drawing.
Coming from a hockey-playing family and being married to former NHL player T.J. Galiardi, hockey was a natural subject matter. Galiardi played for the Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets over seven NHL seasons.
"I had read a couple of hockey children's books, and while they conveyed certain important messages, none of them were actually about capturing the spirit and intensity and passion of an actual hockey game," she said. "I wanted to write a children's book that did that."
While Paulina is the creative force, T.J. helps with the business side, and together they are working on putting out a new children's book in conjunction with the You Can Play and NHL's Hockey is For Everyone initiatives that shares the message of inclusion through animals playing an outdoor hockey game.
"Paul the Puck" is available for purchase online and in select bookstores in Canada.