To fill your 101 Nights until...
... Hockey season begins!
The NHL just released the 2015-16 schedule which fittingly begins on Wednesday, October 7, when the Chicago Blackhawks will raise their latest Stanley Cup banner to the ceiling of the United Center. But how, oh how, to occupy your time between now and then and get your hockey fix (particularly since this summer in Chicago seems to be trending wet and gloomy, making us think more of dreary November than sunny June)? And since most of the other teams in Chicago are... as usual. Okay, so maybe it's not been THAT cold... but we've definitely been lacking in sunshine. And the Cubs actually are contending this year... for now. But if it rains, well, how better to while away a rainy summer afternoon than with a good book... a good HOCKEY book. So presented for your consideration, an eclectic mix of titles all about "the Fastest Game on Earth."
Behind the Net: 101 Incredible Hockey Stories
Stan Fischler, Sports Publishing, 2013
Who doesn't love an incredible factoid told with style and verve? A well-known sports broadcaster presents photos and recollections of amazing, hilarious and absurd events that took place during hockey games over the past half-century, including Bill Mosienko scoring three goals in 21 seconds,Rene Fernand Gauthier accepting a challenge to shoot the puck in the ocean and Sam LoPresti facing 83 shots on goal in one game.
Crossing the Line: the Outrageous Story of a Hockey Original
Derek Sanderson, Harper Collins 2012
Because everyone enjoys a rise, fall and rise again story... set against a fresh backdrop -- HOCKEY! Here's an eye-opening story of the life of one of hockey's greatest players of the 1970s era. At the high point of his life, Derek was playing for the Boston Bruins, he was the highest paid athlete in the world and he was a winger for Bobby Orr. His rough and ready-for-anything style helped lead his team to two Stanley Cups. But the high was not to last (it rarely does) as he plummeted so low he ended up sleeping on a park bench. This is a story about Derek's rise to fame, his fall into blackness and his struggle to pull himself back onto his feet. That may sound familiar, but the candid, engaging writing style breathes fresh life into this "fall down twice, get up three times" tale. Today, Derek is a financial adviser for young athletes to help keep them from making the same mistakes that he did.
Bob McKenzie, Harper Collins 2014
You can't miss with a book with the word "confidential" in the title! McKenzie has over 350,000 hockey fans following him on Twitter and millions more on The Sports Network TSN. He's the quintessential hockey insider with over 35 years of experience in analyzing the game. He definitely has the access and the experience to bring some juicy stories to light. In this book, he goes behind the scenes, covering the inside stories, some lesser-known personalities and the events that shape the game.
Don't Call Me Goon: Hockey's Greatest Enforcers, Gunslingers and Bad Boys
Greg Oliver, ECW Press 2013
Because I never could resist a bad boy... In professional hockey, enforcers are often as popular with fans as the stars. Called upon to duke it out with a fellow troublemaker, or to shadow an opponent’s top scorer, these men get the crowds out of their seats, the sports-radio talking heads buzzing, and the TV audience spilling their beer in excitement. This book highlights a rogue's list of mayhem-makers from old timers like Joe Hall and Red Horner; to legendary bruisers like Tiger Williams, Stu Grimson, and Bob Probert; to fan favorites Tie Domi and Georges Laraque; and contemporaries such as Arron Asham and Brian McGrattan. It also explores the issues that plague the NHL’s bad boys — suspensions, concussions, controversy — and looks ahead to the future of tough guys in a changing era.
The Boys of Winter: the Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980s U.S. Olympic Hockey team
Wayne Coffey, Crown 2005
Yeah, so you know how it ends, so what? Some things are definitely worth revisiting. The author digs deep to depict the personalities and the breathtaking action on the ice. This saga of how coach Herb Brooks motivated a roster of 20 amateur, mostly college-age young men to orchestrate victory over an established Soviet team of seasoned, professionally trained skaters may be familiar, but believe it or not, it still offers suspense and heroism. Brooks emerges as an obstinate, aloof, but savvy coaching genius who elicited perseverance, grit, and a strong ethic of teamwork. This was a team full of dreamers, rather than a Dream Team.
So there you have it, five books to enrich your hockey dreams until the boys of winter make their return...
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