July 25, 2014

Fuhr: The Story of a Hockey Legend: by Grant Fuhr with Bruce Dowbiggin

Grant Fuhr: The Story of a Hockey Legend by Grant Fuhr with Bruce Dowbiggin. Random House
Buy The Book - Amazon.ca - Chapters - Amazon.ca

From The Publisher: GRANT FUHR was the Hall of Fame goaltender for the Edmonton Oilers, and the first black superstar in the National Hockey League. He is now a role model and fundraiser for charity, inspiring young goalies around the world. Fuhr plays golf at the professional level on the pro Stars Tour, starring with ex-professional athletes who benefit charities by their activities.


Clint Malarchuk: Saved: How I Survived My Life In Hockey

Saved: How I Survived My Life in Hockey by Clint Malarchuk with Dan Robson. Triumph
Buy The Book - Amazon.ca - Chapters - Amazon.com

Note: This book is also listed as The Crazy Game by Clint Malarchuk.

From The Publisher: No job in the world of sports is as intimidating, exhilarating, and stress-ridden as that of a hockey goaltender. Clint Malarchuk did that job while suffering high anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder and had his career nearly literally cut short by a skate across his neck, to date the most gruesome injury hockey has ever seen.

This autobiography takes readers deep into the troubled mind of Clint Malarchuk, the former NHL goaltender for the Quebec Nordiques, the Washington Capitals, and the Buffalo Sabres. When his carotid artery was slashed during a collision in the crease, Malarchuk nearly died on the ice. Forever changed, he struggled deeply with depression and a dependence on alcohol, which nearly cost him his life and left a bullet in his head.

Now working as the goaltender coach for the Calgary Flames, Malarchuk reflects on his past as he looks forward to the future, every day grateful to have cheated death—twice.


Chris Chelios: Made In America by Chris Chelios with Kevin Allen

Chris Chelios: Made in America by Chris Chelios with Kevin Allen. Triumph.
Buy The Book - Amazon.ca - Chapters - Amazon.com 

From The Publisher: From being inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013, to serving in an executive role on the Detroit Red Wings, and signing on to become an NHL analyst for Fox Sports 1, Chris Chelios has proven himself to be a man of many talents and here he tells his story. 

Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1981, Chelios enjoyed a long career in the NHL, playing for 26 seasons for the Canadiens as well as the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings, two diehard hockey markets in which he has become a beloved figure. From the 1992 Stanley Cup final to the 2006 Winter Olympics team, Chelios shares his achievements on the ice while providing new information on his life off it to readers, making this autobiography a must-have not only for Chelios fans, but anyone who loves the game of hockey.

Please note that this book is also listed on Amazon.ca (but not Amazon.com) as Chris Chelios: Overtime. Perhaps this a simple project name change or perhaps it is a marketing strategy for Canadian marketplaces vs. USA. 


Larry Robinson: The Great Defender with Kevin Shea

The Great Defender: My Unexpected Hockey Odyssey by Kevin Shea. Fenn/MS. Buy The Book - Amazon.ca - Chapters - Amazon.com

From The Publisher: Legendary Canadien and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Larry Robinson takes readers rink-side in this highly anticipated and poignantly told memoir. 

Larry Robinson spent 20 seasons playing in the NHL -- seventeen with the Montreal Canadiens and retiring from the game after his final 3 seasons with the LA Kings. His great size gave his teams an incredible presence on the blue line and a tremendous defender in front of their net. But he was more than just big. He was agile, he could score and he played a style that provided both offensive and defensive strengths. 

For his effort, Robinson was twice recognized as the NHL's top defencemen and his contribution helped the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup six times during his tenure with the team. Never afraid to drop his gloves and play a physical game, Robinson is and will forever be regarded as one of the NHL's greatest defencemen. 

In The Great Defender, Robinson relives his road to the NHL and the unexpected NHL journey that has lasted over 4 decades. He has enjoyed the good fortune of playing with greats, including Ken Dryden and Guy Lafleur to coaching the greatest of all--Wayne Gretzky. His successes as a player and coach are well-documented and in his memoir, hockey fans will now enjoy the opportunity to experience the odyssey of this legendary player as seen through his eyes, lived through his emotions, and told through his voice. Robinson's story is one of triumph and will leave readers cheering for the man fondly nicknamed "Big Bird." 

In the process of writing this book, bestselling sports writer Kevin Shea interviewed many of Robinson's teammates, colleagues, players and family members and spent countless hours with Larry himself to capture a fascinating picture of one of hockey's greatest careers.


Bench Bosses: The NHL's Coaching Elite by Matthew Dibiase

Bench Bosses: The NHL's Coaching Elite by Matthew Dibiase. Foreword by Scotty Bowman. Published by Fenn/MS.
Buy The Book: - Amazon.ca - Chapters - Amazon.com
From The Publisher: Bench Bosses celebrates the greatest NHL Coaches in the history of the game. 

Bench Bosses is filled with compelling biographical narrative, innovative analysis, historical allusion, hockey folklore, humour, heartbreak, and tragedy. By introducing a creative new method for evaluating coaching success, professional historian and hockey columnist Matthew DiBiase settles many a debate. His hard-hitting prose and cogent analysis covers key aspects of coaching and definitively identifies the greatest offensive and defensive coaches, expounds on the best penalty-killing or power-play coaches and delves into statistics to determine the nastiest squads on the ice. His unique assessment method determines his selection of the top fifty head coaches of all time. DiBiase's in-depth hockey research delivers a powerful, gripping and informative look at the game's best of the best.

This seminal book tells the story behind the story of coaching success. It removes subjectivity and bias and provides a comprehensive overview of each coach's major career achievements and the contributions each has made to the game. In the writing of this book, the author personally interviewed many of the game's best known coaches and their players to get the most accurate and complete perspective of the sport and its coaching elite. Readers will enjoy hearing from such names as Scotty Bowman, Al Arbour, Jean Beliveau, Dick Irvin Jr., and more.


Frozen In Time: A Minnesota North Stars History

Calling all Minnesota North Stars fans:

Frozen in Time: A Minnesota North Stars History by Adam Raider, University of Nebraska Press.
Buy The Book: Amazon.ca - Chapters - Amazon.com

From The Publisher: In 1967 the National Hockey League decided to double its size from six teams to twelve. This expansion was the first of its kind, and Minnesota, with its rich hockey history, was a natural choice for a new franchise. Thus the Minnesota North Stars were born.

Frozen in Time examines the organization's signature seasons, from the late 1970s, when the club was at its worst, to its two surprising runs to the Stanley Cup Finals. The book recalls the exploits of characters such as Wren Blair, the firebrand ex-scout who would become the team's first coach and general manager, and owner Norm Green, the man who moved the team to Texas in 1993, making him one of the most hated men in Minnesota. Here, too, is the tragic story of Bill Masterton, an original North Star whose death in 1968 as the result of an on-ice injury remains the only one in the history of the league. The team's engaging history is brought to life with vivid recollections from former players and legends, including Cesare Maniago, Tom Reid, and Bobby Smith, and from journalists, broadcasters, front office executives, and faithful fans.

Also including season-by-season summaries, player profiles, and statistics, Frozen in Time offers an authoritative and nostalgic look at Minnesota's still-beloved North Stars and a bygone era of pro hockey.


April 30, 2014

50 Canadians Who Changed The World by Ken McGoogan

Back in October 2013 Ken McGoogan came out with his new book 50 Canadians Who Changed The World. That's it - just 50! As you can imagine, arguments about who was included and more importantly who was not included began soon after, rocketing this book up the best-sellers lists.

This book isn't your standard list of greatest Canadians. Instead of the typical patriotic chest thumping this book looks at the 50 most important Canadians (they had to be born in the 20th century - thus explaining Lester B. Pearson's absence) from the viewpoint of people outside of Canada. Global reach was the defining factor.

People like Tommy Douglas, Pierre Trudeau, Romeo Dallaire, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, David Suzuki, Michael J. Fox and James Cameron.

Now any book about the top Canadians as seen by Canadians would include a few hockey personalities. So how does the author handle Canada's defining sport from a global perspective?

McGoogan includes three hockey personalities. Many Canadians might find that to be too small of a number but realistically the world's view on hockey, with the exception of a dozen countries or so, is pretty small, too.

Wayne Gretzky, of course, is included. (There is no numerical ranking of the honourees.) As the author points out, Gretzky transcended the sport in America and as a result has, in many ways, given the game to the world. He is the face of the game, and for many he is the face of Canada.

Jacques Plante is also included, for literally changing the face of the game by introducing the goalie mask.

Hailey Wickenheiser is also included along with deceased freestyle skier Sarah Burke, for their immense influence in advancing women's athletics worldwide.

Does any other hockey player deserve mention? While Rocket Richard's cultural impact in Quebec is unparalleled, his reach did not extend beyond Canadian borders. Bobby Orr, Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau, Mario Lemieux - all amazing hockey players, but not one of which I think had any significant global reach, especially off the ice. The very few hockey players I can think of who deserve such consideration are immediately eliminated because they are not even Canadian - Borje Salming, Vladislav Tretiak and Slava Fetisov.

Realistically I think McGoogan is bang on in including only these three Canadian hockey players. I may even be willing to drop Plante off the list (but only if McGoogan drops Celine Dion. I mean, c'mon!).

Ken McGoogan 50 Canadians Who Changed The World should be required reading in Canada. He offers an interesting and entertaining history of Canada from a different angle. I do recommend checking out this book.


April 1, 2014

Sneak Peek at 2014 Hockey Book Releases

The other day we talked about Gordie Howe's new autobiography being released later in 2014. Which got us thinking - what other hockey books can we expect in 2014? There's a number of interesting titles forthcoming:

New Don Cherry Autobiography

Straight Up and Personal: The World According to Grapes - Known for his opinions--and unabashed expression of them--Don Cherry has been causing debate for decades. Topics on "Coach's Corner" sometimes veer away from sports and on to other matters that are near and dear to Cherry's heart: the war in Afghanistan and politics, among many others. In Straight Up and Personal, Cherry shares his thoughts on a broader range of issues than he ever has before. He shares some of his personal experiences on and off the ice, and offers the lessons he's learned along the way. This is Don Cherry: straight up and personal.

Hockey's Ultimate Insider

Hockey Confidential: Inside Stories from People Inside the Game - Over 500,000 hockey fans follow Bob McKenzie on Twitter and millions more on TSN—no one has the access or breadth and depth of experience when it comes to the hockey. Now in his very first book on the NHL, Bob goes behind the scenes, covering the inside stories, the lesser-known personalities and the events that shape Canada’s game. He talks to Bobby Orr about Connor McDavid (touted as “the next Crosby”), reveals the actual stats that NHL coaches and scouts use, and explores what it’s like to be Don Cherry’s son. Entertaining, insightful and a damn good read, Hockey Confidential is a must for every hockey fan.

Lots and lots of Leafs (of course)

We Are Your Leafs: The Toronto Maple Leafs Book of Greats The Toronto Maple Leafs official book of the greatest players and coaches from yesterday and today! We Are Your Leafs is the first book in an eight-book partnership between Fenn/Random House and the Toronto Maple Leafs as part of the team's forthcoming centennial celebration plans. By Michael Ulmer

Leafs '65: The Lost Toronto Maple Leafs Photographs - From celebrated author and sports journalist Stephen Brunt comes a beautifully illustrated, elegiac tribute to the Toronto Maple Leafs of yesteryear. Acclaimed writer Stephen Brunt's essay on the '65 training camp -- based on interviews with team members -- Leafs '65 is the ultimate tribute to the Stanley Cup-winning Toronto Maple Leafs, to a forgotten era of hockey, and to a moment in Canadian history that will resonate with any reader.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Their Defining Moments -This book shares over 100 Maple Leaf moments that defined, started, or rejuvenated a career. This up-to-date volume of work tells the story behind each amazing player and is packed full of Hall of Famers and other great stars of the past and present.

Written in Blue and White - The Toronto Maple Leafs Contracts and Historical Documents from the Collection of Allan Stitt

Another Gretzky Book

Facing Wayne Gretzky: Players Recall the Greatest Hockey Player Who Ever Lived - Far from a conventional biography, Facing Wayne Gretzky offers perspectives and testimonials from opponents and teammates alike, including Denis Potvin, Kelly Hrudey, Rob Blake, and many more. Never has another hockey player achieved what “The Great One” did on the ice, and it is unlikely that one will soon. This book details what it’s like to face the best player who ever skated, illuminating his passing ability, his deceptively effective shot, and his inventiveness both with the puck and without.

Rethinking 1972

Coming Down the Mountain: Rethinking the 1972 Summit Series - A comprehensive look at the 1972 Canada-USSR Hockey series and the way that Canadian mythology has been built around it, including essays on topics such as the impact of the summit series on the development of women's hockey, an analysis of media perspectives from the series and how the summit series helped to form Canada's identity abroad. This collection will be written in accessible prose, allowing it to read and enjoyed by a devotee of the game who is not an academic.

Here's a few upcoming releases that have very little information about them other than titles and, in some cases, cover images:

Hockey Card Stories: True Stories from the Players on Your Favourites
Changing the Game: A History of NHL Expansion
It's Our Game by Michael McKinley
Bench Bosses: The NHL's Coaching Elite
50 Greatest Redwings
Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard
The Great Defender: From the Canadiens to Coaching and Everything In-between - My Total NHL Experience by Kevin Shea


New Gordie Howe Autobiography Coming

G.P. Putnam's Sons, a division of Penguin, has announced that Gordie Howe will release a new autobiography in October of 2014. The book will be called Mr Hockey - Gordie Howe: My Story .

"It is a pleasure to tell my story with this book, and especially to include the people who have meant so much to me along the way.” Howe said about Mr. Hockey, in a statement. "No accomplishment is about just one person – no championship, no statistic, and certainly not a whole career."

While there have been a number of previous books about Gordie Howe, including a few authorized by himself, Putnam promises this new book will "the definitive account" on the career of the hockey legend.

Putnam released Bobby Orr's autobiography in 2013.


March 3, 2014

Five: A Salute To Nicklas Lidstrom

Part of the celebrations this week as the Detroit Red Wings honour Nicklas Lidstrom by retiring his number is the unveiling of the limited edition book Five: A Salute to Nicklas Lidstrom.

The book will be available on March 6, 2014. Only 15,000 copies are being printed.

The Detroit Red Wings have produced similar books for Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay. They are heavy on beautiful photography and solid commentary.

At this time I'm not even sure how to get copies. They are not listed for sale on Amazon or Chapters and I do not see it at DetroitRedWings.com at this time.

But I can tell you how to buy the limited release of Nicklas Lidstrom commemorative cereal: Detroit Red Wings Hockey Heroes Lidstrom Limited Edition Collector's Box Honey Nut Toasted Oats


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