The book: The Road to Hockeytown*, hardcover, 320 pages
The Author: Roger Lajoie, Jimmy Devellano
The Publisher: Wiley
Release Date: August 18, 2008
Pre-order: Amazon - Chapters
* The book is listed as The Road to Hockeytown: Jimmy Devellano's Forty Years in the NHL, but the publisher's own description hints that the final title will be From Cabbage Town To Hockeytown. We'll have to wait a bit longer on the final title, apparently.
The architect of 13 championship teams, six of them Stanley Cup winners, Jimmy D. has left his indelible mark on the game of hockey everywhere he has gone, from Cabbagetown to Hockeytown USA. Born in the working-class Cabbagetown neighbourhood of 1940s Toronto, Devellano has risen to become one of the most respected and accomplished executives in hockey and in sports in general.
He never did play hockey, but has always had an excellent eye for talent. As a scout and assistant general manager with the New York Islanders, he helped build the team that won four Stanley Cups in the 1980s, three of which he was with the franchise for. He was the first person Mike and Marian Ilitch hired when they bought the ailing Detroit Red Wings in 1982 and Jimmy D. carefully choreographed the steady rise of the Wings from one of the NHL’s weakest teams into the powerful club that has reached the Stanley Cup finals four of the last ten years and lifted the coveted Cup in triumph three times. Now in his 25th season with Detroit and his 40th in the NHL, Jim Devellano continues to be a driving force behind Detroit’s success as well as a strong influence in the evolution and improvement of the game and the league itself.
From Cabbagetown to Hockeytown gives a rare glimpse inside the world of hockey from an unusual perspective—through the eyes of one of the game’s greatest executives. This is the candid, personal account of Jim Devellano’s life and his 40 incredible years in the game of hockey. He gives us an insider’s insight into the business and personalities of the game, sharing his stories of many of the characters he has encountered over the years—how he convinced the New York Islanders to hire Al Arbour as their coach, and then did the same thing in bringing Scotty Bowman to Detroit; how he was one of the first to assemble a strong European scouting staff; and how he wheeled and dealed to bring a crop of talented Russians like Sergei Fedorov, Slava Kozlov, and Vladimir Konstantinov from behind the Iron Curtain to the NHL. As a general manager or head of hockey operations, Devellano offers a behind-the-scenes look at what the players and coaches are really like; how they are assessed, hired, and fired; how decisions are made on draft day; and how deals and trades really get done. As told to veteran journalist and broadcaster Roger Lajoie, From Cabbagetown to Hockeytown is a captivating memoir of a truly unique life in hockey.Joe's Note: You'd never know it by looking at him, but Jimmy Devellano is one of hockey's brightest minds. Hopefully this book can escape the typical dryness that plagues these type of autobiographies. No picture yet folks, when I find one I'll let you know!