November 26, 2009

Gabby: Confessions of a Hockey Lifer by Bruce Boudreau

Bruce Boudreau's autobiography Gabby: Confessions of a Hockey Lifer is full of entertaining and engaging stories about a minor leaguer who finally makes it to the NHL.

Buy The Book - - -

Boudreau of course was a minor league hockey player who never could stick in the NHL, largely because he was not (or did not know how to be) dedicated enough to do what it takes. He eventually figured it out, becoming a very good minor league coach. With a little luck, he was in the right situation at the right time when he was asked coach Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

Boudreau has never looked back. He is now known as the very likeable Caps coach, an overnight success story 50 years in the making.

Bottom line - it's a typical hockey biography. If you are a fan of Bruce Boudreau or of the Washington Capitals (who he talks about with the greatest affection) or of the minor leagues, you will find some interesting stories here. It's far from a classic otherwise, with Boudreau's minor league run-ins with Sean Avery as the only extraordinary story for readers with no particular attachment.

Tim Leone deserves a word of praise. As the co-writer he did a great job at keeping this book obviously in Boudreau's voice. And Kudos to Boudreau and the publishers for keeping this book "PG-13." The minor leagues can be a dirty place, but Boudreau keeps it clean.

I particularly like Boudreau's message of regret, and how he wants readers to never have that regret in their lives: "Here's a personal message for young players: Use Bruce Boudreau as an example of what not to do so you don't have to live with the regrets that have haunted me. My priorities were wrong, and I wasn't serious enough about the game. That's strange in light of how serious I am about the game now; my whole life is the game."


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